It’s weird how life changes, isn’t it?
Some weeks – for no particular reason – you feel upbeat and like you can take on the world.
There’s nothing that’s happened to empower you.
You haven’t just single-handedly defeated an army of invading marauders or anything…
But you feel pretty damned great.
Then, conversely, there are weeks that you – for no particular reason – feel like everything is a bit too hard.
That you’ve got no purpose.
That nothing will ever work out in your favour.
Why is that?
I guess I could turn into a man from a decade or more ago and claim it’s a “female thing”.
That it’s “hormonal”.
But I think that’s oversimplifying it.
And being unfair to men by claiming that only women feel this way.
It’s just life, kids.
That’s what it is.
If we were up the whole time, then where would the excitement or variety of life come from?
Having said that, on the days or weeks when we’re feeling less than perky, it makes everything much more of a struggle.
I should jump in at this point and make it clear that I’m aware that sometimes these variations are more pronounced and may be an internal chemical imbalance that needs to be addressed with the help of a professional – I’m not discussing that extreme here as I have no personal experience of it and therefore feel unqualified to do so. Apologies if anyone feels that I’m making light of a more serious condition – that is not my intention.
I have, for the last year or so, tried more and more to determine why exactly it may be on some occasions that I’m brought down.
Is there a particular temperature that triggers me?
Is it a scent that brings on my special brand of melancholy?
Is it like whatever brings Mary Poppins – merely a gust of wind?
Whatever it is, whether it’s a consistent “thing” or not, it just is.
What I have come to realise is how to keep myself steady.
I have always been a social creature.
I’m a collector of people.
I like to have things to do and places to visit with people.
I always have done.
Once I moved to the UK, the pace of my life slowed.
I had fewer friends with whom to spend time and also lacked a car to speed myself from one activity to another.
And this, I’ve decided, although it took a fair bit of adjustment, is not a bad thing.
The slowing of pace has meant more time for myself.
Which has meant learning to appreciate spending time with (by?) myself.
This is a double-edged sword though.
Because, I’ve found, the main culprit of my melancholic moods (for want of a better expression) is the over-thinking I do when alone.
Let me be clear – I am an over-thinker when alone and when in company.
It’s a condition that doesn’t abate.
But when I am am alone, it’s a condition that feeds on itself.
And the more the cogs in my brain whir, the worse the melancholy.
I’m a firm believer in taking time out to do nothing.
For me, I need the time to “switch off” to counteract the time I’m being my social self.
But now that I’ve identified this danger zone within my own personality, I’ve also got to remember to look after my own mental well-being in the down-times as well as in the busy.
I guess that means that this week’s lesson is for myself as much as it is for my bunnies.
The lesson being that we are all susceptible to the ups and downs of daily life – whether prompted by hormones, weather or events.
The thing we should learn to do – and why not do it together – is to self-monitor.
Whether that’s by seeing a therapist, discussing things with friends/family or by meditating alone.
I’ve spent enough time alone this week, so I’m getting up, getting out and rejoining the world.
Mental health break done.