(Anxiety, Depression) and When the Mood Drops …

two black bicycles beside gray frame glass window
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

 

Monday morning and back in saddle again. (Nb for new readers, this relates to the bicycle saddle rather than any association to the equine variety.) But this time it was tougher. Cold, windy, a little rain, a bad attitude and a poor choice of route led me to stop and have a little ponder on what on earth was going on with my mood.

Now, in the old days, I’d have gone into a complete decline, had a minor (ok, major) spoilt brat tantrum usually involving tears (to show someone, anyone who would listen to how utterly ghastly I was feeling and to justify my impending surrender), said “Sod this for a fun game of soldiers” and given up.

Instant relief would follow toute de suite and I would shamefully pretend to ignore the disappointed look on everyone’s face.

Sadly, that little voice in the back of my mind whispering, “You shouldn’t give up when the going gets tough!” gradually became quieter and quieter as the habit of giving up became so strong that it was now the default setting, until I simply couldn’t hear it and even if I could, I would choose to ignore it. It’s incredible how quickly a bad habit can grow.

So here we are, a grown woman, with a raison d’etre to better myself, standing miserably by the side of a busy road, alone, cold, tired and a trickle of rain disappearing down the back of my neck and ending up somewhat uncomfortably in my knickers … Marvellous.

However, with the fearsome prospect of bicycling the length of France, not always necessarily in glorious sunshine with a boulangerie at the next corner and a delicious Frenchman’s shoulder to sob upon, I realise that the new me is indeed made of stronger stuff and I am trying a new tack, and tentatively refusing to fall back upon the default setting of giving up.

So, I delve deep, find my inner grown-up and give myself a stern talking to. This, in simple terms involves some fruity language and the promise of a hot chocolate tout bloomin’ suite.

Oh, and next time, to remember that this is England, so take a waterproof. (Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance …. ahhh yes, there’s a soldier in me yet).

Changing my route and heading away from the dual carriageway and within five minutes I discover that there truly is a God. Who’d have known that they have invented a drive-thru Krispy Creme doughnuts shop just for me! Well hallelujah!

Twenty minutes later, dried out and warm, filled with soft, sweet heavenly doughnuts, (very plural and no I’m not saying how many), a coffee and a route infinitely better than cycling alongside a dual carriageway, I find myself charging along with a smile on my face confident in the knowledge that I’ll have burned off the 4 million calories I’ve just consumed super-toute-de-suite and all is once again well in the world. A bit of behaviour management and a stern talking to and I’m tickedy-boo. Perhaps Krispy Creme had a marginal impact, but really I’m not that simple … ok, maybe …

Katie xx

What do you do when your mood drops?? Do you give into it? (Truth please!) Or do you have a secret weapon or doughnut up your sleeve?

55 thoughts on “(Anxiety, Depression) and When the Mood Drops …”

  1. So what I’m fighting isn’t anxiety or depression, but alcoholism, so I suppose it’s a little different. Interesting one, for the simple reason that it’s a good mood that was always my trigger to want to drink so it’s when I’m happy I have to be extra careful – pain in the arse as I’m usually fairly sunny! Anyway.. When I feel mopey, I suppose I try to push it away, which is obviously NOT particularly healthy. Probably take it out on those around me without meaning to as well – even worse!! Something I need to get better at for sure. I suppose I have tricks for when I get the urge to drink, which is usually to remind myself that whatever lovely image of what drinking is that my drunkard’s brain is serving up to tempt me, isn’t real because I can’t drink like a normal person and therefore aforementioned image is nothing but an illusion. That seems to work but that might be because I truly believe it and so the illusion images don’t work. Anna x

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    1. Anna, I too cannot drink like a normal person! I’m an all or nothing kinda gal … and it’s the same with my mood, it’s either up there and a little excitable or in the deepest depths of the darkest valley. It’s interesting that your trigger to drink is when you’re happy … it’s a tough one isn’t it … I think we do all take things out on those around us and those who are closest to us – I wonder if it’s because we know we’ll be forgiven? I don’t know. It’s good that you have tricks for when the wine witch appears though. Seriously good! Thanks for reading and commenting, it’s really interesting to hear how other people’s minds work! Katie x

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  2. I don`t give into it. I constantly find something to do to lift my mood which these days is just a morning walk (never want to do it but know I will love it once I get up ) . followed by a huge cuppa and all is well in the world if I am ending the day with a glass of red. But there was a bad time in my life a few years ago where I really had to deal with some shit, and I didn`t really I just kept busy and did lots of things to make me happy and keep going. I was told one day to stop and deal with it or it would catch me up. I didn`t and it hasn`t ..so maybe it worked for me ?

