Emotions have a weird way of changing often without a rhyme or reason. People always descibe it as a high or a low, and you don’t really understand the extent of that until you live through a roller coaster like it.
Lows for me feel like I’m constantly needing more and more sleep. It’s having the energy level of a sloth, and letting the dishes pile up in the sink. It’s putting off laundry, and sleeping in til 2 pm. My lows feel like a black hole that I just sit and watch everything get sucked into. Now everyone’s lows look and feel different, and people who experience it know just how hard it can be to find any form of motivation to cling onto. Sometimes it feels like the hardest thing in the world, but taking small steps can really push you back to a steady “norm.”
Often times it takes just one thing to make you feel like you’re getting back on track. It could be taking a shower, or doing your makeup for the first time in a week. It could be making yourself a small home cooked meal, or picking your clothes up off the bathroom floor. You have to remember it doesn’t always happen overnight. It may take you days to get back to normal, but as long as you focus on the small steps you can take to feeling better, you will begin to feel more in control of yourself again.
Now the highs for me are usually anxiety ridden, but the most productive I will ever be. My motivation takes a turn for the better, and during these periods are when I usually deep clean my apartment, and get back on top of my creative endeavors. I write, I draw, I paint, I do everything I can as fast as I can because I never know how long I have until I recede back into bad habits. I get better at responding to texts and emails, and try to reach out to people or friends I may have neglected in my lower periods. The highs are where I feel mentally and emotionally “normal.”
If you’re anything like me, the highs are times when you find yourself taking bets on when your luck is going to run out. That’s normal, I feel like. When you go through more lower periods than you’d like, the highs feel like a vacation. They feel like your life is being seen through rose colored lenses. The air feels lighter, the world seems brighter; everything about life feels a little easier to handle.
I would be lying if I said I never wished everything could just stay in one steady emotional wavelength. Or daydreamed about what it would be like to be 100% stable in my feelings. But living in a mind with thoughts like that did more harm than good. Accepting the fact that I’ll have really high highs, and really low lows, for quite possibly the rest of my life was met with lots of inner complaints. Lot’s of “why me’s” and never ending questions about what I did to deserve it… But I’ve come to the realization that, I didn’t do anything. I’m living this life because I’m supposed to. I’m still here because I’m supposed to be. I’m writing this in hopes it reaches people, and maybe helps them feel less alone. I’m writing this because it helps me cope through my highs, lows, and norms. Letting myself dwell on the what if’s will never give me the healing I need or deserve, and it took me some time to figure that out.
Wherever you are in your mental health journey, I hope you’re taking time to appreciate how far you’ve come and what you’ve been able to accomplish despite what your mind may be telling you.