When my counselling appointment was cancelled the other day I burst into tears on the phone. Not my proudest moment but the secretary (bless her) picked up on it she offered me a doctors appointment as I won’t see my counsellor now for 6 or more weeks and it was clear things weren’t all sunshine and roses.
I saw my doctor today and, needless to say, sobbed and rambled at him but he did a good job in getting me to focus and make a plan of action. He asked what I thought would help and I said the only thing I can think of right now is to hide in bed. He suggested this might not be as effective as I think and asked me to come up with other plans. I was honestly stuck. The thing I really want to do is go hide (preferably in a hotel so that I can be alone) and turn my phone and computer off and remove myself from the world. He said fine to do it for a day but I needed to think ‘then what?’ It was embarrassing to realise that actually my plan of action on how to help myself extends to only ‘hiding in bed’, and I’m more panicky than usual in this situation as my boyfriend isn’t working so he is at home which means I don’t even get to hide in bed in peace.
The fact is also that life goes on and I need to keep participating. Hiding is not really an option. Doc asked me what I did to make myself feel better and I came up with: doing extra ‘work work’ to get ahead on things, doing PhD work so I feel better about that, do chores and other things on my to-do list and run, swim and yoga. He was nervous about the exercise as I’m meant to be cutting down not increasing, and all the other things he said didn’t really sound like fun. He asked what I do for fun, or as a treat. And honestly, hiding in bed watching gilmore girls is the thing that does it for me at the moment, but here we were again having to think beyond hiding in bed. He asked about a beauty treat- no because people would have to touch me and that is just too much right now. He asked about shopping- no because shops are overwhelming, I can’t make any decisions and I feel I haven’t earned it. He asked about dinner/lunch/ coffee out with friends- no because, well, food.He asked about reading – I did buy a new book but can’t get past page 5. I’m stuck stuck stuck. He agreed, and said that this could be the time I try some new things to get unstuck.
So, tomorrow I am going to try a non-hiding approach to conquering depression. I shall get my car serviced, do some work in the library, and then my ‘fun’ thing is to write my christmas cards – not sure this is exactly fun but I’m hoping thinking about the people I love will help.
What does everyone else do when they’re feeling down and hiding is no longer part of the plan?