As mentioned in ‘Distraction’ I attended my volunteering in the community interview last night. I must admit I was quite nervous about it, not necessarily the speaking to people part – I’m good at meeting new people and reading a situation, but it was the first time I’d actually been in a situation where I freely admitted my Depression as a ‘benefit’ for what I wanted to do. It was almost like a test to see what reactions would be. A safe test though, as it was heavily marketed as an equal opportunities thing, so last thing you’d expect is discrimination on the grounds of mental illness. But, it was to see how they would react when I said it was a good thing, and the reasons why.

Thankfully, it was accepted well and the interview went very well, suffice to say the induction is 2nd November! This in itself will be another interesting scenario to look forward to, meeting all the other volunteers recruited in this round of interviews. Again, it’ll be quite a nerve inducing situation, as although i’m aware of what is expected and what is likely to happen, it’s still an unknown, and the old anxieties of ‘will people like me?’, ‘will whomever I am paired with like me?’ and various other self doubts are demanding attention in my head. I’m dismissing them though, using my stubborness to stop the thoughts from cycling round and getting any bigger.

Am I pleased that I went ahead and did this? I definitely feel that I am. Yes, it’s another thing to add to my to-do list of my busy life, but then, I would hate to think ‘what if?’ There’s nothing worse than ‘what if?’. What if’s are the worst thoughts that can preoccupy your mind. They’re often the most difficult to dispell, especially if they’re not good what if’s… Life is one big challenge, as we all know it’s not easy, but then, if it was easy would it be as enjoyable? Highs and lows in equal measure – but more highs can be achieved simply by recognising those low thoughts before they take hold. And with that comes a sense of achievement, accomplishment, attaining something. If you don’t have to work for something, is the taste of success as sweet?

So I challenge myself. I push myself. Part of my recovery is recognising when i’ve pushed myself that step too far – hence why I decided to cancel my rehearsal last night. Previously I would have gone regardless and probably done more damage to myself because of the compulsion to ‘please’ people, and the feeling of letting someone down would have been overwhelming. But I fought it. Yes, I still have that guilt nibbling away at the edges of my consciousness this morning, but it’s a much quieter munching sound than usual. AND I did it for the right reasons.

Does this need to challenge myself make me flighty? Perhaps it does in some ways, but then, I’ve never been known as unreliable. I just like to try new things, experience new ideas, learn as much as I can, keep my mind alert and open to new possibilities. Lethargy and inertia are the worst foes I can think of – the moment you stop learning is the moment you stop living.