I’m not sure what to do with myself when I’m sad, discouraged, and unhappy. Here I am, writing on a blog that is supposed to be helpful to those who read it, but I’ve somehow turned to my blog for some quasi venting and moping. I’m starting to notice that my blog does talk considerably about depression, even though I intended it to just be about general life topics. But I guess you write what you are – “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Can’t remember the Bible reference for that quote.
I think the fact that I can complete a single blog post, regardless of content and length, is to me a little victory. Being the perfectionist that I am, I do get sad and discouraged quite easily by anything in my life that’s less than perfect, and that makes me want to give up since I already “failed” anyway. I’ve been learning and trying to put into practice changing my mindset, and recognizing the many cognitive distortions that my little mind produces and allows my heart to believe. Easier said than done though, especially if you’ve become accustomed to a certain way of living. To suddenly and radically change how you live, and therefore how you think, basically changing who you are – that’s pretty radical.
It does help me to recognize when it’s really my depression, my disease, that’s acting up, and that perhaps, most likely, this will be something that I’ll have to live with and manage for the rest of my life. It’s not life threatening – I don’t have cancerous cells or anything that is eating me up alive. But it’s still there, and neither I nor any doctor can see it. No blood test will tell me that I have depression, and that’s okay, because over time I have learned to recognize the symptoms, however small and subtle. And those symptoms are not me. But they like to live together with me, so my job has been to simply learn how to manage, by recognizing the uncomfortable feelings, acknowledging its existence, and knowing from frequent past experience that it’s not the end of the world and I WILL feel better sooner or later, usually sooner. Thankfully the negative feelings don’t last forever.
It’s also good to work, or have something to occupy myself with, in this case, a full-time job. One thing about people with depression is they need to feel valued, or needed by others. So though it may seem counter intuitive, it’s good to dump responsibilities on people who have clinical depression. Well, maybe not “dump,” but at least they need to have something they’re responsible for, a job that absolutely no one else can do for them. Otherwise, if someone else can do the job, then the person with depression will feel like, what’s the point in doing anything anyway, because no one cares and no one needs me, and I’m just a worthless and useless person in society, nothing I do counts for anything, so I’m just going to be depressed and sad and lonely and lie here in bed and do nothing all day.
Okay, you get the point. But I’m actually serious though. This is real stuff. Personally I look forward to the day that I become a mom because then I won’t have time to worry about myself or even pay attention to my own feelings, because there will be little ones who NEED me, and they need me oh so much – they just can’t live without me! And that’s AWESOME! I hope my point is clear. We need to be needed. It’s an honor to be given important responsibility. It’s a real boost to our self-esteem, which is very low to begin with and is one of the main reasons why our lives are so difficult sometimes.
Whew. I think this post helped relieve some of the junk in me. Thanks for reading.