As I have been spending a lot of time cooped up in my flat and avoiding contact with anyone going back to work and socialising has become an unexpected adjustment process, and an exhausting one at that. Everything becomes that little bit harder to get back in to the longer you’ve been away from it. I was only away from work for 2-3 weeks, but I haven’t been socialising for months. To do it all again at once has been extremely overwhelming and a difficult process. However I do feel it is a good thing for me as I am beginning to see life a little brighter.
The worst part of all of this for me has been conversations, because I’ve been hiding away I’ve somewhat forgotten how to communicate with people the way I used to and what reactions are appropriate. This probably sounds ridiculous, but I have been really struggling with it – even using my phone as a security blanket out of social conversation. One of the great things about the majority of my friends is that they are chatty and understanding so generally fill the silences when I can’t. It’s weird how depression caused me to actually forget how to effectively communicate.
People treat me differently. They might not notice that they’re doing it, but people have been treating me with a lot more patience and understanding than they were before. Before people would be offended if I just needed to shut the world out and ignore them, but now it feels like they finally understand why I’ve been needing to do it. The negative side of this is that some people talk to me differently, as if they feel sorry for me but are too scared to bring up the topic of depression. The thing is I am a very open person so will happily talk about my experience, I genuinely think they’re just scared of what I’ll say.
Work, which would normally be fairly fun for me, has been dragging. I dread going in and by lunch time I just want to curl up under my desk and cry. I’m not sure if it’s the nature of my job (which includes a lot of communication) or the fact that there are a fair few people in the office, but work has become so exhausting and difficult. This is something I know will pass, I just need to stick it out but for the moment this has been the biggest thing to adjust to again.
There are a couple of things that aren’t stressful for me though. I have been getting in to cooking and baking a bit more (With the help of my partner) which has been somewhat therapeutic and calming for me. Also blogging and photography which have been passions of mine for ages, but I have been neglecting as of late. I have been doing a lot more photography and using Instagram a lot more which has become an important part of my healing process. It makes me feel motivated which is what I need right now. Blogging stuff like this post as well has become important for me. Sharing my illness and healing process helps me understand it better, I also hope that is helps others gain perspective on depression.
I am very keen to hear how others live with depression and get some advice on how to cope with it better on a day to day basis. Do you suffer with a mental illness? What are you ways of coping/healing yourself?