I have sunk (fallen with extreme speed) into depression over the last few days. Not “oh man, I’m so depressed” depression. It’s not depression if you can articulate it and begin by doing so with something as flippant as “oh man”.
I’m talking about suddenly not being able to get off the couch because my muscles ache for no reason. Crying for no reason. Losing my appetite and/or suddenly only being able to eat certain foods because of an uneasy sense my stomach can’t handle things like mushrooms when I absolutely love mushrooms.
I can label it today because I have been gifted some hope in the form of a “bubble”. Remarkably I haven’t formed one yet. As an introvert, being on my own all the time has not been difficult until now.
Now it sucks so I am going to spend a couple of days with my bubble this week, and having something to look forward to has relieved the depression just enough that my logical mind got to work on thinking about what else I can do to climb out of this horrendous state. Lingering here is not an option.
I’m too lazy to detail the thought pattern and Google searches that lead to my solution, which is to start finding things that are funny. I might do that another day. I’m convinced that’s the answer, and that’s all you really need to know.
When I say funny I don’t mean watching stand-up comedy (though I’ll also give that a try). I mean doing the thing I have always naturally done, mostly as a coping mechanism: poking fun at…life. Life is absolutely hilarious when you think about it, and I think about it all the time.
That’s really hard to do with a pandemic on. Lockdown means I don’t see people do things that amuse me. To be clear, I don’t like making fun of people. However, people are weird (yes, all people) and being exposed to them inspires ideas that make me laugh.
Right now all I watch is the news, and it isn’t funny. What with the constant Covid updates, Brexit, climate emergencies no one is paying attention to etc etc. Life is basically very, very serious right now and humour has always been my coping mechanism. No levity = no coping. I am convinced that’s a big part of why I have been too down to do anything. I haven’t laughed in a very long time.
1) I have done a lot of weird things to try and cope with the pandemic, and
2) My best form of humour is self-deprecating humour (because I really, really don’t like making fun of other people).
Self-deprecating humour also how I cope with very strong feelings of insecurity, awkwardness and just not living up to some kind of standard I assume exists for being allowed the privilege of life but that is not the point (it just happens to be true, and I think we all need to be more honest about what goes on in our heads).
The point is: now that I’ve realised this, I think I know how to help myself. I don’t need to see people to find the funny side of this shit show that is Winter Lockdown. I am absolutely certain that if I can keep my head above the black waters of depression, I can find many reasons to laugh at myself. That will, in turn, lift my mood even more. Basically, I’m going to mock myself out of this funk.
Believe it or not, that is the sanest idea I’ve had in awhile. Okay, the second sanest thing. Accepting the offer to “bubble” was the sanest thing I’ve done, but I can’t think of how that’s funny right now. Mocking myself out of depression is funny. To me, anyway.
I’m already starting to feel better, so I know this is a good idea (and also a funny one). Slightly devastating to think that self-deprecation might be the only thing I’m good at, but on the bright side my wonky head (and wonky life) has given me so much to cope with that surely I must have put in my 10,000 hours of practice several times over now.
Yep, it’s working.
Oh man, I might’ve just figured out life.