Monday, 14 October 2013

Choices, decisions and being bad at them.

I'm not an active kind of person, exercise makes me hot, sweaty and aware that I wouldn't survive to the end of a zombie movie.

But if it did? I could eat nothing but chocolate fudge brownie frosting and still fit into my skinny day skinny jeans.
Right now I don't have a gym membership, I got one last year and went a couple of times, I know that when I do exercise semi regularly I feel better, I sleep better and I look better. So I should probably renew my membership, right?

But money! And my lack of it! 

Exercise is one of those easy things that you should be able to do for free, right? Throw on a pair of trainers and get out there. I unfortunately have a skeleton that doesn't quite work properly and joints that are inclined to inflammation so high impact things like jogging are a no go. Swimming and cycling are where it's at for me.

So if I get a gym membership I can use the pool and occasionally when the 'Cardio Suite' (who comes with these names?) isn't too full I might even squeeze in a session on a stationary bike. Alternatively I could use that money to buy a bike, not a fancy one and not an expensive one but one that I could use to maneuver myself around the city, on days out and y'know in places that aren't the gym.

Swimming is one of those activities I enjoy but it ends up being a bit of a faff. There's the communal showers, the wearing of skin tight lycra, the fact that you're sharing a bath with god only knows how many dirty people. Plus you have to add in all that extra time to redo hair and make up unless you go first thing in the morning and I'm not an early morning kinda gal. The thought of rising early with the express intent of immersing myself in a large body of water brings to mind stories of people falling asleep in the tub and accidentally drowning. The life guards would probably get sick of fishing me out and just leave me to die after a week.

But if I get a bike I have to find somewhere to store it and if it's raining and icy I'll tell myself it's too dangerous to go out, that I'll just fall off and cause a ten car pile up. 

Last year I took trapeze lessons and loved it, but then my carpal tunnel started playing up and my hands would go numb when I was trying to support myself whilst 9 foot in the air. Also I became unable to type which is a major disadvantage in a student with lots of overdue essays. (Seriously, everything about me is broken, if I was a horse they'd have shot me by now)

So the result is? I don't do anything, I don't buy a bike or a gym membership and just sit at home eating biscuits and telling myself I wouldn't want to live in a post apocalyptic zombie infested world anyway.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cheer Up Already

For me the worst thing about depression is when it sneaks up on, when you honestly do believe that you're in a great place and doing really well and anxiety is the furthest thing from your mind. Then you realise that you've not left the flat in three days, the thought of doing work rather then watch YouTube videos fills you with a cold dread and you can't imagine being happy again for some time. Which means you are not happy right now and actually you haven't been for over a week, oh sure you've laughed at things and been glad there's ice cream in the freezer, but not being actively miserable is not the same as being happy.

Sometimes we need more introspection, I have been told there are people capable of recognising when they're beginning a downward spiral in the first instances of it happening. I've been told that I need to be "more mindful" and to check in with myself throughout the day and ask myself how I'm really feeling. The problem is I am really good at lying, especially to myself. 


I spent years (lots of them) not so much avoiding asking for help but resolutely denying that anything was wrong. Depression was a thing that happened, it happened to lots of people and there was no shame in it, my school did lots of work teaching us about why there shouldn't be any stigmas attached to mental health issues. Theoretically, I agreed whole heartedly that there is no shame in asking for help or receiving it, there nothing more to be embarrassed about having depression as there is epilepsy. But I also understand, on a cognitive level, that chocolate fudge brownies aren't a good breakfast (who am I kidding, they're the BEST breakfast) it's better to wash dishes after a meal so they're ready when you next want to use them than to have to wash up before you start cooking. 

Depression became then a thing that happened to other people, they had nothing to be ashamed of and they should be helped, but my problems weren't as bad as theirs and my life was pretty great, what right did I have to complain when there were people with real problems struggling every day. The thing is illness doesn't care, like the actress who gets a chest infection and loses her voice on opening night depression makes very few allowances for your feelings and instead crushes over them. 

Just because you know something doesn't mean you accept it and just because you think something is true when it applies to other people doesn't mean you extend yourself the same respect. The worst thing about depression is when you realise that in order to nip it in the bud you should have acted three days ago.