I have a confession to make: a few days ago I wrote a post after the big snow storm and it was all about how depression can make you feel even more isolated. I ended that post by suggesting that you curl up in a big blanket and sip a cup of cocoa…I’m telling you that I had the hardest time taking my own advice, so much so that I found myself thinking “what the heck... savour the warmth?” I had kind of a blue day that day and indeed found myself moping around trying to keep busy all the time keeping an eye on the clock so I knew when I could go to sleep and just shut the day down. Depressing eh?
It’s all well and good to talk about different ways to maybe handle challenging situations and I’m usually pretty good about getting through them, but the hardest for me is when I’m the only one home and the day just kind of stretches out ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong, I often love that alone time but it’s usually when the kids are at school or when I know they are coming home later in the evening. I have a much harder time when my options are limited in terms of what I can do to occupy my time.
I took a course in 2011 on being a Legal Nurse Consultant. It’s very interesting as it is all about comparing nursing actions to the standards as put out by the College of Nurses of Ontario. I have a report that I am trying to get done so with the snow whipping around outside the widows and no kids to bother me (they were at their dad’s) I sat down to really take a bite out of it. I worked hard for three hours then became aware of the gathering gloom outside the window. It was getting to be evening time and I suddenly got struck by a horrible sense of aloneness. Do you know what I mean? You suddenly realise that you have been trying very hard to keep busy, to keep that loneliness or sadness or whatever it is, at bay but then it hits you.So much for savouring the warmth. Who writes stuff like that anyways?
I have a friend who dreads being home alone. When her children leave to go for a visit with their father she packs up and heads out the door too – anywhere, anything is better than being at home alone and this is all the worse for my friend in the evening. You see, most of the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband happened when the children were in bed. This has had terrible repercussions for her, even now that she is living away from him – she can’t settle at night, her anxiety climbs to new levels and sleep is hard to come by. Home is not a good place for her right now. I am so proud of the hard work that she is doing to try and overcome this trauma and its associated triggers.
I guess it takes a day like last Friday to remind me that I’m not as far along the road of recovery as I thought. This isn’t a bad thing, it just helps me to realise that perhaps this is an area in my life that I can work on. I have been asking myself questions like: What is it that bothers me so much about having to be home and not being able to go out? What activities could I try that might help me to enjoy that alone time? What are some healthy alternatives to stress relief rather than heading straight to the fridge? And last but not least… How can I use this time to care for myself?
Savour the warmth if you can, it’s a nice idea but if you can’t because your feelings are all tied up in knots and you feel like crying then go ahead and cry - then figure out what the heck is going on and see if you can work your way around it. If it helps, try to see if, like my friend, there are perhaps solid reasons why you feel this way. It’s all about the journey my friends, and the road we are all on is up and down, remember that. Some days are just better than others.by