This summer was hard: I was depressed for some of July, all of August, and most of September. It wasn’t as deep as I’ve been before, but it was worse than it’s been in a long time. I wasn’t sure what was wrong at first, but slowly, I think I figured it out. Plus, I understand that, just like diabetics need insulin to keep their bodies running normally, sometimes I need pills to get the happy brain chemicals flowing correctly. I understand that, and it helps me deal.
And my husband understands too. You can hide a lot of You from a lot of people, the people you work with, your friends. But it is seriously difficult to hide something like depression from your spouse, and I am so grateful that I don’t need to.
I know why I got into a slump this summer, but more importantly, I know one thing that helps pull me out of it.
I learned, for real, that I need routine. School started and I slipped into the comfortable up at 9, at work by 10, prep for class, teach, grade, do administrative tasks, clean off the desk, home again, home again, jiggity, jig. And things started to look up. Suddenly, working through that pile didn’t seem so daunting. Suddenly, mundane tasks didn’t look like mountain climbing. Suddenly, I didn’t have that dull ache in my chest all day long. And suddenly, smiling felt real again.
5 Things That Have Helped Make Me Happy Again
- Not leaving the office until my desk is cleaned off, with everything put in its place and not in another “neater” pile
- Answering student emails as quickly as possible
- Putting up laundry right away / doing dishes every morning, like it or not / hanging up my clothes from the day instead of making a pile at the end of the day
- Structuring my day at work more
- Remembering that this is just a passing storm, that I will see the sun again
Question of the Day
You don’t have to air your private struggles, but maybe you can share a strategy for working through them. What has helped you the most to work through your issues?