Lost Day

Today is Sunday, and it is the worst I have felt in quite a while. It has come from nowhere, which is probably one of the more frustrating parts. I don’t really know where this feeling came from, the feeling of hopelessness, but it showed it’s face today.

I have heard before, that keeping busy can keep the problems of mental health at bay. Now, that is something that seems over-simplified, but there is an idea of truth in it. When I am working away, I can get anxious, but can kind of work through it. However, when there is nothing getting done, the bad thoughts come into play. I woke up this morning, around 10.30, with plans to get up and be busy. Make the best of my day off. But I just couldn’t pull myself out of bed. I just lay there. I dozed a little, but I mostly just felt crap.

When I am feeling like this, I kind of clamp up. I get stuck between contacting someone to distract me, and not doing anything so I  don’t ‘burden’ anyone. This reaction, is not new, its something that has been born out of years trying to deal with my mental health on my own. Something that shuts people out, because it is embarrassing that I am struggling with a life that is not actually that difficult.

Depression is vicious. It takes time. It needs understanding. But it sometimes gets neither. So I have to do it for myself. I have been having problems with depression most of my life, I can say that now, first started when i was 15, am now 32. Never spoke to anyone till I was in my 20s, I just needed to ‘grow up’. But physical growth does not equal mental growth, so nothing changed. I had to make it change. Which I have fought hard to do. A fight that so many people I know don’t know of, let alone acknowledge. I guess that is what mental health does. Makes so many people battle themselves in private, and nobody else knows of their debilitating pain.

Luckily for me, whilst I can’t tell people that I am having a bad spell, I can write it. It might not be the most grammatically correct,  but it is a release. It is easier to sit in front of my computer for an hour, typing away, than it is to sit in front of another person and explain what is ‘going on’. I have tried to speak to people before, been called selfish, self-centered, stupid, childish… all whilst they stare me down. Sometimes, negative commentary from others, actually reinforces what is going round in my head.

It’s complicated. And I hate it.

But sometimes, it is easier to say I am sick. People will accept stomach bugs without question, when I want to lie in bed all day.

The Best Time

It’s been one of those weeks. A slow week, where time just seems to progress so slowly, that time seems to go backwards occasionally.

The only thing about getting through a slow week, is the relief when that working week is over. As soon as you walk out the doors of your work, it can be good knowing that moment is the longest possible time before you have to go back.

It’s not that I hate my work, I actually do enjoy it. Great people, the job can be varied and it is a way to pay the bills. However, having a period of free time ahead of you is better than working. Yes, everyone knows it. Unless you are one of the lucky few, who works their ‘dream job’. But i don’t. I work in a warehouse. It’s surprising that I find it good. No grumpy customers, no sales incentives, it is nice.

But the weekend is here. And that is time to visit friends. Go to the gym. Spend time with family. Just do the things that make me happy. And that is a requirement.

Working Weekend

Everything always I want to do always happens at the weekend. When I say weekend, I mean a Friday or Saturday night. The nights where people want to party, and I want to go to bed after working during the day. Sometimes I find myself wishing for a normal weekend, just for a little chance to go to the football and enjoy a normal weekend.

I have always worked weekends. Whether it be working in a shop, call center, or warehouse (all they job types I’ve really had), I always have had to work a Saturday. And I am not alone, a lot of the people I know are the same. The weekend has become part of the working week. Whilst it can be highly annoying, a lot of the time it’s okay. Because you work some or all of your weekend, usually that means that your days off will just fall on other days of the week. The job I am in just now, for example, I work long days Wednesday to Saturday. Whilst that means that yes, I do miss the football and sometimes I am too tired to go out on a Saturday night (getting old, btw), it also means I am off Sunday to Tuesday. A 3 day weekend. It is good, because I get all my contracted hours done in as few days as possible, and if I want to work extra, I still get 2 days off.