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    1. Definitely walking and getting out helps doesn’t it … I’m sorry you went through some bad times, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there … For what it’s worth, I think that some things DO need to be dealt with but definitely not all depending on what it is. So for example my habits did need to get sorted because I was effectively shrinking my world by not doing anything, anything that meant a little struggle or patience or hard work. I simply had to deal with this. But as you say, you maybe didn’t need to deal with something perhaps because the problem was not an ‘internal’ factor so to speak. And in that situation I think you’re right, it’s just a case of getting through it, keeping busy and making time heal it. I’m so glad you commented, it’s really made me think about this. Thanks. Katie x

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      1. Thanks Katie. And you are spot on. My problem was not internal but sprung on me from nowhere by a most unexpected source. It really was like the 5 stages of grief. Lots of activities and wine got me through day after day fir about a year and plenty of exercising. It hasn’t caught me up yet and it was nearly 6 years ago. Not all days are easy but doing the school run and a walk are my favourite days …I don’t always think so when I wake up but by 10am I am all set to face the day. I am really enjoying reading your honest posts. Yiurs made me think about how I gave dealt and that is not to give into my dark mood. I don’t think I had given it much thought before. Thanks. Helen xx

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      2. And I thank you too Helen for being so open … it’s so enlightening and interesting to hear about other people’s lives, to listen and understand the differences and to feel a connection to those with similarities. God bless WordPress! It’s brought us all together and I love that. Katie xx

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  3. Well, is it because I need to eat? Or need to sleep? Just a bad mood? A REALLY bad mood on the edge of devastation? I sit down and look at a Smash Book I put together with all my favorite cards, pictures, and memories. This is my ‘happy book’ and I feel if I can’t manage my mood for myself, I’ll manage it for those who love me. (Plus I make sure I am current on my Zoloft!) Then, when all else is done, a walk with my dog usually does the trick.

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    1. What a lovely idea to have a happy book. I like that a lot and yep, for sure a walk with a dog is just the best. I can’t wait to have a dog again … we lost ours to cancer last year and I’m still in bits about it. Silly really, but my God she was a part of me. I think we should all have a book like yours. Katie x

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  4. Definitely not comfort eating. I always feel worse about myself afterwards. A workout or spending time with a dog usually cheer me up.

    Drinking is a funny one. A glass or two does sometimes relax me and make me feel positive but, like comfort eating, it comes at a price. Also I have to be pretty relaxed anyway to consider drinking or it just messes up my head even further. Drinking in company I find very hard as I simply cannot relax enough to enjoy it if I am with someone – I am so tense due to social anxiety. Plus my wife gives me that puritanical look if I open a bottle!

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    1. I love how dogs help us … they give us nothing but love, love, love. Aren’t they just the best! And I think you’re right about the drinking, it does rather depend upon the mood that you start in. Years ago when I was trying out every drug that seemed to exist, I was in a particularly bad frame of mind one time and had the worst imaginable few hours – a bad trip it used to be called. I never touched them again. How do you cope with social anxiety? It’s a really tough one … I wonder if this makes going to work even harder …

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      1. I am obviously too straight looking as despite growing up in the clubs my dad managed i have never been offered drugs in my life. Always fancied LSD but know it would be disastrous for me for the same reasons you describe.
        I am very lucky to work with people who understand me. My work friend Hayley especially is fiercely protective if anyone tries to guilt trip me into socialising. I have recently had visitors at work almost every day and that is really exhausting because as their host I can’t escape.

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      2. Hayley sounds like a perfect friend and so lovely to be understood so well. My mother used to say to me that some people get their energy from being with others and some people get drained by being with people … I think she had a point. I too have always fallen into the latter category. Well done for coping with the visitors … you must be knackered. X

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      3. Hayley is great. We first met during my battle with depression in 2006 and I was having a hard time at work too. We were sharing a lab and her cheery good morning was the only good moment of my day for months. I only told her this recently.
        Your mother was right. It is a classic trait of introverted people that we get drained by being with others. Even my wife knows to give me a day to myself occasionally as even with her around I can’t fully relax.
        Coping with external visitors is very hard work for me – and yes I am knackered. This week I have peace but it ramps up again on monday. X

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      4. I bet you telling her that made her feel wonderful … sometimes it’s just the littlest things make the biggest difference in our funny lives. God bless Hayley and good luck on Monday. Xx

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  5. My long since departed and everly missed mother-in-law referred to this state of being where only consuming (insert baked goods of choice) will restore equilibrium as *bun lag*. I am a devotee. Nuff said 😉

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  6. utterly ghastly is my new favorite phrase. I usually give into it. If it get’s too extreme I mean. Else if it’s a week long slump, i do alright. I pretty much just write or brainstorm for my blog…oh and i spend more time with my mom. Great and interactive post as always, God i love your writing style!

