Ok. We need to talk. I know I’m strong and resilient. I also know that I am severely impacted by the events of 2020 and now.
I know that most people are also impacted, and many people are simply unaware that they are impacted.
I work in a business that provides mental health support. I talk to people everyday about how to support their people, so I’m acutely aware of the world and also acutely aware of self.
I am not quite right. And this is Ok. It’s important to acknowledge. It’s important to be able to talk about it.
I’ve noticed a few things that are subtly dictating my behavior and how I interact.
I am struggling with going ‘out’. I can’t do crowds at the moment. For example, I lasted an hour at the Sky City 90’s party last week. The crowds sucked, Annie Crummer was cool. She’s still got it. Go Annie!
I have increased frustration with my friends. Plans made get cancelled or rainchecked at the last minute so there’s no time to make new plans. Therefore I end up staying home. I can’t take myself out solo to see the Viaduct. Side note: What the hell does one do solo in the Viaduct anyway? Especially when one struggles to interact. (NZ culture looks at single, middle-aged white men out and about with a certain unhelpful filter).
My self-diagnosis (note: I’m NOT a clinically trained professional) would suggest I’m not depressed. My day-to-day is fine. I’m not anxious. I’m just not that interested in being in the world.
I do have friends that care. I could have seen Russell Howard tonight (for example) but the idea of being in a closed room full of strangers? Nope. Couldn’t do it.
I’ve been invited to watch the SuperBowl on Monday with an American colleague. Would love to. But there are strangers there. I don’t have the energy. So I’ll stay home, make chilli and drink Budweiser, and watch it alone.
My tolerance levels have reduced. I get grumpy with friends who tell me about their fun evenings out (having not invited me) with people they’ve told me about, introduced me to, and then actively prevented me from getting to know. And then when I point this out I get ghosted for a week. So that’s cool.
It’s not all a self-involved whine though. Tomorrow will be a good day. I’m going to have fun with a new group of friends. And I’m actively forcing myself to lower my guards. Be open to new connections.
Mental health is a weird beast to manage. As we all have varying levels of physical fitness, we have varying levels of mental fitness.
The key for me is to recognise that I’m not 100%, to focus on what I can manage and improve, and to be kind to myself about the rest.
Oh… and happy Waitangi Day fellow Kiwis!