Earlier today, there was a discussion on Twitter about shame, sadness, and biscuits.
The consensus was, it’s not always possible to overcome your sense of self-loathing and sadness, but in the meantime, you can at least have a biscuit. Creme filled ones seem favored. And chocolate. Always chocolate. Except for me… it triggers migraines with me, which is just not worth the fleeting sense of euphoria.
It might seem trivial, at first, as though having a biscuit is just postponing the horror (the horror…) of our earthly existence. But in fact, having a cookie can be just the thing to take me out of my funk and give me a different perspective.
If only because it gets my mind off my own suffering and – for however brief a moment – gets me to notice the taste and texture and actions involved in eating a cookie / biscuit.
And that’s not a bad thing. Because to tell you the truth, with my difficulty recognizing my emotions (let’s call it alexithymia), I can get incredibly down and depressed, all because I’m
A) hungry / angry / lonely / tired,
B) hypoglycemic — low blood sugar,
C) feeling sick to my stomach,
D) having a migraine,
E) recovering from a meltdown, or
F) any number of other things that deplete my mind and make my body feel bad.
All of it gets confused in my head, and I interpret some or all of the above as depression, despair, shame, despondency, hopelessness, etc., which isn’t accurate, at all.
Just the other night, I was in tears while talking to someone about what’s going on in my life, even though things were no worse than they usually are — they just felt that way, because I was so, so tired, my blood sugar was low, I was in a state of sensory overload, etc. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t despairing. My blood sugar was low, I was exhausted, and I had a few more hours of busy-ness ahead of me. Just overwhelmed, not depressed. And it passed. I’ve been on ups and downs all week,
It passes. Especially if I have a snack. Or read a magazine.
Let the record show, I am not saying others who experience depression and feelings of despair just need to have a snack, and it’ll all be okay. I don’t think that’s how things work. But for me, I know that when I’m struggling, just having a little something nice to pick me up, or getting my mind off my despair, really goes a long way in helping.
So, I need to remember that. Also, remember the alexithymia connection. And cut myself a break — know that I’ll feel down, now and then, and not let that derail me. My biochemistry (luckily) seems pretty good at rebounding, so long as I don’t convince myself that nothing will ever get better. With me, it usually does.
I just need to be properly equipped.
With snacks. And a magazine.