New Year Blues

I have felt rather 'blue' lately. As a result, I have felt frustrated with myself. After all, the beginning of a new year is supposed to be a time of setting new goals and of eager anticipation. I have not been feeling like setting goals and I have lost my sense of anticipation. I haven't even felt like writing - hence my long silence.

So now what? Having sat on all these 'negative' emotions for a while and having discovered that they intended to stick around for a while, I worked with a few tried and tested methods:

  • Firstly, I fully acknowledged how I felt. That usually makes me feel better but this time I noticed that it just made me feel more sure of how I was feeling. Hmmmm.....
  • Then I had a go at distracting myself. That worked well for a while, as long as I had the energy to do something or go somewhere. Things started slipping back into the blue when my energy fluctuated towards my low register. Ahhhh....
  • There soon came a time when I was feeling the need to cry for no apparent reason most of the time.  I didn't like it very much but I did notice that something was not 'depression as usual' for me: normally, when I feel very low I want to isolate myself. This time however, I sought company.  Ooohhh....
  • Lastly, I spoke to my hubby about how I had been feeling and actively sought his feedback. As always, he was wonderfully understanding and supportive.  Lucky me. (I wonder how people cope who never have anybody to speak to!). That really helped.  Ah yes......

As a result of our conversation, I came to the following self-advice:

  1. Remember this is my low time of the year. January is when I became ill four years ago. January is when I was hospitalised two years ago. January is the time of year when I feel at my worst. No wonder I feel lost at sea at the moment....
  2. It's not a good idea to push too hard and set goals for the New Year right now. I have started feeling the need to work in the Push again but I must watch I don't return to my old ways of knackering myself. That anxiety about the danger of my repeating old mistakes is not helping matters one bit - but at least I am aware of the danger!
  3. Even if I don't feel right about setting any goals just yet, nothing stops me from having a general sense of desired direction. For some reason, April feels the right time to be more specific about what I really want for 2009, so why not wait until then? I can always change my mind if something happens between now and then that takes me into a different direction.
  4. I AM already doing something: I am working on gently and gradually rebuilding my physical health after the real battering my body endured over the last four years. I did start this very important 'project' on 1st Jan and it's enough for me to focus on creating new eating and walking habits for the next two months - and, on the days when my energy is low, I'll rest.
  5. I may have gone into the blue but I have not fallen into the black. This is a very important thing for me to acknowledge and appreciate.

Taking everything into account, I am doing very well after all. My recent visit to my psychiatrist last week certainly encouraged me towards that conclusion. Apparently, I am doing everything right - even if I feel like I am not doing very much. After such a long and profoundly challenging period of ill health I am very happy to get such a resounding medical endorsement.

Oh well, I guess all that is left is for me to continue doing whatever it is I am doing, until such time as I feel like doing something else! 

Perhaps this is what I should wish for you too: long may you continue to do whatever it is you are doing until you feel like doing something different. That should make 2009 a Happy New Year for you (and for me).

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