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A Bad Day Survived

Yesterday I felt pretty low. More sad and alone than anything else, but depression can feel like that sometimes. What brought this on?

Staying up until 2 a.m. watching a movie the night before and snacking too much probably didn’t help. Finding out late Friday that instead of work keeping me busy for the next two months, it now looks as if I have a two-week gap with much less to do probably didn’t help either. I wasn’t aware of feeling stressed about that; in fact I was looking forward to having time to do some other things. But, as I mentioned in Back to Work, I tend to feel better when I’m working.

It’s also beginning to look a lot like Christmas, a day I’m not looking forward to and trying not to think about yet. For the past year or so, whenever my mood heads south, my thoughts turn easily to my last relationship, the breakup of which has been a source of great sadness, anger and disappointment. I think at this point it’s more out of habit than grief that my mind goes there. Still, when my mood is down and I’m vulnerable, almost anything can remind me of her and the future we had planned. We had one Christmas together, and it’s difficult not to measure subsequent Christmases by that standard.

I managed to keep myself busy for most of the day. I had some shopping to do, so I drove around town, hitting grocery stores that had sales on my favourite pasta sauce (I now have 10 jars in stock) and another store that had a good sale on the kind of milk I buy.

One of my main strategies for managing Christmas is to look for charities and toy drives to donate to to help people in need, so at two of the three grocery stores where I made purchases, I remembered to pick up a couple of extra items for the food bank bin. A Shoppers Drugmart (a Canadian pharmacy chain) near where I live collects gifts for seniors in retirement homes, so I planned what I could get for the person whose name I took from the display in the store. That helped me think about someone other than myself.

I had skipped going to the gym on Friday, so I went yesterday, and that helped too. There was even an English Premier League soccer match on the TVs in the gym. By the time I left the gym, my mood was almost back to normal. I went back to my friends’ house where I’m dog sitting and had time to walk the dog before supper. After supper I went to a friend’s apartment for our weekly movie night. He is bipolar, so he understands changes in moods.

Today my mood is better, but still feels a bit fragile. My friends came home from their trip today, so I had to pack up my stuff and clean up a bit, and that kept me busy most of the morning. Once I got back to my apartment, I thought my mood was going to go sour again, so I got busy unpacking and cleaning here, and I managed to keep things from getting any worse. It feels good to be home and I will be glad to sleep in my own bed tonight.

And tomorrow is another day.


Be good to each other


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