To get out, I have to start with the basics:
- Seal up the Vortex: the current Vortex is two couches pushed together to form a four walled couch/bed (a.k.a., the Boat) from which my daughter and I watched a movie. (We first did this when she was little.) But then, yesterday the Boat became the Vortex; and it needs to be sealed up - pushing the couches back into place and putting the blankets and pillows away.
- Take a shower: yes, dear friends, I haven't showered since Saturday - granted, I haven't been outside the house since Saturday, but still. This is one of the biggest symptoms of oncoming depression - lack of self-care.
- Get dressed in street clothes: no t-shirts with pajama pants.
- Fix hair and put on make-up: this is not to impress anyone, just to help seal the Vortex further.
- Get out of the house: I will go to the grocery store; walk the dog; and go to class this evening.
- Reach out to another person: thus, this blog. I am reaching out to you.
On another note, I may be onto something about the Vortex. At the suggestion of my psychiatrist, I began keeping a mood log, and have already noticed a pattern. A period of good times and excitement (e.g., family visiting for the 4th of July, attending a great conference in Williamsburg) is followed shortly after by a dip into the Vortex. I know it is scientifically too soon to tell if there is a true correlation, but just something to note.