So this is what happened yesterday.
I was feeling yuck… Low depression at a 2… Just enough to make you tired. Go to get coffee and they’re sold out of my drink flavor… That teeter totters me. But I don’t fall in deep, I tell myself it will be ok.
Yes, not getting the right coffee CAN trigger me to go to a 5 or 6.
I go to the pool. I know that swimming will make me feel better. Go down the slide and end up going a few times with a cute little girl. I get closer to feeling okay. Water and kids man… The way to cheer me up every time.
But I’m still at a 2. I write yesterday’s post. And then I tell Zach about it. Just like “man I can’t shake this 2 this afternoon.”
But I want too. I’m outside, I’m in my bathing suit, I told Zach about the 2, and I want to shake it. So I tell him to take me tubing.
10 minutes later, I’m screaming with delight as we shoot across the beautiful water, holding on for dear life. We flip twice. And I’m loving it.
That was all it took. It was like the water literally washed away the depression. I said, “Zach, maybe I’m actually a mermaid and that’s why I’m depressed. Because I’m supposed to live in the water. Maybe I’ll come back as a turtle.”
And the rest of the night was awesome. And today has been great too.
But I realized that yesterday is a perfect example of why people respond incorrectly to mental health illness.
Yesterday, at a 2, I was able to recognize my symptoms, ask for help, and do activities to alleviate my depression. But I was at a 2.
The problem I run into a lot, is that people suggest this solution when I’m at an 8.
“Why don’t you just get dressed and go for a walk? Sunshine will make you feel better!”
At a 2 – yes okay, fine I’ll go. At an 8 – you just drove me deeper into the hole. Because I feel like a failure for NOT being able to even go for a walk.
Sounds complicated right? Frustrating for anyone trying to help someone with mental health issues. Yea, it’s not easy. Zach and I have been working for years to figure out our system, and sometimes we still mess it up.
Communication is key. You need to know yourself and the person you are supporting. If you don’t understand why sometimes a solution works and sometimes it doesn’t, ask them WHEN THE EPISODE IS OVER. Someone in an episode won’t be thinking rationally.
Zach knows now, a 2 is a “scrape” and a band-aid is all I need to feel better. But an 8 is a broken arm, and if you try to use a band-aid, it’s just gonna make it a lot, LOT worse.