I have had depression for as long as I can remember. I remember suffering from it when I was in primary school, all the way back to playschool. I’ve always had these brain-gremlins.
At the begining of this year I sorted through a load of old papers, and found some old notes of mine… some very depressed writings. I typed them up onto my computer and threw away the originals, because I felt they needed to be remembered, but not to be held onto. I have enough troubles now without holding on to the ones from the past.
(I found other things in my old paperwork too. Birthday cards from friends, letters from penpals. I did hold onto those. You can never have too much joy in your life.)
Anyway, I thought I’d share my old writings here so that people who are interested can see what goes through my mind when I’m low. Please remember that these are just snippets from a life that is wonderful and has many ridiculously happy times and memories. And remember that, even when you feel like you’ll never be happy again, this too will pass. Things always get better.
– In secondary school:
Who? Her! I know her, yes.
Her name is… Well we call her…
I can’t quite remember
It’ll come, just wait and see.
I ought to know, she’s in my class,
In Geography, and Spanish, French
and science, Irish, Maths.
I’ve heard her name, so many times,
But now it seems it’s slipped my mind.
I know she’s quiet during class,
(And mostly after class as well)
She likes to draw, and hates to write
She also likes… well I can’t quite,
Seem to remember, not right now,
We never talked, at least not much,
About things we both liked and such,
I’m sure she’s very nice and all,
But her name I can’t recall,
I barely knew her. As a rule
We never met outside of school.
Only once, or maybe twice.
When we talked she seemed quite nice
But I must say, I don’t quite see,
How all of this relates to me.
She was just another girl,
Someone I met but never knew.
We talked sometimes, that much is true,
But beyond that she was not my friend,
Just a girl I knew from school.
– college years:
Free writing. I’m just going to write without any plan and hope that it can help me sort through some of these emotions. I know that I’m making progress. My mind is clearer than it was and I’m not feeling so… unfeeling anymore. I’m still having a lot of problems, especially with my low self esteem. Now that I have a boyfriend it’s really becoming obvious. It keeps telling me that it’s only a matter of time before he figures out that I’m not worth it. It’s strange to think about that. I have trouble with the fact that I believe I’m worthless, yet it’s behind everything I do. My life is built around the fact that I have to prove myself. Every day I prove to myself that I’m a good sister, that I deserve my place at home, that it’s ok for me to have friends. Then the next day I have to prove it all over again. If I stop trying then there’s only the worthless me left. I feel like only my actions have any meaning.
I know that I’m a good person, I know that I’m a good friend, that I’m caring, friendly, kind. I prove these all to myself all the time. I know I do good things because I make sure I do. I need to to earn my place, to deserve what I have in life. At home I prove myself through housework. I don’t know how else to do it. I feel I have to protect Aisling, to give her guidance and comfort and love, but I don’t know how to do it. So instead I clean and clear and tidy. I want to have a nice home. I want my family to have a nice home. I want them to be able to come back here and feel that they can relax here. I want a home where the worries don’t come crowding as soon as you come in the door. I want a home where the bills are paid and the paperwork dealt with as soon as it comes in the door. I want a home where we have what we need and don’t need to panic when something unexpected comes up. I want to help but I don’t know how, so I clean instead. A clean house means to me that I’ve done enough. That I haven’t failed, or messed up. It means that I’ve done something to help. It means that I’m worth something.
