• James Hewlett

Striking A Balance

I think, for all my flaws, I’m pretty good at striking a balance in most aspects of my life. I have my ups and my downs, the positives and negatives, the super health and the enjoyably lazy.

The same applies for how I cope when I’m in a low period like I am at the moment.

I know me, I know that my habitual nature can work wonders when set on the right path but could just as easily be really bad if I let it. There’s an element of self destructive behaviour ingrained in, well all of us I think but I’ve witnessed it in my family in particular. I know that if I decided to use only unhealthy coping methods like just drinking away the crappy feelings or something then it could go very poorly.

That’s not to say I won’t do those things at all. I definitely have and likely will again, it’s just about moderating them and finding a balance that works.

There have been nights I’ve drank myself to sleep, woken up on the sofa and staggered up to bed. But I would never drunkenly drive somewhere or do something that would cause me or anyone else any more harm than a gnarly headache the next day.

I also have a lot of good and healthy coping methods. This blog and writing in general, that’s my go-to form of therapy. Listening to podcasts is a huge comfort for me and I’ll often do that even while playing a video game or cooking or having a bath at home.

Recording podcasts! That one is huge. It’s absolutely something that I love to do and will feel infinitely better for doing during and afterwards. It’s tough though because when you’re feeling so low it is hard to get motivated and enthused to record despite knowing that you’ll feel better after.

Working out and doing exercise is an obvious one that everyone suggests, for good reason too, the endorphins it releases are great but for me it is a good way of almost beating myself up and making myself ache but in a productive way. That sounds like it would be a negative but I think that’s just me not being able to properly articulate what I mean.

The other one along similar lines to that is getting tattooed. It’s hard to describe to anyone who doesn’t or hasn’t ever felt it but there’s an overwhelming feeling of numbness when you’re truly depressed, for me there is at least. It’s different from just being sad or happy, you can still experience those things while also being totally numb at the same time.

Getting tattooed helps that, the visceral feeling of being stabbed thousands of times over a few hours reaffirms your ability to feel something real.

I don’t find getting tattooed to be particularly painful, sure there are some spots that certainly are less comfortable than others but it’s never too excruciating (he says now being having some areas done that’ll probably suuuuck) and it’s not that I only get tattooed when I’m feeling crap either. I wouldn’t want anyone thing that, but I am really excited about being able to get back in the chair soon when things open back up.

I don’t really have a good way of wrapping this up. I could go the classic Stephen King route and say and then the aliens turned up, but that feels a bit too plausible in 2020. I think I’ll just say that it’s important to have a good mix of healthy and unhealthy ways of getting by. Don’t congratulate yourself too much, but don’t beat yourself up too much either. It’s okay to struggle, understanding how you’re feeling is as important as working on feeling better.

See ya tomorrow.


©2017 by James Hewlett.