closeJust a quick note to say that this post was published 3 years 1 month 14 days ago. It's pretty old!

Any advice or opinions it contains may be super outdated, so believe at your own risk

Black Friday deals have just finished.
I got to try Google Cardboard and the Occulus Rift.
It’s my birthday in a week.
I finish for Christmas in two weeks (actual real life HOLIDAY! Not sick days, not days spent in hospital, not days hating my life, ACTUAL holiday. Hopefully).
Everywhere is sales and presents and Christmas socials and cheerful get-togethers.

But despite a lot of good stuff just gone and a lot of good stuff coming up, I’m struggling.

I’m fighting, but I’m struggling. Ask me if I’m okay and I’ll say ‘Yes’, because it’s the easy option. Because people generally don’t want to hear ‘I don’t want to be alive’.

When I did a photography course a couple of years ago, my tutor laughed at me because I said I didn’t like photographing people. Now I just don’t like people, full stop. Not every person, but most. I’m a lot happier and more relaxed the more on my own I am. Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I’m always disappointed with other people, or maybe it’s because I’m getting used to having emotions again post coming off medication. The primary emotion mostly seems to be rage, unfortunately. And it’s a bit of a shock, because I spent the previous ten months being utterly confused whenever I witnessed anyone being angry, because I’d forgotten how to comprehend it, much less experience it myself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing having my life back. I’m nowhere near as tired, which means I can do a lot more and get a lot more done, and not leave things or fall asleep in the middle of them from sheer exhaustion.

Now I’m not tired but ragey, I’m trading those emotions back naturally by going to the gym. For the past four years I’ve had a half hour break allowance each day, and I always found it difficult, particularly in winter when I got very little natural daylight. Now I have an hour’s lunch break due to a contract change. This is what’s helping me fight, because I have something to look forward to. My gym membership expired about a year ago and I didn’t pick it back up because it had stopped making me feel good. But signing up to a different gym (downside: the equipment is pretty old. upside: it’s in an old mill with great views and atmosphere – see photo below) near to work has meant I’m much more flexible with when I can go. I can even go in my lunch break, and that way I’m not wasting time anywhere else in my day.

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At the moment I’m doing a 10k routine, which consists of 5k cycling, 3k rowing and 2k cross-train(er)ing. I love that my legs burn when I walk up the stairs afterwards. It’s still early days, but it’s making a difference to my mental state so far. I’m a firm believer that there are two kinds of depression: chemical and emotional, and that I suffer with both. Things that help one don’t necessarily help the other. I imagine that at some point not too far down the line, the gym will stop helping me, but until then, at least I have it as a distraction. My brain loves me being in new environments, so even just being in a new space is helping, but that will wear off eventually.

I’m trying, and that’s about as much as I can manage right now.