– Later in my college life:
I’ve been lying to myself. I’ve been pretending that everything’s ok when it’s not. We don’t have enough money for me to go to Seattle. Even if I get a summer job i still won’t be able to go. Even worse we don’t have enough money for me to repeat a year if I fail my exams. I’m not even studying for them and if I fail I’m out of college. Forever. I need to get a job. I need to start studying. I need to act as if something really matters not just the now. But I just can’t focus. I’m feeling resentful towards dad. I’m feeling constantly tired and I’m getting short tempered with my friends. If I go on like this I’ll lose eveything. I’m so afraid of messing up. I’m afraid of losing my friends, of going back to life like it was before college, alone, no enemies, but no friends either. Only this time I won’t even have mum there for me when I go home. And I’m losing Dad too. I’m losing him and he’s losing me. We never talk about how we feel. I don’t think he even sees how much I hurt and I never mention it. I’m silent til I snap. I never talk about how I feel and when I do it’s not with Dad. Colin, Cathal, Lowery, Aine… I’m closer to them than I am to my family now. They keep me sane. They hold me back from the edge. If it wasn’t for them I’d be lost. I can hardly remember what it felt like to sit alone because I feel more comfortable that way. I used to. I would avoid others. I didn’t feel comfortable in company. Since coming to college I’ve worked hard to make friends. I’ve had to build up my trust until I can believe that the people I know really want to know me. That I mean as much to them as they do to me. It has been hard but I’ve come so far. Maybe things aren’t so bad after all. I’ve come this far. I can go further. Whatever comes I can make it, as long as I never believe that I’m done. there is always more to come.
just over a year after leaving college:
“I’m an unemployed bum. I’m a drain on the system. I’ve been unemployed for over a year now and there is still no sign of me getting a job. Hell, all I’ve done in that time is decide that I don’t like my chosen profession. Maybe it’s all my fault. I know I could try harder. I know I could be better. But then, you can always try harder and be better. When can you have enough? When can you just sit down and relax and not have to feel guilty.
What if I’m no use?
What if I’m no good to anybody?
– When I started looking at my depression more from an outside point of view:
I don’t remember when I first became aware of the voice in my head. I certainly know it existed for a long time before I gave it a name.
“I’m calling it Horace” I announced to my friends on facebook “So when it argues with me I can retort with ‘Yeah? Well you’re named after a cheese’ ”
And argue it did. Horace’s favourite phrase was “shut up shut up shut up!” and he seemed to use it as often as possible.
I’d be lying in bed, telling myself I should really get up soon.
I’d be budgetting; wondering if I could afford a weekend away.
I’d be trying to get up the energy to work on a project, knowing it would be good for me.
At first I assumed that Horace was the sulky brat part of me. The bit that shouted at anything that wasn’t going his way. Gradually, though, I noticed something:
When I lay in bed in the late morning there was a voice in my head telling me I should get up and do things. There was another voice that insisted that there was no need to get up, and nothing to do. Neither of these voices was Horace… In fact, Horace wouldn’t make his appearance until the debate had been going on for a while. “Shtupshutupshutup” he’d say, or sometimes when he got particularly talkative “Fuck off world!”
But what was he getting so emotional about? He sould never say!
Slowly the realisation dawned. Horace was the childish part of me, but he wasn’t a spoiled brat. Instead he was hurt, alone, confused… and wishing that his parents would please, PLEASE, stop fighting.
Horace didn’t care if I stayed in bed.
Horace didn’t care if I got up.
Horace only cared about endless hours spent arguing with myself; neither of me listening to what the other had to say. Horace only shouted because it was the only way he knew how to communicate. The only way I’d ever shown him.
I’ve always been good with kids. I treat them with respect, and I listen to what they have to say, and they appreciate that. Now, after all these years, I’m learning to treat myself that way too. It’s a long lesson to learn, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a little respect can make!
– About 2013 (this one was tough to transcribe ‘cos it was in mind-map form)
Can I do it?
I’m too lazy
–action or inaction is a choice not a state
–seriously, have you seen the things I can do if I’m motivated?
people wouldn’t belive I can
–people believe many things that aren’t true.
I have no idea what I’m doing
–You don’t need to know everything
–Running training, teaching crafts, Captain of DUFC
I’m afraid of responsibility
–only because I take it seriously. That’s good.
–I’m also scared of people, noise, and water. When has that ever stopped me?
I can’t do it all myself and I have trouble letting others help
–Don’t “let”. “Ask”. Your terms, not theirs.
