People are lazy. Humanity has a tendency to make things easier to do with third-party tools. Washing machines take away our task of dish washing by hands. Vehicles bring us from A to B in a more efficient way. Toilet paper is very convenient because we can discard it after we used it.
Why should I bring up these examples? Because humans get lazier and lazier the more they have. The more time we have for ourselves which we don’t use for self improvement, the higher the risk to fall down the rabbit hole of self doubt, insecurity and ultimately a lack of drive that brings us to let ourselves go and think the worst of ourselves:
You’re not doing anything! Why are you sitting around romanticising old times? Everyone else can do it too. Why does everything always feel so heavy and why do I have to live with it all the time? I can’t get up.
What’s wrong with you, inner me?
Leave me alone! I need some distance. Let time stand still, so I can catch up. It’s not fair. I don’t want this. I want to be happy, why can’t I be happy? I need some distance I need distraction I need silence, stillness, nothingness.
It can be very devastating to find yourself in such a situation. It’s like our mind has its own separate consciousness. There seems to be no way out. Everything is exhausting, everything is intense. It feels like no one is able to understand you, because no one can feel what you are feeling, it seems impossible.
How can I go out and get myself ready if I don’t even feel alive? I can’t function. I can’t even talk normally. My fucking coffee fell over. F**ck! I am fucking useless.
Depending on the state you’re in when you’re reading this, it might sound like a joke. But it isn’t. It is very real. It’s about time that we take this seriously.
Mental health is getting more important day by day. In fact, there have never been more facilities and more psychiatrists than today in 2022. Virtually everyone has experienced or know someone that have these kind issues. It’s overwhelming and it awakes overnight.
It pulls people out of their routines and smashes them right there where it hurts the most. In an instant all of it is back:
The mistakes at work you did in the past five years. Your family situation you’re not happy with. You’re the black sheep. People know! They know you’re an insecure jerk! Everyone knows it all just fake. Remember that bad joke no one laughed about? Remember how embarrassed you were?
Well here you have it: All the emotions at once, have great stay in misery.
Getting out of this circle of self doubt takes a lot of energy, willpower and strength to overcome. It feels like you’re bonded to the situation. It’s not something you can shake off and forget, it is there and it won’t just fly away. So you have to deal with it:
I’m trying, I’m going to take a shower. Maybe it’ll help. Maybe it will wash off the vacuum.
It’s still there. It’s still a vacuum. There’s something missing. I don’t know what it is.
Can’t just somebody come and throw a rope so I can pull myself out of this?
Somebody, help! I’m drowning in the vacuum of my own consciousness. I can’t breathe, I’m choking.
It is as real as it is immaterial. It’s not something that you can grab and throw out like a garbage bag. It is here and it feels like it’s here to stay. Along with you. Baggage on your shoulders.
I can’t live like that. It’s too much, it’s too heavy. I can’t stand up. I feel like throwing up, I don’t want it. I don’t want this. I don’t want this.. I feel powerless.
Since this is a very personal topic, there is never a single solution to these kinds of mental health situations. But I can talk about my personal experiences with myself and from observing people in my environment.
Here are some thoughts that helped me through the years:
The body of us humans is designed for surviving in an eco-social environment. Like in every other animal species that lives in groups or herds, we are made to watch out for each other. (Doesn’t seem this way these days. But bear with me here!) This means in a natural environment humans have to use their capabilities not only for hunting, but also for caring and creating. Creating in any sense like cooking, making clothes or even decorating the environment.
Humans need stimuli for our brains. If our brain isn’t busy, It has lots of time to overthink things. Because that is was the brain does; it thinks and coordinates.
What has often helped me (maybe it’s just me) is when I try to rationalize the situation.
What have I been doing the last few days? Is there a reason why just now this darkness takes over me?
I have noticed for me that if I stay at home for a longer period of time (2 to 3 days), the probability is very high that a depressive phase will follow. I for myself have noticed that I have to keep myself busy and stay on the ball.
That being said, try to see if you can notice some patterns which repeat themselves before and after the dark phases.
Within all of this self doubt and criticism we surrender to, we curl Ourselves up like a turtle that wants to hide from enemies. This is an absolutely natural way of handling threatening situation’s. But it is also obvious that this won’t help you to defend yourself in this analogy.
I absolutely do know how hard it can feel to start doing anything. It is this ultimatum of numbness and procrastination. And this again adds up to the insecurities.
But in these situations we have to start realizing that it feels that way. Gut feelings are not the best reference for improvement, especially when they’re biased.
As I’m writing this I feel stable and I don’t want this to feel beauty- or simplified. But if you find yourself in such a devastating situation, you are biased. Your emotions drag your actions and thoughts, that’s just the way it is. It is very real, but still it is your feelings that impact your actions or no-actions.
In those moments it is important to take a step back, because you need it. And the best way to take a step back and get you head wrapped around other things, it’s to do other things.
We sometimes forget that we have whole bodies. Yes it absolutely feels like our head has the control of things. But the reality is that the brain is really stimulated when there is a combination of physical and mental actions.
I am not talking about your taxes or other annoying things every normal person hates doing because it can be complicated.
Take a walk. Take a bath. Continue your drawing you didn’t touch for a while. Take a sunbath or clean things, you probably won’t make things dirtier anyway. At least you did something.
If it’s important enough to you to escape the darkness, get your brain to do other things. It is the first step to distraction.
When I find myself in this dark place, it often feels like a shadow is surrounding all around me. Listening to music is one way for me to manipulate my environment so I can get better.
Since music is a passive thing and you can still get other things done while listening to music it can dramatically improve your mental well-being. He probably won’t change your whole point of you, but it will change how you approach them.
But there are tons of different ways. People who know me well, they also know that my apartment looks a little bit different every time to come.
This has nothing to do with impressing anyone, but it has to do with me being addicted to change. I often try to manipulate myself to create change. To make change visible. To see improvement, and give my head a fresh start through my environment.
For sure there are other ways how to handle these kind of mental health issues. And maybe I will work on this article or even create a new one from a different perspective. But maybe I was able to help you with your personal situation, if so, I would love to know your thoughts!
How do you handle dark phases like this? Let me know!
See you in the next post ✌🏼Sincerely,
I will never send more than one email per month, I promise!
Platforms like BlueSky bring a refreshing wind to the media landscape. It's an attempt to put the way we interact online back into the hands of the community. For me personally, it sounds like a very positive change that I would like to support.
Within 3 years I have turned my life in a new direction. All the change and hard work is slowly starting to pay off. But my journey is far from over.