Well, I may have spoken too soon.
This month I’ve been mostly battling with low mood. It’s made me question the efficacy of my medication, my coping strategies, and possibly worst of all – what I’m doing with my life.
Perhaps it’s just March, which has been notoriously a terrible time of year for me. Perhaps it is a form of seasonal anxiety. I don’t really know. I know most of it is in my head, my way of thinking, that has been dwelling on negative thoughts/memories. I was also struck with a cold during this period, so that might have had an effect. Regardless, I’ve just tried to keep on keeping on despite how miserable I have been feeling. I’ve done my school work, I’ve kept to routines as best I can, but nothing stops the flood of anxiety and shit-kicking my mind gives me as I try to go to sleep.
What I’ve realised is that I need an outlet for this angst, a way to channel it. My studies currently are not exactly the most fertile ground for this, which has led to a lot of internalisation that has begun to manifest in semi self-harm. It’s been a while since I covered this, but my method of self-harm is not to cut myself, but to punch solid objects. Around 10 years ago I punched a signpost so hard after a night of drinking and feeling low, I suffered a “boxer’s fracture” in my right hand. I now no longer have a knuckle in my pinky. I have scuffed my knuckles on other occasions since, but no serious damage, as I somehow consciously reign back the strength of those punches. This is likely a sub-conscious reaction to having broken my hand all those years ago and not wanting to permanently damage myself.
I give all this background because I find myself more frequently positioning myself near a wall in my apartment attempting to punch it without breaking it – stupid hollow, plaster walls. Which is probably a good thing; I’m not exactly punching it full strength to break the wall or my hand. What it has done is to make me understand how much I need an outlet for this aggression, because what is depression if it’s not anger turned inwards?
I have known for over a year that I need 1-to-1 therapy, but I think I may need to supplement that with a physical outlet. Like a punchbag. Something safe and controlled, maybe even a martial arts class. Something to channel and express the inexpressible. I’m not an aggressive person, I often go out of my way to avoid conflict, which wherein lies the problem – I internalise the conflict and don’t express it.
Right now, I don’t have a short term solution to this. I have around 6 weeks left in the U.S.. Starting therapy when I’m about to leave seems like a waste of money. Similarly with beginning a martial art. I wouldn’t even know where to begin there. I also don’t want to waste money on a punchbag that I wouldn’t be able to bring home. So I feel stuck.
This is a reoccurring theme in depression: feeling stuck. Feeling a lack of control. And this is something I have been feeling a lot this month. Trying to find a place to live next semester with little to no luck. Unable to afford to spend Spring Break away from campus and instead doing nothing. Being buried in school work. I feel stuck with my own anger and unable to release it. It’s a pressure cooker that has been building to explode.
And I feel powerless to stop it.
All I can do is keep on keeping on. I’m trying to set goals; I’m almost counting down the days to returning home. I’m trying to look forward to seeing friends and family again. I’m trying to remain optimistic about my housing for next year. I’m hoping that I can find a therapist relatively quickly when I get back to help work through my problems before I start back at uni in Sept/Oct. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with the rest of my summer. I have other hopes and ambitions, but in this moment I just want to use it to fix myself.
Until next time…
Much love ❤