I can usually tell the onset. I see it in a lot of things: Sometimes it comes in irrational things, like when I go “Why did I cut my hair?! 😭😭😭” Other times it’s in more adult things; things like the fact that I can’t seem to decide what I want to do for the next five years.
Whichever way it chooses to come, the sequence is most often the same:
The start is usually an almost welcome calm. I start listening to a lot of Lewis Capaldi, Coldplay and Fun’s deceptively upbeat songs. None of Eminem’s angry rhymes, or Grace Vanderwaal’s happy ukelele. I close my curtains a lot too and dim the lamps. I find it hard to read anything: architecture, automation, interior design. Even my beloved detective books and the sappy romance I so enjoy take a dull lacklustre grey. My life technically starts fading.
Usually, I try to ward it off at this phase: I call my siblings up and some really close friends. If I have the time to, I go out or find a new hobby. So far, taking long photo walks gives me the most dopamine boost.
Going out helps too, if I’m with people who understand. Otherwise, it’s as useless as a the “b” in subtle.
Sometimes though, it all sneaks past without my noticing, and lands me into the middle of a shit storm (for lack of better words). At this point, such mundane things as eating become an entire hassel. Getting out of bed seems impossible. The tears are so close by, junk food become a girl’s best friend.
I start to avoid my friends, ignore my mums calls and then return them two days later (because I’m sure she’d be worried sick). I still dress up to work. Some days, I even go through the added hassle of applying makeup. Smile in everyone’s face then take 5 minute bathroom-cry breaks. I have lunch alone even when I don’t feel hungry. Eating becomes mechanical, unless of course it’s junk. That’s all my body craves so…🤷🏽♀.
There’s no formula for fixing this. There’s also no fixed duration after which it goes away. Sometimes, I just wake up after a few days with a renewed sense of purpose. Other times, it drags on and on until I start to consciously rebel against it. There are times when going out helps; Other times, it just irks me. Sometimes music helps, other times it feels like dead weight. Sometimes praying helps, other times it feels stupid. In all, there’s no hard and fast rule.
But I’ll tell you what doesn’t help: judging me, calling me lazy, or sad, or telling me things that make me feel like a failure definitely doesn’t help. Especially telling me to snap out of it. That never works.
So if you really want to help, sit with me and listen when I want to talk. Don’t try to pry words out of me though. Ask me what I need you to do. Make me a sad playlist. Or an angry one. Get me a thoughtful gift.
And if you can’t do any of those, kindly stay out of my way and shut the fuck up.
Signed: Just a Random Girl.