–You’ve been practicing being a leader. Now use it!
I suffer from depression
–NO! I *cope with* depression. I *live with* depression. I beat depression on a daily basis!
Anyway, I know this was a long post, and I hope if you read it all you feel like you’ve gotten something from it. I guess the only point I’m really trying to make here is that you are not alone. Other people feel like this. I feel like this. And it’s shit, but it’s not wrong. We are still good and worthwhile people. We just have to deal with some brain-gremlins that like to tell us that we’re not.
This is a post to say “Hi everyone, I’m still here! I just don’t have much time to spare right now!”
I started a course at the beginning of the year to help me set up my own business. It’s going great, and life is wonderful, but I’m afraid the blog is having to take a back seat for a while until things are up and running. 😀
This one’s a little bit all about me. I hope you’ll forgive my introspection, and maybe even that you’ll find it interesting anyway. At the very least it might show others who feel the same that they’re not alone. Just like I know that I’m not alone. Even when I don’t quite believe it.
The other day I had an enjoyable evening out and two close friends walked me to the bus stop afterwards. We stood at the stop and chatted until my bus came into view, then we hugged and I got ready to leave. When the bus finally pulled up I was all ready to go. Except that I wasn’t ready to go. Not at all. I wanted to go back to my friends and hug them again, or stay with them longer, or maybe not leave at all. I was, in fact, pretty scared of leaving. I didn’t want to be alone again.
I almost didn’t share this little story. Not because I was afraid of sharing it, or because I was embarrassed by the reaction, but simply because this is normal life to me. This is what I feel every time I leave a friend’s house. This is what I feel every time we split up to go our seperate ways after a night out. This is what I feel every time I have to go from being with people to being alone. It scares me. It scares me a lot.
When I am in my deepest depression I often have trouble believing in people. If they’re not right there then I can’t be sure they exist, and I can’t rely on ever seeing them again. This is one of the aspects of my depression that causes me the most trouble. It’s always made sense to me that my fear of leaving people comes from the fact that I spend a not-inconsiderable amount of time not believing they exist, and I’m afraid that once I leave them they’ll stop existing again. (or, at least, stop existing for me). However, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I’m wondering if maybe one or both of the above tendencies are in fact caused by something else.
You see, when I was seventeen I said goodbye to my mother… and it was never meant to be forever.
I’ve never felt comfortable linking my depression to past events. It’s always seemed like a bit of a cop-out somehow, like I’m not willing to look inside myself for the problem so I palm it off on some life event long ago. But the more I think about it the more this particular link makes sense to me. Because there was really nothing special about my last goodbye to my mother. There was no hint or sign that it wasn’t just another routine day. I was working on biology homework (or possibly avoiding working on biology homework, I can’t quite remember), my sister was playing, my father was at work, and my mother went out to the shops quickly to buy something for dinner. She never came back. She suffered a massive brain-haemmorhage in the shops, and the next time I saw her it was clear to me that she was gone, despite the machines that kept her lungs breathing and her heart beating. And I guess I learned, somewhere deep down, that every goodbye could be the last one.
There’s something else I found myself thinking about too, and that’s the fact that it’s seeming to happen a lot more often these days. It’s been over ten years since that day, but I’ve panicked more over goodbyes in the last few years than I ever did before. And here, at least, the conclusion I’ve come to is a positive one. You see, now I have more people that I don’t want to lose. Now it’s not just goodbye to another acquaintance or maybe-friend. Now it’s goodbye to people that really, really matter to me. And while there’s always the assumption that we’ll see each other again soon, there’s also the tiny hidden fear that we might not. And I really want to see you again soon. I really do.
I got the bus home tonight. It was the last bus, and on a Saturday too, so it was full of the usual loud, drunk people and tired, cranky people. Some young lads sat down across the aisle from me and started playing their music at full volume. I find this highly problematic and it soon sets off a twitching fit, low-level at first, but getting more intense since I was also tired and cold, which added to the stress (and it’s stress that triggers my twitching fits.)
