I’m glad it’s Friday.
After a couple of busy weekends, with Unravel and the video workshop, it’s nice to have a completely free couple of days ahead. I am looking forward to being able to sleep as late as I like both days, spend time knitting and spinning, and pay a visit to Purlescence‘s open day tomorrow and squish some nice yarn (I am very tempted to splurge on Sweet Georgia yarn for their Lush cardigan knitalong, even though I really don’t need another cardigan’s worth of yarn – I’m wondering about Oxblood, or maybe Raspberry). And hopefully I’ll feel much better for a proper rest.
I’m getting bored of boots (though strangely, much more bored of my chunky casual boots than I am of my smart work boots) so I thought I’d wear shoes today for a change.
In today’s mental health update, I have now come out to the other members of the project team I’m working in as having depression (as opposed to coming out about being bisexual, or a recovering alcoholic. How did I end up in so many closets? Is it life having the last laugh in return for my childhood tendency to wander into wardrobes in search of Narnia?), which seemed to go OK. And I have now managed two work days in a row without bursting into tears, which is twice as many days as I managed at all last week, consecutive or not. I’m still depressed, obviously, but maybe the worst of the current crisis is behind me now.
Yesterday’s post was pretty gloomy, so I wanted to reassure you all that while I am very tired of living with depression this acute, and I really do feel as though my brain is trying to talk me into killing myself, I’m not actively suicidal and I’m sure I’ll weather this episode just as I have in the past. It’s just a really hard slog this time.
But look! It was this light at twenty to seven this morning! And the sky was fabulous.
Today hasn’t been an easy day, but I had a good meeting with my boss and talked about how I was feeling and what we might be able to do to help me at work (the result of which is that I’ve agreed that I’ll tell the rest of the project team about my depression and that I might be a bit oversensitive to things, and that that’s OK and if I get upset about things they should just give me a few minutes to pull myself together and not treat me with kid gloves. Which means tomorrow will be a little difficult too, but hopefully it will help in the long run), and I managed not to burst into tears at all (well, I was a bit teary in the meeting with my boss but not full-on tears), and then I went to knit night and had a really nice time, and it wasn’t too bad at all. I think I’ve still got a way to go before the effect of spring really kicks in (though I have bought some high-strength Vitamin D to see if that helps) and my mood is still very low, but I’ve made it through before and I’m sure I can do it again. In the words of Winston Churchill (who managed to win a war despite suffering from depression himself) I just need to keep buggering on.
I have been taking outfit photos several days a week, but somehow due to a combination of tiredness and still not really being able to work my new camera (why oh why do three out of four of my self-timer pics come out blurred?) I don’t actually seem to have blogged them. Yesterday I had a good photo, but no words to go with it; some words seem to have turned up this morning so I’m writing this post on my phone on the bus to work (excuse any autocorrect weirdnesses!).
So anyway, it’s February, so I shouldn’t be surprised that energy and inspiration are in short supply. It probably is better than it would have been if I’d stayed in my old job, which was insanely stressful, but starting a new job is hardly a stress-free activity and working as part of a very small team, with almost no contact with people outside the team, is hard work for me, especially as the others are all about the same age, about eight years younger than me, and were working in the same team for a couple of years prior to joining this project. I have got much better at dealing with people over the years but this is a huge challenge and constantly leaves me feeling awkward and inadequate and like the outsider in the team, and that only exacerbates my depression. A friend on Twitter yesterday mentioned that she was thinking of seeking a diagnosis of Asperger’s, and I do sometimes wonder about this myself. It might explain a lot, although then again I don’t know whether an explanation would actually make it any easier to deal with and these days my main focus is just trying to deal with day-to-day existence.
It may not have been sunny today, but the days are getting noticeably longer, and there are lots of snowdrops and a few crocuses along the canal bank and leaf-buds on some of the trees and bushes. We’ve had such a mild winter this year (albeit a ridiculously wet one) that maybe spring isn’t far away (unlike last year when winter seemed to go on for ever).
