I crashed yesterday.
Not a car crash (thankfully), but a personal crash. It doesn't happen often and the degree of severity varies as well as the length of time it lasts. Usually it's only one or two days and usually it follows immediately after the end of a major event that I've been in charge of.
What does it look and feel like? I pretty much feel like I want to quit. Everything. I don't want to do anything, see anyone, speak to anyone... all I want is to crawl into bed and pull the covers over me. I pretty much quit life (as you can see by the state of my kitchen)....
My "code" for being in this state is declaring, "I'm just going to stay home and bake cookies". I figure not much can go wrong with that plan... people can't wrongly judge me for that... who would question my heart, sincerity, or integrity for baking cookies... and besides, my family would be happy and I personally love fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. It would just make life much simpler... fatter, but simpler.
So after 18 months of planning for the last Crop and Cruise and despite it's success and most amazing experience (probably the most enjoyable personally for me), and despite the fact that I didn't FEEL like I would crash after this one because it was so free of stress, I got lots of sleep, didn't get sick, didn't dunk a camera, had a ton of fun, made great new friends and didn't feel overwhelmed at all... it still hit me yesterday.
A few friends have suggested over the years that I might battle occasional bouts of depression, but I'm not so sure... doesn't everyone have occasional days like this?? Don't we all feel like throwing our hands up in the air some days and saying, "That's it!! I'm done!! This is sooooooo not worth it!!" Please PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only one!!!
From my limited understanding of depression, is that it is much deeper and much longer and often requires professional care and often appropriate medication to pull through... so I'm not so sure I've ever been there (other than one time while pregnant when I felt like I didn't want to live another day with nausea and decided that I would shave my head... one of my lowest, darkest times... cried myself to sleep before I found the scissors... looking at it now, it was so worth it as now I have Lindsey).
And I have learned when to expect the "crash"!! It almost always comes after a big event. Even my friends and family expect the "crash" and don't get as alarmed anymore.
My other indication that it's not true depression, but simply a state I enter on occasion is the fact that I know what to do to bring myself through. I have my own "medicine" or "recipe" that is tried and true... here is my prescription for myself when I crash (in no particular order... all are critical):
1. Cry. Now I cry ALL the time, but this cry time is different... it is a release cry and I give myself permission to have a really good cry and wallow in it for a time.
2. Sleep. I absolutely love to sleep and don't usually have any trouble sleeping, but during a crash, I plan extra sleep including naps. Things ALWAYS look different after sleep.
3. Music. Music is my soul food and I know the impact good inspiring music has on me (I love to listen to Shine FM in Calgary) so I make sure it is on!!
4. TV. I like to lose myself in a good story or comedy, but I also intentionally expose myself to shows that feature someone less fortunate than myself... Extreme Home Makeover... World Vision... etc. to put my woes back in perspective. Focussing on others helps take the focus off of me.
5. Count my blessings. It sounds cliche-ish, but it really does help to seek out what I have been blessed with and things that make me smile... and sometimes it's worth capturing in photos like these ones... when we arrived home from the cruise, we found this whiteboard in Lindsey's room...
we had left her little notes she would get throughout our time away and she organized them on her whiteboard and left a little comment back to each one...
and she designed this card she wants to make for Christmas... how can I not smile at these!!
And then I went downstairs and found my two guys working together to finish our basement... the memories we hope to create in this space also makes me smile
6. Craft. Creating is therapeutic so took in a Christy Riopel mixed media class at Scapbooker's Bliss... I warned the girls when I arrived to not be alarmed if I spontaneously combusted into tears at any moment... I didn't, but I sure could have. And I LOVE what I created!!! I still need to finish it, but it sure did help to play, paint, stamp and yes, get a little mod podge everywhere.
7. Eat... favourites... like Reeses Peanut Butter Icecream or Eatmore chocolate bars. Now I know this is not viewed as a "healthy" habit to eat one's woes away, but chocolate goes a long ways for me and I'm convinced there is some medicinal value to it!!
8. Read my Bible. Thankfully my faith never crashes when the rest of me does... my roots are too deep and my God has proven Himself over and over throughout the years... but I do find that my wisdom and discernment and perspective often need a boost and so my Bible becomes an incredible source... it is miraculous actually how God uses time in His word to speak to me (I have such stories I could tell!!!!)
9. Friends. Even though I don't feel like seeing or speaking to anyone, I know that my soul sistas are always there to carry me through so I really do try not to hide from them...
10. Time. Time heals and although this fact is often "in my head", but not in my heart, I desperately hold on to the knowledge that the passage of time will eventually lead me out... I just need to be patient and treat myself with some TLC.
So.... funny how I ended up with 10 things... wasn't trying to... just happened and just is. I guess writing or journaling also must help... probably why I'm typing this... not sure if I'll ever post it, but feels better to get it down "for the record".
NOTE: Today is Dec. 6 and I am through my "crash" and doing better... sorta is weird to read it all back, but yet I know this pattern... guess I wanted to record it so that I remember what it's like to be in the midst of it. And today I decided to post it in case it helps someone else. I know that Christmas often brings tough times too so just maybe my "recipe" might help someone else and if not, that's okay too cuz it helped me :)