I know how this story goes. I’ve been there before. I try to keep my twitching to a minimum, while trying to work up the courage to confront the problem. The people with the music look at me as if I’m killing their day, the other passengers look at me as if I’m mad. Then, just as I’m working up the courage to act anyway:
“Are you okay?”
“The music’s actually causing me a bit of a problem.”
Cue some frantic scrabbling as the young lad with the music tries to turn it off quickly.
“Turn off the song!” as another lad looks concerned.
“It’s okay, he is.” I reassure him, and to the first lad: “I appreciate it.”
Once the music is off they retreat down to the back of the bus, from whence I hear occasional arguments over who gets to listen to the next song, followed by hushed exhortations of “Shh… We’re talking too loud!”
Not only this, but as I go to get off another passenger catches my attention and checks if I’m feeling okay, and if I’ll be alright getting the rest of the way home. Leaving me with a smile and a heartfelt “Stay safe!” as I disembark.
You know, sometimes people can be pretty damn awesome 😀
I am confident that I look good as a person. I have my little things that I worry about, like spots, or the fact that you can see my ribs if I wear a low neckline, but in general I’m comfortable that I’m good-looking.
This is not, however, the same thing as being comfortable looking good. In fact, I used to avoid looking good. I’d constantly dress down, avoid make-up, wear baggy clothes that hide my body-shape, and pull my hair back in a ponytail rather than do anything fancy with it.
If you asked me why I did this I’d probably tell you that I was happy with the way I look. Or I might tell you that I didn’t want the effort of getting dressed up every day. Or perhaps I’d say that I relished the surprised looks when I did get all dressed up. I’m sure that for many people these are true statements, but for me they’ve always been lies.
When I started dealing with my depression I read a lot of suggestions that getting up and making yourself look good every day could make a huge difference and, because I like to try things at least once before I dismiss them, I gave it a go. It did make a huge difference. Just dressing confident and standing confident gave a lot more force to the bit of me that was *acting* confident. It reduced a lot of my anxiety in social situations not to have to worry about both (to my mind) looking inadequate *and* feeling inadequate. And putting on my good clothes and makeup just for a day around the house re-inforced the fact that I was doing all this for me, and not for any judgmental people out there whose opinions I didn’t care about.
Gradually my wardrobe has improved, and the outfits that were kept aside for special occasions are now regular wear. And I love it. It makes me feel good and happy in myself, and when people comment on it, well, it’s always good to get outside re-inforcement of how awesome you are!
So why do I bring this up now?
I bring this up because I recently had a reminder of what I was afraid of, back before I took care of how I looked. I had someone express interest in me.* After I turned him down he continued lavishing compliments on me, in quite a creepy and judgemental way (including such comments as “Your ass looks great in those jeans, but I’m really not sure about the hoodie.”), and spoke and acted in ways that made me deeply uncomfortable (including the complete no-no of entering my bedroom uninvited and then making a rape joke).
My first course of action would be to state outright that this was bothering me. I did so. It didn’t work. No matter how I tried I was met by an impenetrable wall of “But I don’t see anything wrong with it!”
My second would be to avoid the situation, but due to circumstances that wasn’t an option. (He was renting a room in the house I live in.)
My third solution was to deal with any incidents as they arose and remind myself that how I look is my own business, and that I am my own person, and that if anything happened I could cope… and there I faltered badly.
I began to fall back into old patterns of thinking. I dressed down in order to avoid attention. I retreated to my safe places and allowed discomfort to stop me from doing what I wanted, in case he was there. In one case I even heard him coming and removed the necklace I was wearing because I couldn’t cope with him complimenting it. I stopped looking good. I stopped looking good because of what someone else thought of me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it was the worst decision in the situation. I was feeling under threat so I acted to make myself feel less threatened. I’m in no way unhappy about doing that. But it did drive home to me why I’ve always avoided looking good. It drove home to me why sometimes I’m scared to dress beautifully. Because if you look “too good” some people will want you. And there are some people out there who, if they want you, will try and take you. And that scares me.
