The last few days were bad bad bad days. If you missed it, you can read all about it here.
But, today. Well, today I feel so much better. I’ve still spent a good portion of the day coloring. My mood is definitely elevated. But those swings into depression were not nearly as pronounced today.
A couple of things went right, which helped. My husband came home yesterday and his presence is really quite calming for me. Then, this morning I went to the podiatrist for my checkup from surgery. And NO MORE BOOT!!! Coming home and putting on a pair of sneakers and walking out to the garden was such a great feeling. I haven’t been out there for a month. In another week, I hope to be able to start going for short walks with the dog in the morning. The left foot is still bad, so I can’t go far, but even a short walk is a longer walk then I’ve been on in ages.
I think all of that has a LOT to do with why I’m feeling better today. Hopefully, tomorrow will build on today and be even a little better.
One of the issues that came up while I was in the throes of my mixed episode was coloring. It’s a coping skill that I used when I was first released from the psych hospital last year. I convinced myself that since I had to go that far back to find a tool that worked that it meant that was how far my mental state had slipped. I thought that the sheer fact that I was coloring to keep myself, however loosely, together meant that I was a step away from the hospital because that was where I learned it.
But, I was wrong. My brain was tricking me, yet again. Turns out, it doesn’t matter how long that tool has been in your box of tricks or how long it’s been since you had to use it. As long as you are picking it up when you need it, it’s a GOOD thing!. I think that hearing that from my therapist was a major point in the good column as well. Here I was, using a coping skill, like I’m supposed to, and I was kicking myself about it. She had some work to do, convincing me that coloring did not mean an automatic slide into the psych ward, but she did it.
So, the next time you’re feeling crappy and you feel foolish about the coping tool you choose to reach for, don’t. Using any tool is better than using no tool. And I suppose it’s possible that the tools we’ve had the longest, work the best, since we’ve had the most practice with them.
Now, back to my coloring book.