Simile: Depression is like a wallet. Meaning I sometimes forget about it until it’s too late. Sometimes I forget my wallet is in my back pocket until I set on it, sending a shock up my spine. (Repeatedly sitting on a thick wallet can lead to an imbalance, but that’s another story.) Without routine therapy, the only reminder that I have major depression is the 10 p.m. alarm reminding me to take my medicine.
It’s easy to chalk up a lack of motivation to a bad day or excessive sleeping to being too busy, but sometimes it’s more. Sometimes it’s depression. The past few days I’ve tried checking in with myself, sometimes through meditation or simply asking myself how I’m feeling. Is something lingering in back of my mind causing anxiety? Am I tired or depressed? What am I looking forward to today? Am I thinking too much about the future or the past to the detriment of the present? These questions help keep me in tune with my mental state, before I have a bad day or feel like napping for hours.
I feel like I’m slipping lately. I’m not in a depression, but I’ve stopped spending positive time with my thoughts or practicing my breathing exercises. It’s the reason I’ve been running without headphones, to give myself that time to be present. I was thinking after my last run how rare it is for us to just sit with our thoughts. I thought about the old philosophers and inventors and the image of them sitting at a desk doing nothing, but through their eyes you can see the mind working.
When was the last time you let yourself slow down and consider your thoughts?