The in between sounds like a place magical creatures lurk, or maybe where spirits go right after they die but before judgment is passed on them. Either way, it has an ominous feel to it and yet this is how I describe my current life, as living in the in between.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I’ve lived in the in between. I think the most obvious time of the in between was the summer before my freshman year of college. Everything was about anticipation, anticipating to start in a new city, with new people, in an entirely foreign situation. Also the anticipation of the goodbyes, the last time to hang out with high school friends, to last time to see my family for an extended period of time, and so on. That entire summer felt like an absence of time, in rifling through my memories it seems like my most vivid ones are from graduation, and then move in day. That summer is just another void in my brain.
Which damn referring to life as a void sounds like I live a shitty life, which I don’t. I just feel like I’m stuck in the in between, anticipating for something to happen without really knowing what that thing is. It makes it harder I think, than the in between from that summer, at least then I knew what I was waiting for. This time though, I live day in and day out in a predictable routine, working at a job that doesn’t challenge me, and not making any steps towards changing.
Wow this post is depressing me.
I wish I could say I was an achiever and that the thought of being stuck in the in between was enough motivation for me to get out of it but…it’s really not. I think the in between is safe, its predictable and comfortable but it’s also boring. and grey and listless. It’s where I’ve been for the past year through no ones fault but my own and that’s kind of a heavy thing to accept.
But accept it I will because the first step to getting out of the in between is knowing it well enough to navigate it. And let me tell you, I could draw a perfect map of the place.
My form of depression manifests in an overwhelming feeling of nothingness. My body and mind become numb and all I can force my body to do is lay in bed, every other activity seems too daunting and exhausting.
Luckily, with antidepressants and talking through and understanding my depression, the times I feel like this are fewer and farer between. At this very moment I can feel the nothingness calling. It’s on a smaller scale, which is normal while I’m on medication, but I can recognize it and at this point have some ways that can help to fight it off.
So here’s a list of what I do to avoid the void, as dramatic and ridiculous as that sounds.
- Call my friends. Since my best friends live in different cities I don’t get the benefit of seeing them face to face but calling them and just talking about nothing and everything for ten minutes can really lift me up enough to get out of bed, when I’m feeling numb I focus a lot on what they’re saying, being an active listener distracts my mind enough to get me through.
- Read. There are certain books that I consider my go-to “I need to feel SOMETHING” books, I’ve read these books a ridiculous number of times and the ones that I have hard copies for are extremely torn and battered. I wouldn’t even say these are my favorite books, or the best stories I’ve ever read but they get the job done. For example, I have a book about four friends who have a wedding planning business who all find love, and that book never fails to inspire me to get my ass out of bed and get to work. (The Bridal Quartet by Nora Roberts) There’s a young adult series about a woman who’s broken but still has to survive, and reading her finding her fire again and choosing to live just hits all the right notes for me. (A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas) Sometimes a new book is enough to distract me, but if I read new words and they become a blur of ink and paper, then I know I have these to fall back on.
- YouTube. Like books, I can get lost in youtube videos. Whether it’s makeup gurus, kpop boy band interviews, vlogs, or book reviews, youtube can draw me in and lift me up better than a tv show or movie can. I think part of it is that I have to be active in choosing, an average length of a video is anywhere from 4 – 10 minutes and by the times the videos up I’m already scrolling through recommendations to find the next thing.
- Singing/Dancing. This takes a lot more action that any of the other ways I battle the emptiness but it works if I can get to the point of actually doing it. Since I live in a house with little privacy, going for a drive and singing my damn heart out can really lift my mood. (Shoutout to my musicals Spotify playlist) With dancing, at the moment, it is always Zumba which I’m actually going to in about thirty minutes. When I actually force myself to go to Zumba, I ALWAYS feel better afterwards, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part. (Driving in general, is not something I love doing, especially when feeling numb.)
So that’s my list. It’s pretty standard, simple, and doesn’t always work but I’m satisfied to be at the point of trying to get myself out of a dark hole instead of letting myself sink into darkness.
I might have to add blogging to my list, since I went into this feeling like shit and now coming to the end of this post, I feel a little less heavy.
Now off to Zumba to sweat it out with older ladies and that ONE Hispanic girl who dances so much better than me. (Not that I’m jealous or anything.)
(Okay maybe I’m a little jealous.)