I mentioned earlier in the week about feeling like I had come through the other side of a small battle with the back dog of depression and some health wobbles. As part of that I've been thinking about how different I feel now, how much better, and thinking about changes in my life that I can make to keep things on track. Trimming unneccessary stress was one of the things I've been thinking about.
I just bit the bullett and handed in my resignation from my volunteer job. As much as I have loved running the bookshop at the Buddhist centre, it's become something that takes up progressively more and more of my time, and with the big conference we will be running in mid June (where His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be a speaker) I was staring down the barrel of a period of enormous physical and psychological stress. It was a hard decision to make, because it has been something I enjoyed doing and especially because it's not nice to feel like you might be letting people down.
That one especially. I really don't like to disappoint people.
When my depression was at its worst (and to be fair, it was still quite mild) I felt like the responsibility was a massive weight. I had deadlines to meet and things to organise, and I just couldn't seem to get motivated or organised enough. I started avoiding. It's true that one of the big symptoms of depression is that you find it hard to get pleasure from things you normally enjoy. I knew that intellectually, so even while I was feeling depressed I didn't resign from the job. Waiting for the feeling to pass.
Now though I feel like I owe it to myself to protect myself from back sliding. It's the same result but a different motivation. I would have quit before, thrown in the towel, but now I feel like I'm taking a positive step. Simplifying. Giving myself time and space, and focussing my attention in the right direction. It might sound like being selfish, but I feel more like it's being sensible, acknowledging my limitations and making sure that this positive momentum is kept up.