Last week, I didn’t feel very well -- a little sick, pretty tired, and lethargic. This would be bad enough by itself, but on top of it, I also felt discouraged, because lately I’ve been feeling so much better than I have in a long time, energy-wise, emotionally, and mentally. Feeling so exhausted felt like a return to my worst depression days, and I was afraid that all of the changes I’ve been making to improve my mental health were in vain.
Luckily, I’m feeling much better this week, although I’m still not completely sure why. My theory is that my body was going through sugar withdrawal now that I’m eating more healthfully (and have curbed my significant gluten-free cookie intake!) and that I wasn’t eating enough good fats and possibly iron. I think I felt depressed because I was tired from that, and not tired because I was depressed, which is honestly progress! Even if that’s not it, I’m just grateful that it seems like I made it through. More than that, I’m grateful that I’ve been consistently better enough to actually notice when I’m not.
But this experience of not really knowing why I felt so low made me realize that I’m not entirely sure what’s actually helped me the most in making me feel better. Here are some of the reasons why I could be feeling better:
- I started a new antidepressant.
I went gluten-free (and, as a result, am eating fewer processed foods).
I’ve been trying to eat more veggies, proteins, and good fats, and less sugar.
I’ve reached the place where I feel pretty settled into our life in Minnesota, including our awesome church.
Because we’re in Minnesota now, I’ve been able to see my family much more frequently.
We’re post-Daylight Saving Time and getting a lot more light.
That’s a lot of different variables, and they all happened at basically the same time. Of course, the most accurate answer to why I’ve been feeling better is d) all of the above, but that doesn’t help much when, all of a sudden, you feel worse again.
In a good science experiment, you’re supposed to make everything else a constant except for the one variable you’re testing. I was never very good at labs in school (if I hadn’t been lab partners with a future physics major, I don’t know how I would have made it), and apparently that’s still the case. I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do, which is change everything at once.
And I just made it harder because I started drinking goat’s milk and even did yoga today! What was I thinking?
My hope is that now that I’ve made it impossible to tell why I relapse, doing so many healthy things will make it so that I never relapse again. Or, when I do, I’ll just have to add some new health thing each time, like eating chicken liver or something. Eventually I will end up like this person and have no friends. But hey, at least being lonely would give me a concrete reason for feeling down! Nailed it!