Eventually I took a fourth course of action: I called in the troops. I rang people in my support network, and I let them know that this wasn’t just a little problem, but something that I *really needed* backup on. And they came through for me, big time.
My landlord was supportive and told the guy he’d have to start looking for a new place. My friends came around to the house so I wouldn’t be alone with him. They invited me out to movies to distract me. They reminded me that feeling scared and helpless in my own house was neither normal nor okay, and that I had every right to act to stop it.
Once it was over, I kept reaching for the baggy clothes and the worn jeans. I kept feeling scared and not wanting to somehow attract another situation like that. But I won’t give in to the fear this time, because I’m going to look good and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do to stop me. I’m doing it because I don’t want to be the mouse that hides in her room. I don’t want to be the meek one who isn’t sure if she has any right to ask someone to stop making creepy comments and jokes. I want to be a person, like everyone else. I want to be ME.
*For ease of writing I’m going to refer to this person as “he” but it’s really irrelevent what gender they were.
I’ve spoken a lot about friends.
I’ve spoken about support networks, and how people will be there for you if you need them.
I don’t think, however, that I’ve spoken enough about one of your best potential friends… and the one that severe depressives are most likely to ignore and mistreat:
I know a lot of people who go out of their way to know themselves. They ask deep questions. They worry about their behaviour, and their attitudes, and their intentions…
I know far fewer people who go out of their way to *like* themselves. In fact, it seems that knowing yourself and being critical of yourself go hand in hand.
Do they have to? Now that’s the question. And I would hope that the answer is “NO”.
I’ve always worried about how I come across to others. And I’ve engaged in a lot of soul-searching, and asking people what they really thought of me, and taking advice and feedback and working on it… and I think I’ve reached a point where I’m a pretty confident and like-able person.
Somewhere along the line, I also decided that I was someone I could hang out with.
So when people can’t meet up with me and I really want comfort, I feel paranoid, and I worry that no-one likes me, because that’s what depression does to my brain. But even when I blame it on myself I think “I made mistakes, and that’s why this happened” and not “I’m a flawed person, and that’s why this happened”.
And that’s not perfect, but it’s so much better than I used to be!
The first part of learning to like myself was learning to listen to myself. I learned to listen to what I was saying about myself. I learned to pick up on my depression’s propaganda. I noticed when I was thinking “I fail” and I thought to myself “I didn’t actually fail. Actually, I did nothing wrong.” I noticed when I yelled in my head “SHUT UP!” and I thought “What are you trying to say, and could you say it quieter?”
And by listening to myself I found out so many things about what was upsetting me that I might otherwise have missed.
The second part was being as patient with myself as I would be with any friend who was going through problems.
I wouldn’t tell a friend to “get over it”. Why do I demand that of me? I wouldn’t hate a friend for “crying over nothing” when things upset them. Why do I hate myself for it?
Thirdly, and perhaps most difficult of all, I started taking my own advice. How much of your self criticism consists of “I knew this would happen and I did it anyway. Idiot. Idiot!”? I know a lot of mine did.
I say this is the most difficult of all, because I haven’t mastered it yet. I still think “If I leave this until the last minute then I’ll panic and get stressed.” and then I leave it til the last minute anyway, because that’s how I’ve always done it. I still think “If I eat this I’ll regret it later” and then eat it anyway, because it tastes so nice!
But at least I’m making progress with not calling myself an idiot afterwards. I just think “Oh well, I was expecting that.” and move on. At least… some of the time I manage that.
So what about my readers out there?
Do you like yourselves?
And if not, don’t you think it’s time you set aside some time to figure out how you can fix the relationship?
You’re going to have to live with yourself anyway… wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy it?
had a bit of a worry a while ago, where I was suffering from abdominal pain. It wasn’t severe enough to cause me major problems, but it was localised and around where my appendix should be. I was scared it might be appendicitis. No… that’s not right. I was terrified it might be appendicitis.
