I feel good! Those suicidal thoughts and dissipated at the moment entirely.
I think having a little break from work (2 weeks off over Christmas) has been good for me. Getting away from screens and social media, breaking my routines and spending quality time with my partner and friends, often in the sunshine and going for walks.
That sense of sad nostalgia I felt in December with Christmas looming has passed. I think a lot of people get it. You remember the old days, when you were little and Christmas was a big family event and December filled with fun parties. Moving abroad, Christmas is definitely smaller and you’re reminded of what you’re missing at home on social media. You remember new family tensions and feel guilt about being away, especially as your family are getting older or young cousins and nephews are growing up so fast. If you don’t have much family, or speak to them, you’re reminded of that as everyone else is seeing theirs.
But the little worries I had in December were just worries and by the time Christmas came I had mostly let them go. Created my own rituals with my girlfriend (stockings and then a walk in Fawkner Park followed by a main present at home with a glass of bucks fizz). Lunch was a roast dinner with turkey or vegi sausages on the BBQ (our Aussie twist) followed by Ice cream and sorbet. And we had friends over for lunch and games and then all went to the beach for sunset and a cocktail. We came back for a cheese board and watched half of Mean Girls on TV together. We overate and drank a lot. It was bliss.
I’ve also been quite diligent in my Meditation, often twice a day for 10 minutes. Once in the morning with the Waking Up app (followed by a little journal session and list for the day of what I want to do), and once later on, usually on the Headspace app whilst I’m sunbathing or lying on my bed. I’ve actually just added 10 minutes of Duo Lingo Spanish into the morning session (day one today).
I’ve been reading a bit more, opting for books I want to read but which are easy. So it makes it that bit more doable.
I’ve been walking and cycling around Melbourne and doing a bit of yoga and running. But not in an obsessive routine way, just naturally and when I feel like it.
I had my first shift as a telephone counsellor and it went well. I was super anxious before but able to be present and actually enjoy it. I feel proud of myself for facing my fear and felt this might be a future career progression for me so the fact I enjoyed it so much has entrenched that gut feeling I’ve been having over the past few months and I am now loosely looking into counselling masters courses.
I’ve given up dairy, something I have tried in the past. Chocolate is more of an issue than cheese for me but there are good vegan alternatives, and chocolate sorbet is delicious so I’m coping at the moment. I’m doing it as a January test, but with the intention of being a long term change to my diet. I often feel sick and bloated after cheese but hadn’t had the will power to make the change until now.
One nice thing we have done is buy a calendar white board which you fill in month to month. It immediately lets you look forward to certain things and put things in you want to do. I think it is a good way to help keep you’re mind focussed ahead and feel organised and on track. I got ours from Officeworks and I’m excited about filling it in each month, and if it looks bare ever, looking up different things to do or try.
I go back to work on Monday, and I am worried I’ll slip back into old negative thought patterns, but actually, not too nervous. I feel stronger now than at the start of December, and feel that having come through that dark depression, I am in a better place, and although it wasn’t nice, it has helped me get here. I think I know the warning signs a bit more too. Let’s see how I go. Happy New Year to you.
A few from Christmas Day