Yesterday I watched 5 episodes of “Scandal”. In a row. And while I should be ashamed and feel lazy and guilty for letting the dog lay on my lap on the couch and not put the folding away, or for the fact that I was sending my daughter to daycare for the day, I don’t. I needed to do it.
Why? Cos I had worked hard and was rewarding myself.
5 episodes seems like a rather large reward. I am not a big TV watcher. When I am non-SAD (stressed, anxious or depressed) I watch maybe 3 hours of TV a week. Game of Thrones, Greys Anatomy and Revenge. And thats at night when everyone else is asleep. So yes, I must have worked bloody hard to deserve a reward like that.
I had managed to do all the washing and fold it. I had baked packet mix cupcakes and anzac biscuits. I had done the dishes from breakfast. And THAT WAS IT. I rewarded myself with four hours on the couch for doing four jobs.
Now usually my Mondays would consist of school run, a run, spending an hour in my sons classroom helping with maths groups, food shopping, filling the car, unpacking groceries, baking, vacuuming and mopping, school run, homework, cooking dinner and netball. Yesterday however, I just couldn’t do it. The thought of having to go to two banks, the post office and Coles after the school run made me beyond anxious and I nearly considered not doing it. But I got through it by breaking it up (go to the banks, get maccas with the kids, go to post office and coles) and rewarding myself.
Depression doesn’t just makes you cry and wanna sleep. It stops you from feeling capable. Like you aren’t good enough anymore because you can’t keep your house tidy or go through a whole shift at work without feeling like you are letting them down. It takes away that feeling that you are a good mum, wife, worker or friend. I struggle to make plans with friends at the moment as I feel very anti-social. I’m just not FEELING myself. And thats fine. I KNOW that I will get better soon. I KNOW that when I get better, my Mondays will be back to hectic.
In the meantime, I am rewarding myself for all the things I am doing today that I couldn’t do yesterday. I’m celebrating the small wins.
The other night I managed to cook a dinner that wasn’t sausages on bread or prepared by my husband. WIN
This morning I got the kids to school before the bell, and I wasn’t wearing my pyjamas. WIN
The past few mornings I have been waking up easier and with more energy. I know this is because of my antidepressants but it’s still a win. I don’t feel like I hate the world because I have school run at 8am. WIN
Yesterday I managed to go to a large shopping centre and not feel complete rage towards my boys, who always seem to have the most amount of crazy energy at 3:30pm. While I still got frustrated and raised my voice, that feeling of anger and increased blood pressure didn’t present itself. I felt like a more patient parent. WIN
If you are stuggling with S.A.D (stress, anxiety or depression) and lack the motivation, energy and drive to do even small activities, break it up. Don’t look at the whole picture as it will make you feel like a failure if you don’t achieve it. If its housework, and you have a whole house to do, perform one job at a time and reward yourself. Pick up toys then have a cup of tea. Fold clothes while you watch Ellen. Make beds then have lunch. Break it up. You don’t have to be superwoman. You are NOT capable of handling everything you used to at the moment. But celebrate the little things you are doing and know that one day (whether with the help of tablets or not) it WILL get better.
On a personal note, I have been very happy with how I am coping on my new medication. While I still lack the emotional stability and am prone to crying and laziness, I am glad my energy levels are returning. (even if I do waste them by sitting on the couch watching Scandal…)