I know a lot of people who suffer from constant pain, or who have conditions that mean they need to carefully watch everything they do, and I felt like shit for being so scared of appendicitis. Dealing with it is a fairly standard operation. There’s no reason to be scared of it. Hell, I’m not scared of needles, or injuries, and if I cut myself while crafting my response tends to be “well that was dumb” and going to fetch a first-aid kit. So given all of this, why was I so scared? And did it mean that I was weak? Or a scaredy-cat? This bothered me for quite a while. It bothered me even more than the pain.
Eventually I decided I had to go to the doctor with it, and he ruled out some other possibilities, and gave me an injection that would rule out the last reasonable alternative. He sent me home saying that if I still hurt in the morning it was probably appendicitis and I was to go to A&E, but if the pain eased overnight due to the injection then it was something else, and I’d be okay to just sit it out.
I had a bit of an anxious night trying to figure out if the pain was easing or if I was just making it seem that way with wishful thinking. And I kept coming back to the fact that I *really* didn’t want to go in to hospital.
And then it hit me:
I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO GO INTO HOSPITAL.
Not “I was scared that the operation would hurt”
Not “I was scared I’d die”
Not “I was scared there’d be complications”
It was the hospital I was scared of.
So I spent a while trying to figure out why.
And eventually I realised. It wasn’t actually the hospital I was scared of either. It was the people.
I was scared of the nurses, and the reception staff, and the other patients, and the people there with them, and the doctors… most of all, I was scared of the fact that I’d have to deal with almost all of the above list in the one visit!
And all-in-all that didn’t help me with my terror. I don’t know how I could make that any better. It was just something I’d have to deal with. But I’ll tell you what it did help with: My guilt.
I’d felt shit because I was scared of something I “shouldn’t” be scared of, and the reason I “shouldn’t” be scared of it wasn’t that society said so, but that my mind said so. I “shouldn’t” be scared of simple medical procedures because I’m not scared of medical procedures. I never have been. So why now?
Finding out that it was the people I was scared of was a huge help with that because I know I’m anxious around crowds and strangers. It’s something I’ve dealt with before. It’s something I can face, even through the terror.
So sometimes it’s worth not hiding from your fear, or pushing it aside, or pretending it doesn’t exist. Sometimes it’s worth trying to figure out what it is you’re scared of. Perhaps it’s not what you think it is!
(The following morning the pain faded.)
I don’t know if this is a depression related thing, or if it’s something else, or if it’s even just me that finds it, but it’s often caused me problems so I thought I would write about it for the interest of anyone out there who experiences it too, for whatever reason…
I often find myself with little or no appetite. Sometimes I don’t even feel able to eat when I’m sitting with food in front of me, but often it’s just that I don’t notice that I’m hungry. Over the years I’ve noticed a lot of different signs that I need food, none of which feel like being hungry. I’ve started keeping track of them, so that when I don’t feel hungry I can still remind myself to eat at the right times!
If I miss a meal (or two, or three) on a day where I’m busy and active then often the first sign will be a drop in body temperature. I’ll start shivering or shaking, and will generally look pale. This is a slightly problematic one, as it’s also my body’s response to an emotional shock or upset, but a quick check for anything shocking or upsetting will generally tell me if food is likely to be needed. (And let’s face it, a good nutritious meal can help give you time and energy to deal with an emotional upset too, so it’s not the worst option in the world.)
I’m having trouble concentrating:
Again, this can cause problems, as it also means I’m unable to concentrate on getting food. Dealing with this one means constantly reminding myself that I need food NOW and stopping myself from being distracted by other tasks/chats on the way.
An important tool for dealing with this one is the willingness to tell people firmly that you need food now and will talk to them later. Some people have trouble accepting this, so be firm. You won’t be able to help them at all if you collapse from hunger.
