If you look up how to get rid of depression you get all sorts of fun advice like, go outside, do exercise, spend time with fun friends, spend time with some animals (no joke), listen to upbeat music, and change your thinking. There’s nothing actually wrong with the advice, but seriously, when you’re depressed leaving the house is the most daunting thought ever, let alone doing any kind of exercise. People are too hard work and the idea that your thinking is controllable by you is unlikely to register as truth.
Basically, what you get is a list of things that counselors etc may advise, but it’s not information coming from people who are ill. It comes from people who are well and it seems like they’re saying: “of course I’m well, it’s so easy to be, all you have to do is get out and go for a walk…”
I did make some amount of a decision to start making an effort on Thursday, and in a way I did the things they suggest, though I didn’t even care about the suggestions at the time.
I changed my plans and met with a fun friend for lunch.
When I got home I sat and started a new project. I always feel really guilty when I start wanting to drop everything else and indulge in a new pattern, but I know crafting makes me feel good, finishing makes me feel better, and owning it (ie. making it unique to me) and having it work is the best. There’s a lot of ladies about to have babies around me at the moment, so I’d been wanting to learn how to crochet new born beanies (I can knit them, but I wanted crochet). I found a pattern using the power of Google, started it, didn’t like it, edited the pattern, started again, gave up and talked with B~ (another fun friend!) till after midnight about her book (this was a form of escapism. As long as we weren’t talking about me it was all good. Thanks B~!)
Yesterday, I emerged from bed before cartoons finished (ie. before 10! I think it was even before 9, but mornings are a bit blurry for me on the best days), and committed. After breakfast (which I eat out of habit now, even when I’m depressed, along with my first cup of tea of the day) I escaped to the shower. Being clean, including clean hair, is surprisingly reviving. I threw on the cleanest clothes I could find, put my hair up, and dared to suggest to Jake that we go for a walk.
We go for a walk most days. With no car, our modes of transport are busing and walking (well, in Jake’s case, running, as he doesn’t seem to comprehend the idea of walking). Getting into natural light is part of that. We walked a bit, bussed to Tower Junction (a shopping centre not far away), and I went shoe shopping. Now, I’d been looking for shoes for about two months. I have stupidly wide feet, and I have to be fussy (cos we walk!). This time, success! YUSS! Ankle boots that will be suitable for work and can be worn with a skirt or jeans.
Release the endorphins.
Then we did the obligatory trip to the pet store that occurs at Tower Junction (animal therapy!)
On the way home we visited another fun friend. By the time we were walking home it was dark, so I was starting to fail on the natural light suggestion.
Later I kept struggling with the baby beanie pattern, and finished it this morning. Now I’m almost finished a second beanie 🙂 more endorphins, and a tangible source of a sense of success (thus changing my thinking from ‘I’m a complete failure’)
I’m hoping that I’ve done enough exercise, seen enough day light and changed my thinking enough, etc. to satisfy the ‘getting rid of depression’ check list. I’ve also spent today listening to music (loving Mumford and Sons a lot at the moment), but I spend most days listening to music.
I think one thing I’d recommend to those struggling with depression would be get out and go visit someone. Even if you only talk about them and what they’re doing (I personally find that easier) at least you’re not lost in your own negative thoughts for a while. And if you can’t do that, put on some music. As loud as you need to to drown out the negative voices in your head 😉
Starting to smile a little now 🙂