I was curled up on my hot pink couch under a weighted blanket. I needed the extra weight; it felt like my insides were trying to get on the outside. It isn’t a pleasant feeling. It only happens when I’m very anxious. I had just burst into tears on a Zoom call with my NAMI cohorts, and I just wanted to feel safe. I had determined that I needed to take a break from karate, which I felt guilty about. By the way I’ve been feeling these past few weeks (depressed and anxious), it’s clear that I need to go into Low Battery Mode and conserve what energy I have and save it for getting in a better place. My NAMI pals made me feel better and told me I had their support, but I still went to the couch for comfort.
I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, and that heavy weight on my chest and in my belly weren’t going away. I tossed the weighted blanket off me and looked up.
My gaze stopped at a print on my wall of a woman with her head back and arms up by her sides. You can’t look at it without feeling the happiness and fulfillment she’s obviously experiencing.
That picture is what recovery means to me. That’s how I aspire to feel all the time, and most of the time, it’s how I truly feel — blissful, lucky and grateful.
So then it hit me. Sure, I’m going through a hard time. But my god, I’ve gone through way, way, way darker times than this. I’ve crawled back from the darkest depths of hell, and I’ve far from that place now.
If I could do it then, with so much baggage, self-loathing, negative thinking and hate, I can do it now with love and the support of my family and friends (and even strangers). People are praying for me, rooting for me and sending me good vibes. I’m smarter now, I know better so I can do better. Part of recovery means preparing for relapse, and I’m so prepared.
I know I’ve discussed Low Battery Mode before, but this is what I’m focusing on now:
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and attempt to get the kids out of my bed
- Drink lots of water and lay off the Diet Cokes
- Avoid junk food and eat healthier
- Take lots of breaks whenever I need them
- Ask for help when I’m feeling overwhelmed
- Give myself some grace when I slip up
- Go to my support system whenever I need to
- Cut back on activities that aren’t a “priority”
- Read and write
- Be consistent in self-care routines
- Go to therapy consistently
I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing right now, but this is a good start. This is what I need to do to take care of me and subsequently, my family. I know it’s hard right now, but I’ll be back to that woman with the sunshine in her face in no time.
I’ve got this. And if I don’t, I know y’all will be there to help me.
Thanks for listening.
If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to avoid relapse, I’d love to hear them. Drop them in the comments.