Beating the Illness

Today a friend texted me, and I listened while she reflected my own thoughts back at me. She’s going through a bout of depression just as a new one is settling its weight over top of me. It was rather uncanny, really. Here was another person telling me the things I’ve been to smushed and worn down to articulate. Somehow, it was helpful enough to motivate me.

Generally doing work that I can point to helps me pull out of the spiral before it’s too bad. But somehow that’s not working this time. So we’re working on it together, which is helping. And I’m going to use the scientific approach and see if that does something.

I’ve decided, partially based on advice from my amazing partner, that I’m going to start thinking of the depression as an illness and not…whatever else I had been thinking of it as. An unruly and cruel creature maybe? I’m not sure. Either way, I’m going to structure my days as if I were sick.

That means not pushing myself. And taking frequent breaks. And being happy to get anything done, rather than haranguing myself for getting not enough done. That will be hardest, I think. I’m very good at putting myself down when I’m like this, so that one will take some getting used to.

I know a lot of people struggle with this. And I know that hearing other people’s stories can be helpful. So I’m putting this here, and hoping that someone can learn from what I’m doing. And hoping that recording it will help me, because I’ve never done that before either. It’ll be a learning experience, which at the very least will be interesting. And if anyone else has their own stories, feel free to share.

 

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