Learning to Chill All Over Again

I used to be a positive person. I used to love video games and comic books and writing about them and making YouTube videos. Then I got pregnant, had emergency surgery for internal bleeding, and changed jobs to something that was way more stressful than what I thought. Now, I’m 31 weeks pregnant, have next to nothing ready for the baby, and low on money because I had to drop down to one shift a week at work because I can’t handle my job. I guess you could say I have perinatal depression.

I’m no stranger to depression, but not quite a champ at it either. I stayed depressed throughout high school and I suffered through 2007 along with Britney, but other than that, my adult life has been pretty chill. For the past 2 and a half years before I got pregnant, I was living the good life as a bachelorette psych nurse – doing what I want, when I want and spending money on whatever I wanted.

I had coping skills galore and always kept my shit together. All my coworkers would come to me to calm them down or help them through a stressful situation. That’s all shot to hell. I’m just like everyone else now.

I used to write. Not about anything really personal, but one summer I got into my head that I really wanted to go to E3. However, E3 is invitation only for video game journalists. I started a blog and got a pretty good following on social media. I was writing news articles and game reviews and also wrote about any geek culture topic. I even started writing for another website, which helped me become a more legit journalist. I never got accepted to E3, but my crowning achievement was getting a press pass to the first installment of PAX South this past January. I still have my pass sitting on my computer.

I could really go on and on about all the things I used to like but can no longer bring myself to do. However, I really can’t live with dwelling on the past. I know I’m really stressed out over the baby and I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do when the baby comes. I don’t really even know what kind of support I’m going to have. This is enough stress and doubt to make me lie in bed all day and stare at the ceiling.

But deep down, I am a psych nurse and I must psych nurse myself back to equilibrium (I really love that word). So, what would I tell a patient to do?

1. Look at the positives

Consider what you’ve accomplished in life – anything counts. Although I don’t have any interest in doing it anymore, I did go from a blogger with no skills to a legit member of the media for a video game convention that was almost as big as E3.

2. Relax

Don’t run around like a crackhead. I’ve been restless for months, cleaning things in my house over and over. One day I vacuumed my house twice! The best thing to do is make a cozy area of your house (I chose my bed) and make it a place to relax. I recently got back into reading regular books (not comics), so I read in bed or watch movies on my laptop in order to relax. I also take plenty of hot baths which do wonders for all the pregnancy aches and pains.

3. Find a new hobby

Depression can make you hate the stuff you like. So find something else to like. I previously mentioned that I recently (as of October 1st) started reading books. I’ve been a lifelong reader, but when you play a lot of video games and read a lot of comics, reading books without pictures becomes an afterthought. I read in bed and have my bookshelf (which I’m working on making pretty) in my bedroom. So far I’ve finished two books this month.

Writing used to always help me let off steam, but as I’ve changed interests, I have to change what I write about. In comes this blog. I named it The Literate Nerd, because I’m still nerdy as hell, but I’ve changed my focus to the written word. So stick around, or not. I’m sure my posts will eventually evolve from sad bastard whining to an actual blog about reading books!

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