Get Your Ass in Gear

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I have been writing here about how I have been struggling with depression for almost three weeks, not a full blown severe episode like I have now and then but worse than a low mood. And not fun at all.  My mood fluctuates – feelings of despair then hopeful and happy.  

For me, depression is long term/lifelong. It’s not just an episode or phase or because of a specific environmental reason like for some people. I’m not depressed and suicidal almost every single day of my life anymore but my depression can surface at any moment either out of the blue or being triggered by something so it’s something I have to consciously and almost constantly manage with professional help & self-help techniques.

It’s no longer a constant struggle every single day, for me like it used to be, but some days, weeks, and months, it is. And for a few weeks now it has been acting up badly. But mostly, I’m managing it quite well, I think. I have been having difficulty sleeping which usually is not a problem for me. I usually sleep very well.

Last night was very bad and I was overcome in seemingly uncontrollable, negative thoughts. I have been having thoughts that aren’t good. I wanted to let myself slip away but I wouldn’t allow myself. I thought of all the people who I can inspire and help in various ways, people I currently know and ones I have yet to meet and touch in some way.  With just a kind word, a simple touch, a helping hand.

There is always someone out there somewhere, in need. I decided to stay strong so I can go on and help people in any way I can. It doesn’t always feel like it but there’s always, always, always something to hold on for. I keep reminding myself that. 

In the afternoon, a few days ago,  I laid in bed with my dogs looking out my window at the sweet rain and the trees and leaves blowing in the wind.   I felt happy, hopeful, joyous, wonderful.   It was so serene and lovely.

I have been thinking about this quote:

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” ~ Alphonse Karr 

I want to complain about how I have “lost” almost three weeks to depression but this quote reminds me how instead of complaining about the moments I’m depressed I can cherish the moments I am happy and be thankful for the fact that I still do have happy moments. It’s not all bad. And even the depressed moments are good even though they don’t always feel that way. At least I’m alive.

Anyway, I was thinking about one of the most important things my therapist told me years ago. He told me no matter how depressed I am, to not act like a depressed person. Moping around, avoiding people and things, staying in bed, neglecting self care….

Depression can frequently make us not want to get up. We want to crawl into bed in solitude and stay that way forever. But that can worsen depression, perpetuate, or prolong it.

Getting up, going out, being active may not always lift or cure depression but it can help in some ways.  

This doesn’t even just apply to depression. It can even go for any low mood or a common cold.   Even a minor cold can make us want to stay in bed and do nothing at all.

But I noticed that sometimes when I have a cold, a low mood, and even full blown depression getting up helps.   It helps to be somewhat active.  To put my makeup on, go for a walk, do things…it gives me more energy and more opportunities to take my mind off the pain & sickness.

With a cold, it’s good to get rest for our bodies to heal but too much rest isn’t always good.

I also noticed that distraction helps somewhat. I have been reading my Philosophy books and the fact of reading and thinking gets my “mind” currently off of my despair. It’s hard to concentrate in a depression but it’s ok, I give myself permission to just read as best I can and mess up when I will. 

So if you’re feeling low, sluggish, blah, sick….try getting up anyway.  You don’t have to do any kind of strenuous work, you can do light activities, even just dressing up or going about your usual day.

I hope you’re having a good one. 😀

Xoxo Kim

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