After a bad night’s sleep and waking up full of gloom, the last thing I wanted to do was go to my mindfulness course this morning, especially as I had completely failed to do any of the practice over the last week, but I’m glad I did as we moved on to talking about how mindfulness can help to recognise that negative thoughts are just thoughts, not facts, and to let them go rather than believing them and dwelling on them (or trying to use logic to argue with them, which is what the CBT I did tried to teach me to do – I didn’t find that very successful as the depression always seems to be able to out-argue my rational mind). That’s what I signed up for the course for, and although we haven’t got very far with it yet today’s session did leave me feeling that maybe there was some way out of the darkness. And that little bit of hope just made everything else seem much easier, until I was sitting on the bus home and realised that even though it’s a Monday in February, I might actually be feeling almost happy. So, for now at least, the black dog seems to have retreated, though I’m sure he’ll be back soon enough.
Apparently it rained every day but one in January here in Oxford, and I’m pretty sure it’s rained every day in February too. That’s a lot of rain.
My Gore-Tex lined Clarks boots are still not entirely comfortable, but as the problem seems to be that there’s just too much space in the ankle wearing them with handknitted socks over my tights seems to help, although that does make them a bit too tight in the feet. However, I think it’s worth a little discomfort not to have wet feet.
The weather is doing absolutely nothing to help my mental health, which is always at its lowest ebb in February; my mood plummets at the end of January as the reviving effect of the Christmas break wears off, and by mid-February I’m really struggling to make it through each day or see any point in being alive. Basically, I think that my brain is trying to kill me by convincing me that I’m a worthless waste of space and the world would be a better place without me in it and every day is a struggle not to give in to it. I do wonder whether living somewhere which actually had sunshine in the winter would make a difference…
Today’s outfit combined an actual vintage skirt with a jumper from a vintage pattern, although I suspect that wearing the jumper over a long-sleeved t-shirt lost any actual vintage credibility I might have aspired to. (Though really, whoever thought short-sleeved jumpers were a sensible idea?)
I left work just after five, because I had been wrestling with the black dog all day and mostly losing and I couldn’t take any more, and it was actually still properly daylight so I managed to retrace my morning walk along the canal (it was pretty dark by the end, but I could see well enough to avoid falling in, even if I couldn’t spot the muddy bits). After a difficult day the quiet and the birdsong and even the gathering darkness felt like a much-needed balm for my soul, but oh, how tedious being depressed is. I’m still persevering with the mindfulness, but at the moment it’s hard going because I’m in the kind of mood where I really resent doing things to manage my depression and make it easier to live with. I don’t want to live with it, I want it to be cured and never come back. Which isn’t going to happen, but particularly when things are bad it’s very hard to accept that.
This is probably my least favourite of the outfits I’ve worn this week, but because today was the one day when I wasn’t out at the cinema (Tuesday) or knitting (yesterday) or wrestling with iTunes for an hour and a half until it was time to go and watch University Challenge (Monday), this is the one that gets a blog post.
At least the hummingbirds were cheerful on another miserable wet day.
I wore this exact outfit a few weeks ago. Same jumper, same skirt, same tights and boots, same scarf.
One of the things that makes me uneasy about outfit blogs is the idea that it’s desirable (or even possible) to wear a different outfit every single day. After all, I possess a ridiculous amount of clothing and quite enjoy playing with combinations, and sometimes even I can only find one top that goes with a particular skirt or just want to throw on something I know will work and not have to think too much about it at 6:30am; and if someone isn’t interested in clothes, why should she have to spend time thinking about what to wear and what goes with what? (I also note that I have never seen anything suggesting that men shouldn’t repeat outfits, and that most of the men at work seem to wear the same suit every day for several days, which makes me suspicious that this links in to the general cultural pressure on women to look decorative…)
But anyway, just like everyone else, I repeat outfits, and I’m not going to try to pretend I don’t. Insofar as this is an outfit blog, it’s a warts-and-all, this-is-what-I-actually-wore-today outfit blog, and although I don’t post outfit pictures every day (I don’t do weekends and I have decided that if I’m going to be late home after knitting group or the cinema or something I don’t have time to write a blog post as well) I don’t plan on getting into the habit of blogging about earlier days’ outfits just because they seem more worthy of attention. After all, I’m sure they’ll come around again too!
I love this cardigan, really I do. It came out beautifully. I just wish the colour and the shape didn’t make me feel quite so much like I’m dressing as Obi-Wan Kenobi every time I wear it.
(Apart from that I have very little to say. My brain feels as though it’s about to shut down from lack of daylight; even though the days are getting longer, it’s still only just properly light when I get to work at about 8:15 every morning, and the sunset isn’t yet late enough to make any difference when I’m in an office all day. And even when it is light it seems to be grey and raining most of the time. This is why I don’t like winter.)
Posted in Outfits