For the last two, maybe three days, I have been in an almost unbearable funk. I’ve written about depression and anxiety here before, so it shouldn’t be a shocking topic, but in my mind I always thought if I reached certain goals than the feeling would just roll away. I imagined the sadness shedding like a second skin and finally I’d be free from this hazy cage. But no. It’s actually been quite the opposite. Even after achieving goal after goal I set for myself I still often find myself paralyzed by my own thoughts, sometimes even more so than before. And when I say paralyzed I mean I physically don’t move. I don’t leave my home, I don’t eat, my phone dies and I…just let it. My business is the only thing that motivates me, and often post office runs are the only times I step outside.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Entrepreneurship is rewarding but it isn’t always fun.
Day in and day out you have to make decisions. It’s not about navigating the workplace anymore. Gone are the days of measuring your words so you don’t rub Brad the wrong way, or buying donuts for the office to get in Grace’s good graces. No, now I’m faced with new people and what my brain processes as new opportunities to mess up every hour of the day. It’s my fault, really. I answer emails at 3 in the morning, while I’m eating, while I brush my teeth. I feel like I don’t want to let anyone down or miss a single opportunity. But the expectations I have for myself just aren’t possible.
Scrutiny is another issue for me. I have experience creating designs for people, so when it comes to negative criticism I’m actually a champ. I invite it, honestly. Tell me what’s wrong so we can make the best version possible. What I have yet to master though is unnecessary and rude criticism. I absorb everything thrown at me and the more people I reach the more and more I just want to hide. Harsh criticism literally consumes me.
Now I’m sitting here wrapped in a blanket, waiting for my first real meal of the day to be delivered because I couldn’t bring myself to go to the grocery store, and writing this post as a way to gain some sort of relief. It’s funny because I’m happy. I really really am. My business has made major strides, I’m able to play to my strengths (marketing), I’m surrounded by go-getters (shout out to the Glo Getter FB group!), and I get to make cute things all day. I am truly grateful and I’m so excited for the future. It’s just that that happiness is covered by a layer of grime that, no matter how many times I try, just won’t rub off.
But I’m still going to try.
Last time I wrote about depression I offered no tips, and no ways to help. But this time I have a few things I’ll be trying and if you’re in the same boat we can do this together!
- Prayer. At one point my faith was so strong nothing could shake me. Now I’m holding on by a string. Excessive self doubt for me usually means I am slacking in the faith department and I’m determined to get back on the horse. To jump-start I’ll be doing a 30 day challenge!
- Exercise. My sadness paralyzes me, which makes me not move, which makes me feel worse! Physical activity releases endorphins and makes you happier- it’s a fact! So I will use my super-awesome Panda Planner to set exercise as a daily habit.
- Setting boundaries. There needs to be a start and end to my day. No more falling asleep cuddling with my computer! By setting boundaries I won’t feel so harried all the time.
- Tracking progress. Sometimes I feel bad because I feel like I let my sadness get the better of me and hinder my productivity. But really, I get a lot done! By tracking my progress it will remind me that I’m doing alright. This month I gathered a bunch of data and set realistic and measurable goals for myself.
I might not leave this post up, but for as long as it’s up I hope it helps someone else in a similar situation. And I hope it helps me too, ha! Do you ever get in weird depressive ruts, even when you’re happy?