No shortcuts.

It’s strange to know that you’re doing all the right things and still just aren’t _right_ yet. Whenever something goes wrong in your world, you want it to be a case of figuring out which bolt’s come loose, tightening it up a bit, and going on your merry way. But it doesn’t work that way. Fixes happen, but not immediately. Conversations take a while to work through, counselling referrals don’t rock up immediately, even meds take four to six weeks to begin to take effect, and I’m only on week three.

And so at the moment, my prevailing emotion – if you can call it that – is ‘meh’. I dip into sadness sometimes – today, the second of two days with little human contact after a Thursday/Friday/Saturday flurry with people I love, has been a hard one – and when I’m with people I care about I can reach happy, too. But mostly, it’s a shoulder-slumping, everything-takes-longer, visible-on-my-face meh. With some bonus guilt for making other people worry when they see that.

And it’s hard work pasting a cheery or even neutral public face on top of that. It’s hard work balancing the need to avoid totally isolating myself with the need to step back a little from environments in which I feel I need to be ‘on’. Heck, at the moment it’s hard work getting out of bed and it’s hard work eating a reasonable amount of food. Those are things that I talk myself into, not because I’m flailing around sadly but because I just… don’t have the impetus. I’m like a car whose engine turns over a few times before the ignition sparks into life.

But I’ve been mired here in Depressionville before, some years ago, and I’ve learned some lessons and some self-management strategies. I know that I need to be gentle with myself but not drift too far from my usual routines, I know what helps me to sleep, and I know that if my appetite and inclination aren’t prompting me and I can’t summon the energy to cook, I can still use the clock as a guide to eating regularly and fill my fridge with reasonably healthy easy options so that I don’t lose any more weight than has already inadvertently fallen off me.

I know that although they take time to work, the meds will help. I’ve taken the initial steps for counselling referral, and I’ve told my wonderfully supportive boss. I’ve looked up some classes that, when I feel a little stronger, will hopefully help me build on that strength both physically and emotionally. I know that this time around, I can be open with the people in my life.

I know that although there are no shortcuts, this will pass.

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