Blogmas Day 14: Pushing Through the Suffocating Darkness

Hello, friends. How are you all doing?

Today was a tough day. Yes, my depression has come back, full force. It’s like the menstrual cycle– the first few days of your period are really really bad, then your condition slowly improves towards the end of the cycle. This is kind of what my depressive patterns are like. Today was a day darkness, lethargy and heaviness. I’ve been through it before, though, and thankfully, I was able to practice some of my coping mechanisms to lessen the blow of the depressive force.

It’s 5:12pm. I just finished a swim workout, and am sitting in the business center of the gym, typing away. I feel a lot better. The heaviness on my chest has lifted, giving me some room to breathe. I’m actually waiting for the 5:30pm zumba class to begin, so I’m passing the time with writing!

I woke up this morning at around 10:30am. From the minute I opened my eyes, I knew this was going to be one of those days… After scrolling through my phone for music to inspire me, I dragged myself out of bed– yes, very different from the girl who’d used to kick off the sheets at the first beep of the 5:00am alarm, eager to start the day. It’s okay. It’s the illness talking.

My mother, brothers and I headed to a Japanese restaurant for brunch. The whole time, I was wishing I were back in my room, curtains drawn, shutting out the outside world. I wish I valued my time with my family more, as pretty soon my brothers and I will be heading back to school… but I just couldn’t seem to bring myself back into the life of the present.

The thing I hate most about my depression is what it does to the people around me, especially my family. They all know I struggle with depression, and it hurts them so much to see me when I’m sinking. I hate being that gray cloud of negative energy wherever I go. I ruin the good vibes with my snappy, impatient attitude; withdrawn and distant manner. I just wish that I could lock myself in a room with my depression, just me and it, away from the world of light. When I’m depressed, I feel like a contagious virus, harming everything and everyone I touch. I don’t mean any harm. I don’t want to hurt anybody.

9:40pm

Hey guys! I’m feeling a lot better since last checking in. I think the swimming and zumba class really helped improve my mood. Seriously, exercise is one of the best self-care strategies for depression.

I just finished watching the movie “Falling for Christmas”. It’s about a figure skater, Claire, who gets injured during training and has to go up to the mountains for a four-week treatment program. There, she meets single dad and former professional hockey player, Luke, whom she falls in love with. She realizes that there IS a life beyond competing and winning medals. That you CAN find happiness without fame and glory.

As a former gymnast forced to retire early from an injury, I resonated so much with her story. Although I must say, watching the movie made me reminisce my life as a competitive athlete. I loved the structure, the discipline, the simplicity of it all. I am inspired to re-find that structure when I return to school. It is only through self-discipline that I can successfully balance school and competitive dancing.

The thing with me is, I’m not done competing. Not by a long shot. My gymnastics career was cut short by a physical injury, but my competitive spirit is still very much there, itching to see the light of day once more. And I have channeled my competitive nature into my studies, which is the only reason I was able to get into UCLA. But in dance, I see a means to fulfill the dream I held dear as a gymnast. I have to admit, I really do love the limelight. Performing is a means through which I transcend my day-to-day shyness. A way for me to break out of my shell. This is why I love dancing so much, and why I long to see how far I can go in the competitive circuit.

Alrighty, guys. Gonna end today’s post here. I’m grateful that my day ended on a high note. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

 

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

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