I’m cranky or snappish:
One of the hardest to spot, as it’s easy to put down snappish behaviour to rudeness or other provocation from the people you’re snapping at. Once it’s spotted, though, it’s one of the easiest to deal with. Partly because crankyness doesn’t really stop you from getting food, and partly because people that you’ve just snapped at are generally more than willing to let you get food and become less likely to do it again!
The one thing to watch out for with this one is that you don’t ignore it and let it get further. If it gets to the stage where you’re getting angry at inanimate objects then you’re likely to take an unreasonable hatred towards food and refuse to eat it even when you know it will help. This is a BAD state to be in. Trust me!
I find this normally happens in specific situations where you’d normally react by getting cold and shaky but the temperature is too warm, or you react to being cold by wrapping up in blankets. I find that if I fall into this trap then it’s often too late for me. Even if I realise that I’m sleepy because I haven’t eaten enough I’m generally to sleepy already to get up and get food. If I don’t get food I tend to slip into a sleep that (for me) lasts around three hours and leaves me feeling groggy, dehydrated, and really bloody confused when I wake up. Oh, and I still need food, so I’ll probably be shaking too. All of this makes it even harder to get food, thus causing a vicious cycle.
HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE PROBLEMS:
(Again, this is just what’s worked in my experience! Feel free to add other suggestions in the comments below, or discuss any of the suggestions I’ve made here.)
Yes, I know that one’s obvious, but it’s also so easy to neglect! Eating meals at regular mealtimes and making sure you don’t get hungry in the first place can be a real lifesaver, so do it whenever possible.
Another obvious one, but again the basics are the best.
Make sure you have food in the house. By the time you realise that you haven’t eaten enough it’s generally too late to go to the shops and your energy is too low to cook something fancy. Small quick meals like instant soups or microwaveable meals (either bought or made and frozen previously) are amazing in these situations. So is admitting to yourself that you can’t cook right now, and just eating a bowl of breakfast cereal instead.
If you’re going out somewhere or are likely to be busy then bring some small snacks with you. Avoid processed sugar (the energy from it won’t last long) and try for fruit, crisps, biscuits or mini sausage rolls. Eat them at the first sign of energy dropping, or even just when you feel like it but aren’t hungry yet.
If you snack, follow up on it!
The point of the snacks isn’t to stop your hunger, it’s to give you some extra time in which to get yourself food. Finding yourself sleepy from hunger? Grab an apple and eat it… then cook yourself dinner and eat that too. Finding yourself cranky from hunger? Eat those biscuits you have stashed in your bag to stop yourself from killing your companions while you look for somewhere to buy and consume a real meal!
Put yourself first. Don’t ignore your hunger because other things are more important. Don’t ignore your hunger because it will go away. Don’t put other people first; you can’t help them if you’re shaking and can’t concentrate.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT. BELIEVE IT!
No, I’m not talking about the results of my coping cleaning. I’m talking about emotions.
You see, recently I’ve been upset. Very upset; You know, tears and sobbing and curling up in a ball in bed and not wanting to come out. But it’s been a bit different to the usual, in that it isn’t depression! So yes, I’ve been feeling sad, but it also feels clean. Something has upset me, and it was a cause not a trigger. All my upset is because of this, and, what’s more, it’s something that is socially acceptable to be upset over. Hell, it’s emotionally acceptable to cry over it!
It’s a strange feeling. I’m still sad, but it’s a lighter kind of sad than my depression brings, and even when I feel miserable I still have the bit of me that marvels at the fact that this is what life could be like if only I weren’t depressed.
I go to a lot of effort to explain to people that depression isn’t “feeling sad” or “feeling blue”… it’s not a feeling at all… it’s something else, something worse. To me this is proof of that. When even my saddest days on meds feel amazing in comparison to the daily grind without them, and it’s not because the daily grind was sadder, it’s because I was depressed, and it’s not a clean healthy feeling.
I don’t like feeling sad. But I do like feeling healthy!