I’m lying on the floor of the yoga studio. The endorphins pulse through me and I feel a sweet sense of calm that I haven’t felt in weeks. I glance up toward the window and see a patch of bright blue sky, completely unadulterated by clouds. “See?” I tell myself, “This is what happens when you get your butt into class!”
But it’s not that simple, sometimes. Yes, the peace that comes with exercise and concentration on my wellness is pretty much inevitable every time I take a yoga class, or dance, or go for a walk, but sometimes, as with lately, I feel an almost magnetic pull toward my bed, a dark room, maybe some TV or maybe a black hole of internet click bait and Instagram stalking. Being there, out in the world is usually exactly the medicine that I need to pull me, if at least temporarily, out of that scary funk.
Do you ever feel that way? On days like those, washing a plate or two feels like a victory. When you actually get up to eat something, and feeling something in your body other than emptiness, it’s either sickening or beautifully gratifying.
I’ve been there for the last few weeks. What’s funny about it is, once I get out into the world, it’s like nothing was ever wrong. I can talk, I can laugh, I make eye contact with people and ask them about their lives and tell them about mine. I can experience real joy, but then the time comes where that becomes too much for me, and I need to crumple up in a ball again and forget that there is sunshine, and only remember that my house is messy and I have homework to do and I should text that person back and call my family more, but not do anything about any of it. Then hate myself all the more for continuing to be entirely unproactive.
It’s not like there’s anything wrong, per se. My life is pretty good. The weather has been nice, I’m good at my job and get to be around people that I like, I’m fortunate enough to be able to pursue my second round of post-secondary education, and I have a lot of people who care about me a lot, including 5 or 6 friends that I know aren’t trying to avoid me when they say they’re busy- they’re like, actually busy (this has been a hard one for me to wrap my head around in the past).
So even though things are okay, they’re very much not okay and I don’t really know how to say that out loud. I know mental illness is nothing to be ashamed about but it always freaks me out to let people know, because I know that people worry (i.e. that I’m more in trouble than I actually am- these down phases don’t last too long and the good times outweigh the bad, I promise) or that they just don’t understand (just get over it!)
The sun is shining, and I’m going to shower and spend time with a friend who asks me to hang out and when he says he’s busy, he’s actually busy and not avoiding me, and today I went to yoga and I showered and I washed my laundry, and I am going to come out of this dark hole soon, I’m just not out just yet.