In life sometimes you’re the boot, other times you’re the ant.
This principle applies to everything; your job, your relationships, your business, your workouts and, yes, your mental health. Lately, in my struggle with depression I’ve felt more like the ant than the boot.
The past couple of weeks have been, to put it mildly, a struggle. I found myself confronted with a series of events that have helped the monster to slip his chains and attack. This time, as I worked through the process to overcome the depression, I found two notable things this time:
- The depression didn’t go as deep, but it seemed to go on a lot longer.
- The effects on my physical health were far greater than before.
As to the first, the depression, and the stress it put on my system, made me physically ill. As in, headache, upset stomach and loss of appetite. It got so bad there were a couple of days I was so nauseous that thought I was going to vomit.
Seriously, it felt more like a flu than a mental health problem.
As to the second, I never really got deep into the depths of despair. It was bad, but it was never, “I think it’s time to step off this planet” bad. Which is good, because in past, it has been that bad.
I don’t know why it lasted so long without getting too deep. I think it was because of the tools I’ve been developing the last few months to help me get through the process.
A tool to get through the process.
One of those tools has been to take joy where I can find it. Life presents us with a series of setbacks and defeats, yes. Sometimes you’re the ant.
But life also presents us with a series of victories. They may be small, but if you look for them, you will see they are there. Through the dark time I:
- spent time with my wife and kids
- got said kids’ interim report cards and learned they are at or ahead of expectations in all their classes, despite basically losing a year and a half to the lockdowns and remote learning
- celebrated my oldest boy’s birthday
- watched some entertaining hockey games
- got in a little exercise
- learned a little about graphic design and using CANVA
- continued to put out daily content (over here)
- and a bunch more.
Nothing earth shattering, no, but small joys and victories to help carry me through the bad times. So, maybe I wasn’t the boot, but I certainly wasn’t always the ant.