Last week I had a cold.
The sniffle, the sore throat, the stuffy nose: we’re all used to colds. We don’t think much of them; we just get on and cope with it, while stocking up with paracetomol, decongestants and balsam tissues.
So I had a couple of early nights, made sure I didn’t visit my very poorly uncle who absolutely mustn’t catch a cold, and ignored it as much as possible.
But then, just when I thought the worst was over, it whipped round and caught me off guard with a slam dunk of utter exhaustion. Thank Goodness I was with a fellow Moodscoper when I nearly fell over in the middle of Cambridge!
Not since the last but one depression bit of my bi-polar cycle have I felt anything quite so debilitating, and it was a saluatory reminder. For only the second time in twelve years of running my business, I had to cancel a teaching session.
So, while the other Moodscope bloggers and I are coming up with words of wisdom about managing your mood and spirits, it’s worth us all remembering that exhaustion is a very common symptom of depression and that, if that’s you, then actually, you probably just can’t do anything!
It was not going to get anyone anywhere if I started beating myself up for not being able to honour my commitments; I just had to get out of them as gracefully as possible and just hope people understood. I like to think they did. Perhaps that’s what more of us need to do more of the time. Perhaps we need to rest.
Difficult, I know. Often it’s far more challenging to cope with the guilt of not being active and involved, the fear that life will go on without us and we’ll be left behind, the horrible feelings that we’re letting others (and ourselves) down.
But exhaustion is just that. It won’t let us do anything other than rest. We have to have wisdom and the long term view. We also have to have faith and hope that “this too, will pass”.