It’s that time again! It’s time for a post from me! Me! Me! Me! Yaaaaaay!
Before I get into today’s piece, I feel the need to stress that my posts are far more than random posts. Like I mentioned in my introductory piece (read The Journey Begins here), my blog is about my journey. Its not about any individual post or specific point. Its a whole lot of them! And all these are tightly knit into one very important proverbial ‘bigger picture’. My posts have no deeper meaning or point to prove. They are simply small steps towards a great journey. Other than that, I am grateful for every one of your comments. Whether here, on Facebook, WhatsApp or in person. The views have been incredible!
One of the perks of being asocial is that everyone thinks you are rude and always gloomy. Nonchalant. Even worse, asocial and introverted people are usually and wrongly mistaken for being shy. As urban dictionary explains, introverts are misunderstood because a majority of the society is extroverted. It is ‘socially acceptable’ to be outgoing and smiley all the time. Small talk is mentally draining for us and being around people all the time is just stressful. Often if I don’t get some alone time with much more frequency than I find myself in social situations, I get cranky. And if you are lucky, I act out a little. Well that explains high school. But personally, one of the less interesting things about being introverted or melancholic, is the serious bouts of depression I have to contend with from time to time.
It could be triggered by the smallest of things. In fact, I find it funny that in situations where you would expect me to go on a fit, I presume to be most calm. And things that most people find petty tend to REALLY wind me up. Like not answering text in good time. Petty right? WRONG. Leaving breadcrumbs on my computer, people who diss reggae just cause, beliebers, Huddah Monroe’s laugh, the grammar police, arsenal fans and the misuse of the word literally all make it to my list.
These bouts of depression are nothing to play with. Sure, I sometimes need just to be alone for a day or two and am all good. Sometimes I run to a friend and just talk or listen. And sometimes I have to get medication. Nothing strong or illegal, just a little something to calm my nerves or make me sleep. But with over a decade of experience I have come to understand myself better and to sometimes anticipate when am due for a wallowing. I have developed some steps that always work for me. I have a combination of steps that work for me. Today we look at five of the simpler ones. For my journey, we pick up what I have come to refer to as The Plan.
1. Support System
“It’s not just about having a support system, its also about being one.”
First I have to do an analysis of whether the situation requires me to lock myself up or seek someone to talk to. It depends on the severity of my low. It could be a discussion on the situation or just random talk. The best, I think, is when am just listening. I get to hear someone else talk instead of letting my mind running me wild. It is a nice way to forget your troubles. Either way, I know someone has my back and I have someone else’s. Its not just about having a support system, its also about being one.
2. Action Points and Timelines
Part of the job that I do where I work is creating a teaching curriculum. It involves a lot of deadlines, practical action points and estimates. I apply that to my life as well. An unending sequence of emotional rollercoaster is disturbing if you don’t know when it will end or how. I can usually mitigate the situation by putting a time limit and making sure I put signals to know whether they are working or not.
3. Doing something I thrive at
If I list some of the things I thrive at or love doing some of you will stop coming to my blog. And then I will be forced to hunt you down. Probably kill you. We don’t want that now do we? So I will spare you the gory details. This is also part of knowing yourself. Something you love to do will always put you in a good mood. If its dancing or taking a long walk, cooking or baking, then do it.
4. Cut off unnecessary communication
In late December and most of January, I went into one of my moments. It was triggered by seeing people around me prosper while I thought I wasn’t. I had plans and none of them seemed to be bowing to me. I closed all my social networks and threw my Sim card away. I got a new number that only a few were privy to. This also coincided with me moving to my own place. I was practically inaccessible and alone. Though a little extreme, it helped immensely. My quiet time alone became more quiet. My thoughts became louder and the assurance that my life isn’t where I wanted but that I was on track was restored.
5. Get rid of negativity
When I got back to Facebook and twitter after my January slump, I set about removing ‘friends’, muting or unfollowing tweeps. It may seem childish, but this worked out well for me as well. I log into twitter and even though it feels like am tweeting alone, my timeline is pretty clean and clear. There are some things that will never build you and negativity and all its promoters are one of them. Ever notice that one friend who is always whining about this and that? Telling you secrets about others? Or posting disgusting ethnic updates? Or those “you are not a christian if you scroll past this” posts? MKZ though. Or someone always putting up some x rated picture. Intentionally rid yourself of whiny and negative people.
The plan above is not air tight and it may not work for anyone else. Depression if not properly handled may lead to situations which open up a pandora’s box of health complications, drug abuse and/or antisocial behavior. If your depression lasts for more than two weeks and if the frequency seems to be increasing then you need to seek medical advice.
I hope you had a good read. I feel like y’all know me too much now! If you have any further suggestions or any comment feel free to post it up.