Wednesday afternoons are a weird time for me.
For a start, they come toward the end of a fairly long and busy day. An average Wednesday involves getting up early to exercise, attending a three-hour-long writing workshop class, scurrying off afterward to buy lunch and wolf it down while doing homework, going to tutoring at the Writing Center on campus for an hour, and finally heading off to an hour-and-a-half-long session of group therapy at University Counseling Services. And that’s all before 3:30! After therapy I still have hours of homework to do, ugh.
Also, Wednesday afternoons fall in the middle of the week, so I’m usually worn out already what with both the school-y things I’ve done so far and the ones I still need to do. I feel like this post sounds so complaining already, but I genuinely don’t mean for it to. It’s just that by this point in the week, all I want to do is take a nap. But I can’t, because there’s so much still to be done.
All this means that, by the time I make it to group therapy, I usually feel pretty exhausted and befuddled. When I began group therapy last semester I thought it would function as a sort of time-out from the rest of my busy day/week, what with it being a time when nothing more is expected of me than to listen and occasionally pipe in with my own thoughts/worries/encouragement. A time to recharge, if you will, and hopefully feel stronger afterward so that I can tackle what’s left of the week and hold on until the next session of therapy.
Except, usually I just feel super out of it. Because, like I said, I’m pretty tired by the time I get there. My mind is chaotic every Wednesday afternoon during the session. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to be there and it definitely helps me, but because there’s already so much going on in my life by the time I get there, it doesn’t really have the calming effect that I thought it would. My mind constantly feels pulled in two directions while I’m there: Half of it is paying attention to everything that’s being said during group therapy, and half of it is running in circles hyperventilating about EVERYTHINGGG.
Except last Wednesday. For whatever reason, I walked out of there feeling great. Totally calm. My mind hadn’t been running in panicky circles the entire time. It was kind of amazing.
I’m still not sure why, although I have a few theories. At first I thought I was just plain sleepy – not tired, but sleepy, which is different – but then I realized that since I’d been unusually alert and focused during the session that explanation didn’t quite jibe with how I felt.
Next I thought it might be the fact that I’ve been meditating lately using an app called Headspace, which I really like so far. I appreciate that it forces me to stop what I’m doing and slow down, focusing on emptying my mind for ten minutes. It’s difficult at times because I don’t have much experience slowing down – I’m much more of a go go GO person – but I’m slowly getting better at it. I meditated on Wednesday – several times, actually – but since none of those times were immediately before therapy, I don’t know if it’s really fair to say that meditation was the reason I felt relatively calm and unstressed.
I next attributed it to the productive week I’d had so far. (Which fortunately continued until the end of that week and on into this one! Yay!) I’d made steady progress checking things off my to-do list, hadn’t narrowly missed any due dates, and had a clear idea of when and where I planned to study next. But, truth be told, I’ve had a number of fairly productive weeks lately, and my mind was cloudy all those other times. So although it’s possible that my recent productivity contributed to my feelings of steadiness and peacefulness, I don’t know for sure that it was the ONLY reason for feeling that way.
Is it possible, then, that my medication is finally working? I’m taking antidepressants right now, something I also discussed in my last post, and I’m beginning to think that maybe the third time’s the charm: I tried two other meds but they didn’t appear to work and caused me to experience horrible side effects to boot, so I stopped taking them. Maybe my mood is lifting. Maybe this is what neurotypical people feel like ALL THE TIME. (If so, I’m jealous TBH.)
Whatever the reason(s), I’m just happy that I felt so good last Wednesday afternoon and can only hope it lasts! I have group therapy again this afternoon and I hope that by the time I walk out of there at 5 PM I feel just as clear-headed as I did last week because that was WONDERFUL.