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.


New Year’s Aspirations

I don’t really like the idea of resolutions. Yes, goal setting is good, but they just seem to turn into ways for my sneaky jerk brain to beat me up later. Like, why didn’t you do this? Didn’t you resolve to do this? Are you some kind of quitter? It turns into another way to feel bad later on.

So I’m changing my thinking. Instead of a goal which I am setting and Must! Reach! I’m aspiring to things. Think of it like a mission statement. It’s something I can judge my actions against without getting all knotty and tangled up in ‘should’ and then later on ‘didn’t’. Because aspirations are something to strive for, ways you try to better yourself. But none of us can be perfect, so the active striving is the important part.

So here’s my aspirations:

  1. Put myself out there
  2. Focus on improving my skill sets
  3. Pause for reflection more often

In the spirit of these I’ll be doing a couple of things, one of which is blogging more. Another is trying some of this structured procrastination.  Hopefully it’ll keep my jerk brain from getting on my case too much, especially since another of the things I’m doing is trying to work with or around my depression issues more. BTW, I love that comic, because it so accurately and humorously describes the spiral I get into.

Does anyone else have aspirations rather than goals? Why not share them? The more the merrier!