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In Search of Energy

The current week was troublesome. I got a depressive phase again and it felt like all the energy was sucked out of my body. Really, my energy levels felt absolutely depleted, to the point that it’s hard to describe it with words. I can’t tell you how much it sucks when it happens. Even if I forced myself to do something I like (which was a difficult task on its own), it didn’t just feel like I had to climb a mountain while experiencing fatigue, I also didn’t feel pleasure or joy at all with activities I would normally enjoy. I felt numb, sluggish, hopeless, worthless, irritated, and I probably do miss some descriptions here. Some of the days felt like I just woke up from anesthesia except that this state remains the whole day, actually several days. On top of that, I had a constant migraine. I somehow felt hungry but yet I didn’t want to eat. Meanwhile, I alternated between insomnia and hypersomnia. There was, for example, one day where I slept 2 hours and woke up for 2 hours, slept for 2 hours, and so on. Another day I sleep 10 hours straight, woke up for 1 hour, and continued to sleep another 8 hours. What the heck, I haven’t had it that bad for quite a while.

Yesterday, I made an attempt to break out of the misery. I still didn’t feel very well but I felt a bit better than the previous days. I went shopping and I still felt numb on the way to the supermarket. When I arrived there, I decided to get myself a huge Coca Cola bottle even if I am not a fan of sugary drinks anymore. But I know I am very caffeine sensitive. The idea was to multiply the small amount of energy I felt that day. At home, I went through the big bottle as if it was a challenge. I wouldn’t say that I felt less numb after that, but the big amount of caffeine did induce the urge to move my body. So, I went out for a walk, not a big one but I walked through the district. It was a sunny day and when I found a park bench, I sat down. While the sunbeams further improved the situation, I still felt this numbness. For a few minutes, my eyes were absolutely lost, watching through a hole up in the shrubs. The hole appeared like a TV screen and the moving clouds behind it made up the TV program. That’s when I noticed a branch in the scene, and suddenly a small bird did land on it. It might sound strange to you, but that was the first time after several days I somehow felt pleasure again. I watched the little bird until it flew away and then I continued on my way too.

While this was a small walk, I felt a little bit better when I arrived home. Today I was convinced that I can do a little longer walk. That’s what I did today. It still wasn’t easy, but it’s helpful, in small steps. I still feel the aftermath of this week. But it’s gradually helping me. Today I also had my camera with me but I only shot 4 photos. I wouldn’t say that I was excited to take photos, but I just knew going out is the right thing to do. That’s my experience from the past. You need to start somewhere to get back on track. Here is one of the photos I shot today…

just a path

10 Comments »

  1. Hi Dennis. I’m sorry to hear that you have been having a bad week. I know you will pull yourself out of it, you always do. These are strange times we’re living through and affect us all in different ways. It seems to me that although I have all the free time in the world I don’t get a lot done each day. Not having those days of going out to volunteer or meeting friends for coffee means that every day seems the same. Thank goodness for nature. It seems like the birds save us all some days.

    • Hi Vanda. I will do so. I still haven’t had good sleep this night but I will go outside again today and attempt to make use of the sun, maybe I need more vitamin D. But I already feel better than the previous day, again. Pushing myself outside is the right thing to do.

      When the COVID mess started, I actually thought I might get anxiety problems again, because I need to keep seeing people (like practicing) to not get social phobia or general anxiety symptoms again. But I am glad that I didn’t get anxiety, that worked so far with a few exceptions here and there, but instead I got this depressive episode. Not much better but yes, I will pull myself out of it. A lot of the restrictions are lifted, others are still in place, but people are still cautious and meetings are still a bit restricted. So, I know what you mean with every day seems the same. It also might be a part of the puzzle why I currently got an episode again.

      We also had some crazy weather changes and family and friends told me they felt bad too. Some people are weather-sensitive, and I am too, except that it can cause a real depressive episode in my case. On top of that, I did put a lot of energy into some plans or into an idea and in the end, the idea didn’t work out as I wanted it to. So, I did ponder over it a lot, why it didn’t work and what the alternatives are, it made me feel hopeless. I burned myself out with it and felt like it was wasted time with the idea.