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    1. Thanks very much! Blogging and writing is a real help isn’t it … Just blasting some bits down can be very soothing, either that or it’s the process of walloping the computer keys that makes us feel better! Katie x

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    1. Yes it’s interesting how for some of us food is definitely the answer …. ice cream, doughnuts and ginger nuts are top of the list. (Well ginger nuts only apply to me but the amount that I can consume puts them up there). If you could binge eat anything, what would it be?
      As for photos … hmmm …. I think Claude is more photogenic than me ….

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      1. Moderation is not in my dictionary, but I think this makes us better at what we choose to do as we tend to be passionate about it and everything is dipped in a little intensity. Your book, blog, running and penchant for ice cream …. my starting-of-the-book, blog, cycling and ginger nuts. Similarities me thinks.

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  7. It completely depends. Since I got electrocuted ten or so years back, sometimes too much stress trashes my body, resulting in convulsions and serious medical problems (that have more than once resulted in temporary death, so that sucks), so there is a definite reason to make sure that I am not forcing myself to do too much. However, I became sort of a wussy blob eventually, and that sucks too. Lately if I have the urge to cry privately, I do as much as I can, since that does miracles of clearing out the emotional pipes. I just had to redevelop the judgment between what builds character, which I like even if it’s a bit ugly like crying or making hard efforts, and what will harm me way too much and set me back. *shrug* We all do our best. Good luck to all.

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    1. Wowza … that really puts thinks into perspective. You are super brave and strong to deal with this. Definitely on a pedestal for me. Having a darn good blub sometimes does help doesn’t it … You’re doing great. You’re doing great because you know what is going to be detrimental and what is going to help …. it’s finding that happy medium between doing nothing and doing too much. It must be tough, really tough and I admire you enormously. Keep going, keep us posted because we’re all behind you. Katie. Xx

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      1. That’s very kind. Thanks. I just do my best, which is often frankly terrible, and it is both good and bad that I do not feel very personified–I don’t feel like a person really much of the time, and don’t feel like I have a real timeline of a life or anything. Sometimes that is relaxing, and sometimes it is complete torture of insanity (which is bad, really). If my spouse didn’t care about me and work too hard to keep the household afloat, I would have been dead from basic poverty and dysfunction some ten or so years ago, probably in the year or two after the event. Oh well–we all do our best. It might be worth bearing in mind that even dropping an ice cream cone can be a tragedy to a toddler, even if objectively it might not be to us. It’s all perspective really. Best wishes-

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      2. Absolutely … everything has to be gotten into perspective and what is and isn’t relative. I’m guessing that having a blog is a real help … being able to write things down is good huh? I wish I could help, but I’m not sure what I can do apart from send you my love and a big hug and for you to know that I’m thinking of you. Keep well and keep blogging, that’s the wonderful thing about WordPress, we’re all here for each other. Katie. Xx

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      3. Thanks. My blog isn’t really for much beyond my business, but I have started writing in my own paper journal again after a big break and that is helpful to me. It is also nice to interact with folks on here and reply to their writings. Thanks again for the good wishes.

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  8. I love that you had to ‘find your inner grown up’! Well done Katie! I identify with what you say about bursting into tears and waiting for someone to rescue you. Are you a youngest child? I am, and I think this was definitely a coping strategy I used. That, and begging to be carried! I really admire your resolve. And it is amazing what a few donuts can do.

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  9. Hi Katie, you have me hooked! This is one of the most interesting blogs I’ve read in a long time. You are so naturally funny! Your writing skills are great too – I just wanted to encourage you with that because I think we all need to hear something positive about ourselves and not take it for granted that the person already knows they are amazing. I cannot wait to read more of your posts and I know I will be sat at the pc downstairs with my daughter wondering why I have a stupid grin on my face. It’s great to meet you. Have a lovely day.

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  10. Depression can get in the way of life and, sometimes, the routines of life get in the way of depression. I find the necessity of getting groceries, taking the child to an appointment or an outing, taking a shower so you are not the bad odor lingering everywhere you go, makes me snap out of a funk as much as any little round pill would. And, when all else fails, there’s binge watching tv to numb the pain. Or reading a good book, if you can find one.

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    1. You and me both. It’s the simple routines that really help me, they seem to keep me on the straight and narrow. Sometimes it’s the repetitive nature of cleaning that helps too … I have very clean cupboards!! Thanks for commenting, it’s so good to hear what others do and it’s remarkable how similar we all in fact are. Katie x

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  11. When I am exhausted, like now as it’s terribly hot here in Creuse, I eat home made cake or have a British cuppa and wander off to work in the veg garden or potter around the chicken coop….chooks are great therapy. We can go on a worm hunt or something.
    Cycling…well done. My bike hadn’t surfaced this year..But I will make amends next year. Too much barn work this year and Mum unwell so no choice.

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