7 THINGS I TRY TO AVOID WHEN DEPRESSED

a4711560c80e11e28df922000a9f1991_7

“I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.”  ~Sylvia Plath

For years depression was something I just lived with.  Eventually, depression was dealing with me.  Like any other disease that goes untreated, it nearly killed me.  I have learned a lot about myself since first getting professional help.  I have discovered how to listen to my mind and what it is saying instead of always trying to turn it off. 

I am not a fan of lists.  They seem restrictive and sometimes oversimplify the most complex situations.  But I made one for myself and thought I would share it with my blogging family.  I hope it helps someone else avoid getting lost inside depression.

 

1)      CERTAIN MUSIC – The one thing I do when I get depressed is gravitate towards music about sadness, loneliness, heartbreak, betrayal, and brokenness.  I would relate to the words and feel less alone.  Music was my escape.  I would put on my headphones and lie in my closet floor and try to forget the world.  My mind would be momentarily silent and I would live inside someone else’s depression.

I have learned there is a difference between listening to a few sad songs and living on them.  For instance, at one point, I had my headphones stuck in my ears nearly every waking moment simply to drain out my own thoughts.  Not only was I avoiding my problems, I was missing out on important dialog with family and friends.  Listening to sad music non-stop kept me stuck in my cycle of depression; feeding it.

Now I am careful what kind of music I listen to and for how long.  Music is a great mood lifter, adjuster, enhancer, and suppressant but like medicine you need the right dose to have the desired effect.

A happy song 🙂

2)      WITHDRAWING – I want to shut everyone out.  I mentally straight jacket my mind from communicating with friends when depressed.   Blogging has been a perfect place to just be me (good, bad, and ugly).  People who want to read can and those who don’t want to can move along. I don’t feel like I am laying the responsibility of my depression on someone else and burdening them.  Blogging gives me that sense of community I need when all I want to do is disconnect and hide.

 3)      BEING LAZY – I try to continue with my normal routine.  So much to do; so little time.  When depressed I want to sleep but I often feel worse because I wasn’t productive.  I feel more behind and more worthless.  I know from experience I will just feel worse if I let depression convince me I just need to sleep. 

However, sleep is important.  When I was at my most depressed I would sleep at odd times and often times had trouble sleeping because my mind was too active.  I would lie in bed trying to sleep, convinced I was too tired to live, and I would think about all the things I needed to do.  Once I started getting back to a normal sleeping schedule things got better.

4)      POOR EATING – Three things can happen when I am depressed.  If I am very depressed I won’t eat.  I will fix dinner for my family and convince myself I am too tired, too fat, or too sad to eat.  I can go a few days like this.  Usually, the next phase is worse.  I will convince myself I don’t matter, who cares what I look like, and screw the world I will eat what I want to (normally anything in my path).  Overeating always leads to being more depressed and I will then slip into the third phase and usually starve a short time then cave and eat something easily accessible.  Fast food trips increase in the last two phases.    

5)      SOCIAL MEDIA – I am OCD besides being susceptible to depression, so social media is a double edged sword for me.  Sometimes social media is what causes my depression.  There are so many amazing and talented people I am honored to know, and yet at times I find I am comparing myself to them.  I convince myself I am just plain.  Nothing special.  Knowing when to take a break from social media is the key.  I am not including blogging as social media though, some things I am just too addicted to.

 6)      DRINKING– For about a year I drank socially.  Sometimes I would drink too much.  Ha, I was only kidding myself.  I drank to feel better.  I drank to avoid emotions.  I drank for the “I don’t give a poop” perspective. I drank for the courage.  I would drink and then I would feel bad.  Alcohol is a depressant; it uses up serotonin and dopamine our brains use to regulate our mood.  So yep, it is a no brainer to stay away from alcohol.

 7)      CERTAIN PEOPLE – People who have hurt me in the past seem to pop into my mind and take over.  I don’t know why.  Recently, I find I avoid emotional connections because my mind uses these heartaches against me when I am depressed.  What did I do wrong?  Why can’t they love me for me? Am I so bad they are better off avoiding me?  I could feel pages with my inner dialog and in many ways I have.  I have over 1,000 posts on my blog to prove it.  At least, while depressed it does me good to avoid certain people and even places for that matter.

 The list above is only my opinion, my insight.  Sometimes, it just helps us to write and blogging gives our writing a second purpose. 

May all our tears be from laughter.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” ~ David Foster Wallace

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “7 THINGS I TRY TO AVOID WHEN DEPRESSED

  1. all good advice….especially the part about keeping on doing things. The other thing I would say, is go to bed on time (I find feeling low at night is an isssue and really it is linked to tiredness)- and get up in the morning….

    Like

  2. Come here to WP to let your hurt out. They say depression is anger turned inwards. I too suffer from bouts of depression. You are truly a writer. I follow your words!

    Like

  3. I agree with you on the list and may I add doing any sort of physical activity. Sport releases endorphins and you will feel better. I cycle when I can and with other people. The wind, the sun, the smells, the talks, the laughs, are so refreshing. You can’t go wrong with nature. ^-^

    On theed other hand, this pretty sums it all up: “You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”…some people who suffer can’t understand that this might be the best thing that happened to them, you go down down below, you empty your mind and things start to get clearer, like magic, you see things differently, better. I think the trick is to stay connected with you, your happiness, nature, positive people. We are happy by default, we have to always work on that.

    Have fun! ^-^

    Like

  4. I went through a very dark period and can definitely relate. You are a bright light, don’t let that be snuffed out. If you need another person to vent to, please contact me. This too shall pass, xoxoxo

    Like

  5. I LOVE your blog on depression. I see myself in #1-4′ although for me there was absolutely NO appetite, so I could lose 30 pounds at a time. I always said if you saw me eating you would know I was happy. I slept at odd times, and would go the entire dark night in dark thoughts about myself. Felt like I was always living in the dark. Music was my escape, also. But for me I would get lost in the music and it would sometimes lift my spirits. I never wanted to see anyone and would shut myself away from people, although I always wished for someone to call me. This would give me a ray of hope that someone was thinking about me and really cared about me. After all, for me it was always about not feeling loved by anyone. I am so glad we both have survived depression and are better people now! You are such a neat, creative person.

    Like

  6. i love David Foster Wallace. I have one of his quotes as a signature on my email. I have always felt some sort of kinship to him and the way his mind works – which is kinda scary especially since i know how he ended his life. your list is good – and it is interesting because i can relate to each item. i love music but so much of the music I love I cannot listen to anymore – without breaking into tears. the item i struggle the most with is withdrawing – i do it all the time. it doesn’t help that i live alone most of the time, work alone almost all the time and have no friends around me.

    i do not know – i just do what i can and hope that the next day will be better than the last.

    Like

  7. I have clinical depression as well-7 years now-and amytriptaline (I hope I spelled that right) has done wonders for me. It takes a few weeks before it’s effective though, but worth the wait. I hope you feel better.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s