Today I took a sick day…I woke up with a horrible migraine. I tried to go to work, but I only lasted there an hour. So, following the advice of a coworker, I took today off to recover since I will be working a long weekend and cannot afford to be sick then.
I came home and laid in bed for a while, but the pain was too searing to let me relax and sleep. So I did some cleaning; I put away laundry; I journaled; I read and studied a chapter in my Bible. But then I looked at my clock, and it was only eleven a.m.!! Another eleven hours or so until bedtime. What the heck was I supposed to do to fill the time since sleep, which is what I needed, was not an option?
Boredom is never fun for anyone. For me, it is toxic. When there is not enough to keep my brain active, I start to lose it…literally. I get extremely depressed, the racing thoughts begin, and soon, I start going stir crazy (emphasis on the “crazy”). So, I always have a plan…sometimes it works, and other times, it fails miserably. But, at least I have a plan in my back pocket. I have a list of around 90 things to do when I am bored. I have compiled this list from various Pinterest sites containing bucket lists, things to do when you have no money, things to do in the summer, things to do when you have nothing to do, etc. The result of compiling all these things is a list that is quite frequently my savior. Not only do I have a list of things to do when I am bored, I have a list of random acts of kindness to try, I have a list of things to do for self-care…heck, I have lists of lists I’ve made. In fact, making lists is one of the things I do to settle down when I start to go a bit wonky.
So today, I put together a bunch of outfits from the clothes in my closet, some of which have not seen the outside of the closet in a while. I did some budgeting. I went to the gym for about an hour (partly because I was going stir crazy, and partly because I was hoping perhaps the exercising would lessen my headache… it did not). And, I journal-ed and made more lists.
Why am I writing about this? Well, for one I am a believer in doing whatever you need to be healthy, and for me, I need to be busy. When you don’t have enough to do, it is easy to become very negative and very depressed and very critical of life and the lives of others. And the way my silly brain works, the busier I am, the less likely I am to hallucinate or try anything dangerous, because when you are really busy, there is just no time for those things.
So, you are down, you are restless and you feel worthless, useless (insert adjective here). Step one: Change out of the pajamas, take a shower, put on a fun outfit and act like you have somewhere exciting to be. Step two: Do something…anything. The more productive, the better. Cook a meal from scratch, and then share it with someone; create something; work on a project you have had on the shelf for a while; research something you are interested in, and then do it. Things are so much better when you are not sitting around, wallowing in self-pity or whatever negative feelings afflict you.
Now, there are times when the depression, anxiety, etc. are too much, and you literally cannot do anything. There is no condemnation coming from me in those situations. I have been there. But I also know that once the meds/shock treatments/therapy sessions kick in and I can handle life a bit better, I need to start filling my time with productive things. That is how I cope with my illness. My way of coping may not be for everyone, but it works pretty well for me most of the time.
So now it is 8:13 p.m. I feel fairly confident that I will be able to sleep (with the aid of a great sleeping med) in a few hours. Only a couple more hours to fill. So, I will do some yoga, take a shower, write down ten things I am grateful for, try to focus my mind enough to read a book or watch a television show…even for just fifteen minutes, and then, I will go to bed, having SURVIVED another day.
Your lunatic friend