When I was at my absolute worst, I lost the ability to take care of myself physically, emotionally and mentally. I couldn’t give less of a shit about my body and brain.
I didn’t eat for days at a time, which nearly led to me developing an Eating Disorder.
I rarely went to school.
I spent most of my days staring at my wall beside my bed for hours on end.
I remember waking up nearly every day having to pee but not physically having enough energy to remove myself from my bed to use the washroom.
I wasn’t even human anymore,
and it now breaks my heart to think about how broken down I really was at that point in my life. I genuinely didn’t have a lot of people on my side in that chapter. I can still hear it clear as day when a teacher of mine said “of course Megan isn’t here again” when my “friends” were upset that I wasn’t there to help with a group project for grade eleven English class.
For three years I constantly had people telling me to “Take Vitamin D”, “Go outside”, “Drink more water”.
You wouldn’t put a fish on dry land and yell at it when it can’t fucking breathe.
Pardon my French, but it’s so damn distasteful to say that to someone that’s struggling with their mental health, especially when it’s nothing that they can control.
So this is my realistic as hell self care list for when you don’t want to keep on keeping on.
For those that have loved ones that are struggling with Depression, or any other kind of mental health issue, I genuinely hope that this offers you some insight to what it’s like to have a condition like this, and how you can support the ones that you love the most in a healthy and helpful way.
ONCE AGAIN I AM NOT A DAMN PSYCHOLOGIST OR A COUNCILLOR. I AM NOT AN EXPERT, NOR AM I PRETENDING TO BE ONE. PLEASE TAKE EVERYTHING I SAY WITH A GRAIN OF SALT AS THIS IS ALL COMING FROM MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND NOTHING MORE.
Without further ado,
- When was the last time you showered or bathed?
Has it been more than three days? Pick yourself up gently, run a hot shower and allow yourself to be clean. Your brain may be in agony and feel filthy and groggy but your body doesn’t need to as well. Allow yourself to cry in the shower. That shit is therapeutic. I cry in the shower all the time, I still do even now sometimes. Something about the hot water washing away tears just helps me release a lot of that pent up emotion and pain. If you don’t have the energy to stand run a shallow bath and sit, just enough water to not be cold, but not enough to be fully submerged if you’re at all having intrusive suicidal thoughts. Add some bubble bath, you deserve that darling.
- When was the last time you ate?
This is a particularly difficult one for me. When I was in the thick of my depression I barely ate anything at all. I hated the idea of eating, the taste of food, the effort that it took to eat. I genuinely didn’t think that I deserved to eat. It got so bad that I still think that I almost developed an eating disorder. So if food is a tough one for you, believe me when I say that, you are not alone.
Even if it’s small, allow yourself to eat. It doesn’t need to be a seven grain, kale and health bullshit salad by any means. It could be an apple, ramen noodles, or cheese and crackers. Anything that you find minority appetizing, have some of it. I promise you that you will feel a little bit better after eating something.
(I’m planning on writing a separate blog post with easy recipes for when you’re low on energy but still need energy. I think that would have been helpful to me when I was depressed)
- Have you taken your meds if you’re on any?
Medication is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s so important that you stay on a regular dosage though so that they can do their job, not to mention the wicked withdrawals that can occur if you come off of them cold turkey. Take your meds, drink a big glass of water and pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself.
- When was the last time you talked to anyone? (even over text)
It’s normal to not want to talk to others when you’re in stuck in a rut, I know it was for me. A lot of this comes from thinking that others don’t care about you/don’t wan to talk to you, but in reality it’s often the complete opposite. I know that family members, friends and loved ones are often cautious to talk to you because they don’t want to further upset you, or don’t know how to ask how they can help you. I’m telling you, extend the olive branch. A “Hey, how are you doing? we haven’t talked in a while!” text never hurt anyone. If you know you need support from a loved one, don’t be afraid to ask! Text them, tell them, call them “Hey, I’m not doing so well right now and it would be nice to see you, movie night maybe?” Even if it’s a small gesture, it will help you feel more connected to those around you, and less isolated.
- Have compassion for yourself
You are sick, and it’s completely normal to feel the way that you do. Don’t beat yourself up for the way that your body and mind are reacting to a illness though. While you do have some control in how you help yourself, your symptoms are not your fault. If you can’t go outside today, that’s okay. Just make sure that you do something to take care of yourself. Have something to eat, take your meds and do something that you do enjoy/ did enjoy. Go easy on yourself, it’s okay to struggle, but it isn’t okay to beat yourself up for it.
I know this is a really general topic, and I could make a list three pages long, but I think these are some of the most crucial components of self care when you’re depressed. Feel free to send me questions or suggestions of posts that you would find useful.
You’re still here, and that’s an achievement worth celebrating.
You made it one more day and I’m proud of you.
Take care and be gentle with yourself.
All my love,