The Recovering Farmer

Monday, October 26, 2020

Another New Chapter

We do live in interesting times and, I suspect, most of us would have various adjectives we could add to that. What started out as something novel, pardon the pun, has become a tedious and, at times, frightening new reality. As winter sets in and a second wave of the pandemic appears to have arrived, certain anxieties set in.

Many felt, and I wrote about it back in May, that they were hitting the wall. Sure, there was some excitement to being at home. Because of my wife working in a high-risk environment and myself being vulnerable to the virus due to certain health issues, we prepared our house so we could live together, separately. It provided for some interesting conversations. That novelty wore off real quick. Particularly when in the last week my office also became my bedroom.

I thought I was doing okay. I had the opportunity to golf which provided for some exercise but also human connection. I kept at my work although it was all done virtually. Because it was summer the deck provided for occasional “socially distanced” get togethers with friends and family. 

Through time I noticed that my mood seemed to go downhill. There was an increase of anxiety. My writing had stopped. It seemed that any task, large or small, gave me anxiety. 

But I was okay, at least so I thought. Then when the weather turned cold and the closing of the golf course was inevitable, I came face to face with the reality that I would need to reset, begin to take back control of my mental health. In essence, start a new chapter. 

In spite of being fully aware of my downward slide, I was resistant to being proactive. I allowed myself to fall into a state of mind that had the potential to not end well. I made a few attempts to determine what was going on but could not really identify the issues, so I let it be. Things that had often dragged me down in the past were of no concern. 

A few weeks ago, I came face to face with an increasing anxiety and felt myself slipping into depression. I hated it. I knew something had to be done. So, with the encouragement of my wife I made an appointment with my naturopath, who I now refer to as my therapist. 

I felt somewhat silly going to see her. I knew all too well the tools I needed to recover from what was ailing me. I also knew all too well that I had those tools. But off I went. 

We chatted about the new reality of meeting with clients virtually, avoiding shopping, not going out to eat, and seldom, if ever getting together with friends. We talked about the unknowns, what this winter might look like. 

And then she connected some more dots for me, she really is good at that. She provided insight as to why this downward spiral might be somewhat different than others. She reminded me of “tools” that had worked in the past, ones I had been neglecting. She mentioned use of my SAD lamp. She talked about exercise. She asked about my protein intake. She reminded me of how writing is helpful. 

I left that appointment with a certain relief, having identified some new issues that were draining my emotional gas tank but also reminding me of my power within to recover. As much as I had felt my mental health deteriorating, I did nothing about it. Hoped I would wake up the next day and all would be well. Unfortunately, that does not work for me. I need to be proactive in taking care of myself. So here goes. A new chapter, again. In the coming weeks I will share more about what I have learned. Till then, make it a good one.

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