Friday 28 December 2012

"Melancholy Baby"

Ah, my old companion melancholy.

My mother has long called me her melancholy baby and for good reason. Melancholia has never been far away from me, often following me in good times like my shadow. It's something that I am wary of and never forget about.

If you have been reading my blog of late you will know that life has been presenting me with a few challenges. And that's kind of how I choose to look at it - they are simply challenges to be faced, overcome, and learnt from.

On top of all of this, it is a difficult time of year full of expectations for the holidays, with fewer daylight hours, and cold & flu bugs everywhere.

The last week has been particularly "interesting", for lack of a better word. At various times I have been laughing or crying. I have been calm and I have been super agitated & irritable. I have been fatigued and then beyond angry. I have felt melancholy. That, my friends, is a warning to me.

No, I am not depressed currently. Could I fall back into the abyss? Yes. Will I? I don't think so - not right now. And here is why: I am aware of my own personal warning signs and I do what I need to to stay mentally healthy. It's when I let down my guard and take my health for granted that things get dicey.

It's the end of a tough year and I am tired of "learning" & "growing", to be perfectly honest. So what's a nice girl like me to do?  Keep on keeping on. That's right. There is no magic potion or secret recipe for health and happiness. It's a lot of boring stuff, to be frank. In fact, it's at this point every year that I begin to yearn for normalcy. Yup - boring, I know.

So how do I define normal? Well, it's things like doing my laundry, eating balanced (somewhat!) meals at regular times, getting exercise (if I must!), connecting with friends & family, and working regular hours/days at work. Yes, it's bliss to have a few extra days off here and there but normal and repetitive are two things that are healthy for me.

I began today feeling sad and crying. But I am happy to say that I am feeling much better as I write this. And that's because I have listened to my body & mind and given myself what I needed today. I was gentle with myself, took some time for myself, and took my emotions as they came. Most importantly, I didn't crumble and beat myself up because I wasn't "happy". I just let my sadness pass.

January may be a bland month with nothing exciting going on but I am looking forward to it. I am eager to get back into a routine at work and in my personal life. I am sure that my old companion melancholy will still be silently waiting in the background. But I am equally sure that I am up to the challenges that chronic mental illness presents. That's part of lessons learnt and personal growth, the gift, in fact, that comes along with it.

KB xo

P.S. Want to track YOUR mood? Check out this link:

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