It was a really rough week, thanks in large part to an off-and-on migraine that didn’t leave me until Saturday morning. It didn’t help matters that our thrift store has gotten incredibly busy, while we’ve dealt with 4 co-workers unexpectedly quitting the other week. Our whole team was exhausted when we went home Friday afternoon, and for good reason.

Something went wrong with my emotional wellbeing this past week, and I blame much of it on that annoyingly persistent migraine. While the physical pain wasn’t as bad as some of my past headaches, the emotional fallout was so bad, I ended up dealing with depression-like symptoms. I haven’t dealt with an emotionally damaging migraine like this since the Fall semester of my senior year at college, in 2016.

I still remember those nasty times. Right after the results of the 2016 presidential election came out, our whole entire campus was fraught with tension. There was a ton of nasty arguing on Facebook and other social media platforms between friends, as many people were then terrified of what the future would hold. Watching my friends rip into each other in horrendous Facebook fights took a toll on my wellbeing, and added to my preexistent stress.

Back then, I was terrified that I didn’t know what my own future would hold after I graduated. Not only was I worried for my future, I was absolutely overwhelmed with my coursework, my part-time dining hall job, and trying to balance everything else in-between.

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I developed symptoms of depression back then, which was an alarming indicator of how bad things were for me. I felt gloomy, nearly lost my motivation for several things, and wanted more than anything to give up. It felt like I was drowning in a way.

That’s exactly how I felt this past week, and I hate that. I don’t ever want to feel like I did back in college. It’s like trying desperately to claw your way out of a pit, but to no avail.

I’ve been frustrated, trying to look at what the next chapter of my life will hold, while being stuck dealing with everything here in the present. Add the pandemic on top of this mess, and you’ve got yourself an emotional/mental health disaster!

But like I wrote to remind myself at the beginning of this year, while time’s are definitely rough, I’m grateful to not at all be in a toxic environment. My managers have been awesome at giving us all honest words of encouragement, and doing everything they can to show appreciation for the hard work we do to keep our thrift store going. I’m thankful for them, and for the shining examples of healthy leadership that they are!

Looking forward, now that this migraine has subsided (for now), my goal is to continue practicing self-awareness techniques. Next up, I want to encourage myself to mentally take a step back when I’m overwhelmed and advise myself to simply breathe, before I let my stress define my next actions.

And to remember these Bible verses:

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

Luke 12:25

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 6:34

Grateful for this awesome song by Annie Lennox, “Little Bird”, the pumped-up motivational song I needed after feeling so low this week!

For I am just a troubled soul
Who's weighted
Weighted to the ground
(Weighted to the ground, yeah weighted to the ground)
Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay my burden down
(Lay the burden down, yeah lay the burden down)
Give me the strength to lay this burden down, down, down, yeah
Give me the strength to lay it down
(Lay down, lay it down)