So a life update I have is that I got a part time job. I actually think it’s really helping me.
So basically before I got the job, most of my day consisted of procrastinating homework by either watching Netflix or napping. Now I find myself having to time manage otherwise I’d fall really far behind. I’ve been wanting a part time job for a while now but along with the pandemic I just never had enough motivation to go out and find one. I was also terrified that if I had another low point where I’d not move for 2 weeks then I’d upset a lot of people (aka my boss) if I had a job.
I’m a place now where I’m comfortable enough to let my boss know if I do need a mental health day. Besides that I feel like I’m currently in a good place right now. A place where I can start getting my drive and motivation to start doing the things I used to.
Obviously there’s a few things to keep in mind. So when I first started down my mental health journey of getting better, I thought that after a couple weeks of meds and starting therapy that everything would be fine. I took a full course load and didn’t change anything else in my life.
This was a huge mistake. I learned the hard way that you need to gradually build back your mental health. It’s okay to take time, it’s hard work. For me, I didn’t originally want to take a lighter course load because I felt incompetent next to my peers. However I now take a reduced load of 3/4 courses a semester whereas the regular load is 5. Although it doesn’t sound like much, for me it’s a huge difference and gives me the time I need during the school year to relax and provides the opportunity for me not to become overwhelmingly stressed.
Anyways, so when I first went to school after I started meds, I took 5 courses and during the term ended up dropping to just 1. The semester after I only took 2 courses. And now I take 3/4 depending on what’s offered. Yes I do need to take an extra year but honestly for me it’s worth it. This is my one life. So I have to take an extra year. To me that’s a much better option than not being able to function for days one end, having a permanent feeling of tightness in my chest and breaking down crying almost every night.
Just because something takes you longer than other people and may not be the normal way of doing things, does not mean it’s wrong. People function and learn in different ways and if having depression has taught me anything, it’s that you need to figure out what is best for you.
I’m well aware that a lot of people affected by depression think very self deprecating things and don’t want to reach out for help and often can’t think of ways to help themselves. It’s a vicious cycle but with support from others, it’s much easier to break. For me, the support of my parents was a huge deal. They assured me multiple times they were fine with me taking a lightness course load and are the ones who pushed me to consider it in the first place. They made me think about my health (that being my mental health) before anything else even though education is very important for them.
This was pretty impactful to me and definitely changed my way of thinking. I always think about how I can make my life a little less stressful. I think of ways I can healthily cope and now reach out when I feel like I can’t on my own. It’s taken a long time and although sometimes I still shut down, I can see I’ve come a long way.
Anyways, I just wanted to say that I hope you all put yourselves first. I know you may feel selfish or just don’t want to but start with little things. Think about how something will make you feel. When planning your day try to include time for yourself or time to de stress. We can never get the days that go by, back. Start thinking of yourself and how you can change your routine to add a little stress relief/relaxation to your day/week/life.
With lots of love,
Your Mental Health Mathie