HomedepressionSelf Care Sometimes Means Reduction
A journal in the foreground, a small white teapot on the left, and a black mug with block letters "WTF?" in white on the right. There's a lawn ornament angel with a piece missing from the front of its head.

I’m feeling a lot like that poor angel in the background.

It’s 5:43 pm, and I just wrapped up 4 hours of homework after tutoring or running errands most of the morning. I’m caught up through Wednesday, and I have a start on what’s currently due Friday, but my fingers are tingling from carpal tunnel syndrome, and I’m utterly exhausted. Yet, I’m sitting here on my front step, sipping some anti-inflammatory tea, and jotting this down in my writing journal by hand. By the time I post this, I’ll probably be ready for bed.

Hopefully. Sleep would be nice for a change.

It’s been a rough…year.

That is in part because I’ve been attempting to care and advocate for everyone but myself. How do we become so oblivious to our health, passions, and interests? My two weeks off were spent mostly feeling ill in one form or another, but I still wasn’t observant enough to see why.

It took posting a comment I shouldn’t have on a friend’s post to realize just how close I already am to the breaking point. This is only the second week of fall semester, and already I’m struggling to find the energy to get out of bed every morning. Yes, this is depression, folks, and it sucks.

It’s also one of my brain’s many ways of telling me to focus on fewer things at a time. There are so many huge issues in the world, but many of us somehow forget that we’re each just one person, doing what we can while doing our level best just to keep breathing. I keep falling into that trap, and if I don’t claw my way out, I’d rather not think about the consequences.

So, this is me clawing my way out.

There’s no shame in focusing on your own fight, or for feeling abandoned when no one seems to care. Unfortunately, social media amplifies that loneliness and frustration. That’s a big reason why I unfollowed a number of people and groups on my personal account. It’s nothing personal against them. I just need to refine my daily intake to a core group of friends, family, and issues. It’s not forever.

Just for now, and I don’t know how long, I’ll probably be focusing almost exclusively on dyslexia, ADHD, and tips for college. Growing up and working with a broad cross-hatch of adult students has demonstrated there’s next to no specialized help for adults with learning disabilities in the US, especially if they can’t afford the screening needed for legal accommodation.

So, it’s up to those of us who have established coping mechanisms through experience to share them. THAT, at least, I can do.

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