Sometimes I don't know that I am low. When I read that back it sounds strange. Surely someone should know when they are feeling depressed, stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. Most of the time I do. The funny thing about depression and grief is that it is not just tears and sadness. It is anger, it is anxiety, it is stress, it is isolation. It is a million combinations of those and everything in between. And sometimes when you are in it, you have no idea.
The best comparison goes out to all the ladies in the house. I'm going to take you there. Here you are. It has been A DAY. Every asshole has cut you off, every line has been extra long, every task has been beyond tedious. You want to jump into your phone and stop paying attention to the world around you. You might want to strangle someone you usually love. You feel disconnected and under water. A few days later you get your period and you're like AHHHHHHH, so that's what that was.
A major clue that I am low is that I unconsciously isolate myself. I go full introvert. One day I might notice that for the last week I have not spoken to anyone who is not my immediate family, or someone who was physically right in front of me. I haven't reached out, I have preferred to be at home reading. I go inside my own head, set up camp and stay there. When I go low, I go hide.
If I don't notice that I am isolating myself, there are other tells. One day a month or so ago I was in the shower and I noticed how much of my hair was coming out. We're talking 6 months postnatal level hair loss. And then I get the light bulb moment. I wonder.... how stressed am I right now? What am I trying to distract myself from that is clearly taking a physical toll.
Escapism is still the name of my game. I don't know that I like it that way, but I also don't know if I know how to stop doing it. I have read 23 books in the last four months. So there's that.
What is the alternative though? That's what I think about. I'm not running from the fact that my mother is dead. At least once I day I have that half second thought that I should call her, or I need to take her some place she would love. It lasts less than half a second. The thought forms and then... no. And then, what a shame.
So even if I'm hiding in a book, I am only doing that for a fraction of my day. The rest of the day is just life. The way it is now. A quieter life, a more contemplative life, and sometimes I look around and discover I've been hiding. So I go back out again.
More to come