There are good things about having your ‘weekend’ during the week. It is so much quieter, especially when the schools are in. I can go to Starbucks, and relax with a book, without kids throwing their rubbish at one another. Seriously, that is a pet hate of mine, going somewhere to relax and finding it filled with noisy distractions. Makes me wish that McDonald’s was still open in the town, because that is where all the kids used to go. I mean, if I wanted my days off to be filled with screaming kids, I would have had one of my own.

Anyway, as I said the shops are quieter during a normal weekday, and the gym is quieter. Seeing as going to the gym regular, has been a major boost to my mental health, I really like going on my days off. It helps me sweat out any of those anxieties that have built up over the week. But, again, if it is too busy, and I cant do my normal rotation of exercises, I get unnecessarily peeved off. Especially when I want on a treadmill, and 4 girls are standing on the remaining ones talking crap about someone. And if high school kids are in the gym, they have have the worst habit of not washing down the equipment after use. I mean noone wants to touch someone else’s sweat. That is just gross.

I think, that for all the cons there are for working the weekend, there are a lot of positives. But in this current climate, I sometimes need to remind myself how lucky I am to have a full time job at all. A lot of people have to work 2 or 3 part-time jobs for the hours I get with one. So maybe the days that you have off, actually don’t matter, that you get days off at all. Nobody can work 24/7.

Happy Days

The best days are where you don’t have a forced plan. You can relax and make your own day.

When you are at school, you dream of adulthood, where you can do what you want. Like you would gain this sense of freedom. You grow up, and realise that not a lot changes. Of course, you don’t need to ask permission to do things, but you are still stuck to some routine.

Whilst I complain about having to go to work, it does make me appreciate the time off I have. Where rather than wake up early, I can sit and watch TV, or do something I want to do. I think having time off is important, and everyone has to have ‘down time’, so you can gather your thoughts and relax.

I am using the time to watch Weeds from the start on Netflix. When I watch TV shows, I usually only watch so many episodes, so it’s nice to be able to sit and watch a whole series. What do you do on your down time?

Weekend Worker.

For all of my working days, since starting at a bakery aged 16, I have had to accept working weekends. Because I have spent most of my days in some form of education, working weekends was the easiest way to get extra money. And even when I got away from working just weekends, I had moved on to working evenings with a Saturday once a month. Now, I am contracted to work Tuesday to Saturday. Which sounds painful, but it is not as bad as I ever thought it would be.

Working weekends is something that most workers have to accept as part of their job. And because of this, the sense of a standard ‘working week’ is becoming more unusual. The majority of people I know don’t work 9-5, and life works around that. With the change in the working week, people need to be more forgiving with friends and family when planning events. I have seen friendships end pointlessly because someone is stuck at work with no time off. It’s sad, because it isn’t exactly someone’s fault if they can’t get a holiday.

But with banks having 24 hour phone lines and supermarkets being open all day everyday, the world no longer stops at 5pm. It’s getting harder to switch off from everything seeing as it doesn’t stop. It’s hard remembering that every so often, it’s good to step back and enjoy what time off you do get.

That Saturday Feeling

It is the weekend, stereotypically the few days in the week, where a person can relax. Where you no longer have to associate with people that you are forced to spend time with during the week. Your time is your own. Or so we believe.

The idea of a weekend is getting more of an ideal, a concept, in that it isn’t as freeing as we are lead to believe. The majority of jobs in modern society do not stick to the traditional working week, so you no longer get the sense that the weekend is sacred. Which is not a good thing. What ever your job, people need time to log off and relax, something that in our busy lives it gets harder and harder to do.

I guess, that people have to make a bigger effort to make sure that they don’t waste their time off. So people play sports, go shopping or just spend time with loved ones. It helps if you do something that you enjoy, or with someone you like. I’ve found that If you have something to look forward to, on your time off, then it can make an unbearable working week seem a lot better.

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These last few blog posts may have come off as preachy, but I like to think of them as advice. I know that when I have had difficult times on the past, blogs giving advice has helped me. So in the hope that one person can make sense of my ramblings, I post these entries.