      So, I believe a mix of social distancing, disappointment with some plans, and the wonky weather caused my current episode.

      Yep! Nature and animals have healing power. 🙂

      • Weather certainly does have an effect on people’s moods. We have discussed this before I think during those long grey days of winter. Disappointment can play a part too. I feel sad thinking of some events that I enjoy that won’t happen this year although it is doubtful that I could have got to them anyway unless I put Cindy in kennels again. At least I will have time to plan for next year when I hope things will be normal again.

        • Did you plan to do some holiday trips or what event did you want to experience? I planned to go to the evening school this year to improve my qualification for the future and to open up some new options. But suddenly, some terms changed or became very unclear in the intake interview, and not to my liking.

          Before that, I prepared myself more and more to carry out my plan. It was a long preparation as I had the idea for a long time, then I visited an information event, I participated in an English test as it was a requirement to get a B score to be accepted (I was excited when they informed me that I succeeded with an A score), and suddenly some of my exclusion criteria on my list were met during the intake interview. That interview was a contradiction to the previous information event.

          Especially the topic costs was unclear. I was prepared to pay one and a half grand, but I got told that they were sponsored by a foundation the previous years to keep the costs that low. They’re uncertain this year, which means, students would attend school, and if the foundation doesn’t continue to sponsor, every student would be able to get the money back and drop out of the course unless they’d agree to pay the adjusted price, which would be a sum in another ballpark.

          It wasn’t the only issue, but definitely a big one. I am not going to invest my time in uncertainty. I knew why I wanted to do it, what I wanted to achieve with it, but I also know that I don’t like uncertainty and the potential of wasted time. The disappointment did hit me hard. But I also know that a drop out due to a subsequent term change would have hit me quite a bit harder in the future. Imagine you pursue a goal, months agone and out of a sudden, it’s over. Fine that you get your money back, but you don’t get your time back.

          But at least I do now know that I can succeed in a 40 minutes English test, wearing a face mask the whole time, claustrophobic with 30 people in a room, while a 10 minutes long panic attack wants me to leave the room as soon as possible. I didn’t.

        • That would have been a huge disappointment. You had spent a lot of time deciding on a plan but I agree that with the uncertainty around the course it wouldn’t be a good idea to continue at this time Maybe next year. I had not made any specific plans because most of the events I usually looked forward to going to are in or near Hobart. A couple of doll shows and the model railway show that I always like to attend. I didn’t know if I’d have got to them this year as I am much further away but i might have managed by staying with friends for the weekend. Now they have all been cancelled but I ‚ll have a year to figure out how to do it next year. There is always the concern iwth events like these that a year off may kill them off entirely though. The people who run them are not young.

        • Yeah, it’s bad. We can’t do much either here, and if so, it’s still required to wear masks in buildings and maintain a 2-meter gap to others. So, things are either canceled or it’s impractical to do things. Talking about normal plans, I actually planned to take the train to Hamburg this year, taking some different photos for my blog. But I’m not going to do that, I don’t want to wear a mask during the train trip, even if it’s just 40-50 mins. I will postpone the whole idea until things are normal again. I also wanted to check some big guitar stores in Hamburg, but this is postponed too. I don’t want to play/test guitars in a store while I wear a mask. Doesn’t sound like fun 🙂

        • That’s a shame a trip to Hamburg would have been a good opportunity for photos and shopping but I agree not fun in a mask. We are actually not required to wear them. I think because most parts of Australia aren’t so densely populated and because we’ve had a relatively low amount of community transmission. What has changed though is that while shops are open again we’re being advised not to dawdle in the shops browsing. That takes the fun out of it for me especially as getting to the shops is a major excercise for me. I’m not going all the way to Burnie to spend five minutes buying an item and then leave. I like to take my time looking at things and as I don’t go to the shops often I like to have a general look around after I bought the things I came for.

        • That’s understandable too. The effect is still the same then without mask. You can not spend much time with the things you liked to do.

    • Thanks. Usually, going outside is the right thing to do when I am ready for it like the last two days. It doesn’t work right away in my case, but it usually works gradually. I will attempt to do the same today. Getting a bit of vitamin D from the sun, making use of the healing power of nature and animals 🙂 Always worked in the past.

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