There are a million and one or more articles, posts, blogs and books that will give you advice and tips on how to defeat depression. For me, I was in the camp that advocates being to busy to be depressed and distraction is a good thing. Plenty to get our teeth into here without boring you with long-winded medical jargon about what you should and shouldn’t do.Through all of this alcohol my silent partner kept quiet while I was busy, depressed and distracted.
What works for me
For the most part I will speak from experience. You are reading this and hoping to find something you will find useful for yourself. If you wanted to read a long-winded hypothesis of the ramifications pertaining to medical research into depression you might as well pop off down to the library and borrow a book. Better still, go buy one and swallow it. So unless otherwise sated you can assume I’ve been there and got the t-shirt. I’ve actually got more than one t-shirt.
Just as a quick sidebar for you, I’ve read loads of stuff and been online and read a good dose on there. To be fair, if you look hard enough, you will find some great advice and suggestions. Alongside that there will be some dross. Here at least the only source will be me….so I’m giving you the benefit of my experiences without you having to trawl through a mass of documentation.
Ready to Get Busy Or Not.
Depending on where you are in your journey out of depression, will greatly influence how you are able to implement any of my own ideas or tips. You might not be at this stage yet. That’s fine, there’s no schedule, no time limit. You’re not on the clock and anyone who tells you otherwise is speaking through their proverbial seating equipment. If you are not ready to get busy no worries, keep on doing whatever it is you’re doing.
I guarantee, if you don’t fancy it then you will have boat load of excuses that will all seem valid and justifiable. That’s Ok. There is no way past this. If you aren’t ‘feeling it’ then trying will just make you feel worse and if you’re getting moaned at for not ‘pulling your finger out’ that won’t help either. Unless someone has been through what your going through they will not understand.
You’ll know when the time is right and when it is, hold on.
Facts Not Flannel
I do love a digression but there are no rules when it comes to writing your own stuff…. I can go wherever I want with my thoughts and you can stay with me or not, up to you. Having been on many forums looking around for help and one of the things that ‘turn me off’ is the out pouring of someones situation.
Now, before you get affronted and think I am being dispassionate, I’m not, let me explain a bit. I’m talking about when someone has been brave or desperate enough to put their story out there. Sometimes it can be construed as a cry for help, sometimes it is a cathartic exercise by the person posting. All good. My issue is the responses are quite often ‘self-interest’ stories about their own road to ruin.
Now I’m sorry but if I’m depressed, the last thing I want to read about is someone else who is depressed and why they are like they are. I want to hear about how they’re coming through it and what they’re doing to help themselves. What works for them, what didn’t. Now do you see. I’ll move it along then.
I might at some point write a proper bio about myself, to include the how’s and why’s and maybe’s of my life and the resulting bouts of depression. For now, we can have a starting point and then the progression through to present day. No one wants to feel even more depressed than they already feel…especially not when they’re looking for guidance to navigate through a very hard time.
Now We Can Get Busy
I’ve dragged myself off the sofa, started doing some exercise and Having reduced my alcohol intake. A word to the wise though, I still looked forward to having a drink, no matter how small. Probably more so now that I was ‘doing’ more during the days…it can make you a bit ‘frazzled’. Anyway, day by day and week by week the volume was going down, sweet.
First off I set about tidying the house. One ‘chunk’ at a time as it’s easy to become overwhelmed. On a practical level though, how many jobs are just waiting for us to get stuck into.? Never enough time. Now Having no excuses.
In a family of six there does seem to be a lot of clutter and not just one room, everywhere. So I tidied and tided some more and slowly but surely I made a difference, noticeably so. It was a rewarding feeling to be able to look around and know that I was at least starting to be productive. It didn’t go unnoticed and that made me feel even better.
There was another plus to all this, well many, to be honest. The main one was that I found items that were no longer used and needed to go. What better to do with them than to sell. I’ll tell you all about that in another post, as selling became quite a side venture for me.
Nothing was sacred, kitchen and bathroom included. If it wasn’t nailed down then it was thrown away, put away or sold. In truth, it was very liberating.
What was the point ? Apart from the obvious, the house was now looking much better. The main objective was for me to have something to do that had value and meaning. It wasn’t self-serving in and of itself, although I did feel the benefits. I was being useful and productive and more importantly I was outside of my head. It was a form of mindfulness, which again we will touch upon at a later stage.
Was It A Distraction.
Yes, of course it was a distraction. That’s the main reason for doing it. The extras you get are all bonuses and work very well thank you but they are not the main focus.
While you are happily cleaning, scrubbing, putting away, deciding what to keep and what to sell or discard, your brain is having a well-earned rest. You get even better results when decorating. Then it really is a cerebral vacation. I couldn’t concentrate well enough for reading and there was nothing left on the television worth watching, so I desperately needed something to do that would stop me ‘bringing myself down’
All of the above shows us something else. You are taking back control. No longer are you a slave to depression. Yes, it will crack its whip every now and then and it might smart for a bit…but deep down, you know its days are numbered.
That’s the house tidy, what else can we do.