When hiding is not a plan

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?

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5 thoughts on “When hiding is not a plan

  1. Mmm what’s the difference between avoiding pain and sadness and having fun?
    Do you do any cultural stuff? Listening to music, going to art galleries, films? Pop music usually works for me😊 And yes, snuggling up with a box set on the sofa with the family😊 Getting absorbed in something crafty can be good for me too, knitting, sewing cross stitch. You can pick up tiny cross stitch things at the supermarket even. It’s just absorbing, with a sense of accomplishment when finished😊

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  2. So glad you were at least able to see your doctor and have a good conversation. I hate going to my family doctor about mental health stuff — he’s just not the right personality to talk to about those sorts of things compared to my therapist.
    Have you made some kind of list about the things you’re “hiding” from? I feel a lot better once I make even just baby-steps working towards overcoming those things. They seem a lot less overwhelming and I can “chip away” at them if I figure out the steps I need to take.
    Nice things I do for myself? Spa night! Face mask, manicure, bubble bath, hair mask… the works! I’ll put on music and light a big scented candle and monopolize the bathroom for a good hour. Sometimes I go to the movies by myself to get out of the house but still be a little lazy 😉 I volunteer at the animal shelter once a week too — there was training and stuff at the start, but nowadays there’s no people interaction. It’s just me cuddling/walking/playing with dogs for a few hours. Sometimes just cleaning my apartment helps me get out of a funk too.

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  3. Hello 🙂 I’ve ended up having to take today off work for mental and physical health reasons and I’m going to do Christmas cards too! Like you, I have to be wary of how I use exercise so I am glad you were able to flag that for yourself too xx I might try meet a friend for coffee too but overall I’m going to rest, listen to podcasts, do Xmas cards, have a bath and also busy the library! Xx sending hugs 🙂 Em

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  4. Do you play any instruments? If not, what about picking up something relatively simple (flute?) where you can make obvious progress pretty quickly. I always feel a bit better when I make music, even if I can only manage one song before I’m too drained. Or what about taking the time to go visit a park or forest for an EASY run. Appreciate the scenery rather than the exercise. Something you’ve wanted to explore but never felt like you had the time to do. Take the time for yourself and know that you deserve it! I also love Tam’s suggestion of volunteering at an animal shelter! That may take some planning, though.

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  5. Everything about my eating disorder is about safety and security so I completely understand about hiding. I’ve perfected hiding in a crowd even but I hate that. I hate feeling alone among people. I’ve had a taste of recovery and found I like feeling like I’m a part of the group. It’s still hard and I still call my home “my cave” but I suppose it’s all a process. I hope your non-hiding day went okay, or at least was manageable.

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