Regular posting will resume May 19.

I don’t know the correlation but I was definitely doing better when I was posting here every day and I want to return to that.

My weekly goals list from last week was successful in that I feel I met an acceptable percentage of my goals.  And having a achieved what I did relieved pressure to do more or over plan.  So I’d like to continue that going forward.

In the interim I am swamped at work as we have some internal organizational changes.  And I’m about to head out on my road trip with Cedar. So I’m giving myself leave to not worry about updating here until I get back.

I’m still breathing.  Still thinking.  Still trying.  Hoping the road trip leaves me feeling less beaten down by life.

Catch you on the flipside.

(Below is the post I started 3 days ago and have never been able to quite finish, leaving it unfinished here for posterity.)

I’m just having a hard time. I think a lot of it is hormonal. And situational. And still just slowly, directionlessly recovering from the last couple years. I feel kind of stuck right now. I’m really not interested in more medication experimentation. I had a therapist I liked and still didn’t find therapy really helpful. I don’t really want to start that again. It seems more exhausting and devastating to rehash everything for a new therapist than any benefit would be worth. I know I keep saying that exercising more would help a lot but it would, if only I could squeeze it in to my busy schedule of feeling sorry for myself. I should probably spend more time with my friends, but, while it’s unintentionally cruel to say so, all my local friends just exhaust me. The few friends I could drive to see require an overnight trip and my combined work schedules keep defeating the planning of that.

In an article on Jezebel.com, someone replied to a comment with advice on overcoming depression. I’ll post her full text at the end here, in case you’re interested, but the basics were: take your meds, your supplements and your vitamins, exercise, see the sun, sleep well, meditate and hang with your friends.

Which is pretty much the route I’ve been taking. Yes, I’m not taking the drugs, but really they were making me feel way more sick. And yes I need way more exercise than walking a few miles a couple times a week. And yes I’ve been pretty sucky on the socializing front, although it’s not that I’m not socializing, but rather that most of it is with Hawthorn or coworkers and probably needs to be more diversified.

Here is the full text of the original comment:

by bubbly*pop on jezebel.com Fri 06 May 2011 11:30 AM
#1 Take your medication. Seriously. The other stuff helps but until you’re stable you need the pills.

In my experience the following can help.

Doing hard exercise or rather, exercise that really gets the blood pumping, helps me get a mood high from the release of serotonin/other happy chemicals. It also improves clarity so I can get a hold on my thoughts and moods quicker; I can tackle my daily problems if I’ve had a good workout.

Not eating sugar/drastically cutting down means you avoid the energy crash, made so much worse when you’re depressed/anxious. Upping low GI foods and eating healthy snacks throughout the day keeps me from having low blood sugar (again, tiredness and irritability) and stops digestion problems (my medication gives me a sensitive tummy).

Fish oil (or just fish) is very good for the brain and there have been some studies indicating the benefits of taking supplements.

Sunlight is very important, getting at least 15 minutes exposure to the sun a day really helps to keep me calm and lift my mood.

Meditation does not help me but then I spend a lot of time inside my own head…any more thinking/spacing out time isn’t good for me. However, if you’re doing it properly meditation can help clear your mind of negative thoughts and calm you down, putting things in perspective.

Sleep. Seriously, get a good sleep routine where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time with a full 7/8 hours and whatever you do, do not sleep in. Try to avoid late nights too.

When you have problems with your brain you have to train it to do what others do naturally, which means repetition is important. Get a good routine that includes sleep, good fresh food (stay away from processed stuff, it has corn syrup and other sugar byproducts that mess you up) and exercise. Repeating: See what I did there? 🙂

Socializing: keep up with your friends. This is very important because they will not only make you laugh but they’ll also keep you sane. Sometimes joining an online or local mental illness group can assist you in talking about things if you need some outside guidance and can’t afford psychiatrists/psychologists or even if you just need support from people who’ve been there.

Do things that challenge you/outside of the comfort zone. This stimulates the brain and gets it working. It doesn’t have to be huge things but something like taking a class you wouldn’t normally or picking up a hobby like photography/painting/hiking/fishing. Something different.

And finally, if you need to cry/scream/get angry you have to do it. Bottling it up just makes things worse.

Hopefully other people can add to this list but this is basically what I do (or try to do) to keep myself balanced. In the end though, you have to monitor yourself to find out what works best for you. Trial and error will become your friend.

Good luck and don’t be afraid; you are and always will be stronger and greater than your illness.

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