The feeling of being doomed; of having an invisible rope tied around your body making it impossible for you to move; of everyone judging you and hating you; these are the things that we struggle with almost everyday.
The smallest problems and conflicts make us feel like it’s the end for us. I personally don’t feel like making an effort to do whatever. What’s the point? There will always be problems and conflicts! So why fix this one?
And this makes me mad at myself. I know I should MOVE. I don’t want to be like this. I want to have that same motivation and drive that other people don’t seem to run out of.
The wires in my head were not designed the same way as theirs. That’s why I couldn’t cope with my troubles the same way they do. I couldn’t follow their 10-step method or whatever it is they do to succeed. It wouldn’t work on me.
I didn’t even want to succeed. I’m too scared to expect that much. I just want to survive!
So instead of trying to think like the optimists, I decided to focus on making my own method to survive.
I thought hard. I studied my feelings. I experimented. It was not easy! It required months and weeks of being in deep thought!
If I do this, how would it make me feel?
These are the things that worked for me:
I always knew I was different but I was not aware that I haven’t accepted that I AM different.
Yes, I am aware that I’m not like other people. I get tired at once. I lost all the hope there is in the world.
But I was always frustrated with that fact! I was frustrated ‘coz I didn’t want to be different. I want to be like all the rest of them who are not like me! I did not want to be me!
(My theme song back then was “Don’t Let Me Get Me” by Pink. LOL)
Acceptance doesn’t mean you are satisfied with your current situation: depressed. It’s becoming okay with being depressed, at the same time thinking:What should I do next?
Don’t worry. I’m not gonna ask you to focus on all the good things in your life. That’s not part of my method coz that’s never gonna happen! It’s almost impossible for us to focus on the good things.
When I tried doing this, I actually felt worse.
Yes, I have this and that. So I should be happy, right? But I’m NOT! Why can’t I just be happy?
It was very frustrating!
Shout out to all our friends and family who want to help. Please stop trying to make us feel better by enumerating all the “blessings” in our lives.
It is so tempting to think about all the bad things that happened to us. All the bullying; the heartbreak; the embarrassing moments; the unfair treatment, etc.
If you want to go there, then go ahead. I don’t want you to get frustrated with yourself by telling you that it’s not right to think about your horrible past.
But just remember that if you go back, you have to go through the first step again.
Accept them again. They already happened. We cannot turn the clock backwards. Just think that Mrs. Karma will do her magic on all those assholes who messed up your life. LOL (I am not a saint. You are not a saint. It’s okay to call them assholes. It’s not illegal. LOL)
I understand why it’s tempting to go back.
Moving backwards is way easier than moving forward. We already know how to get there. We made the road concrete and named all the streets. We know what to expect.
Whereas, moving forward would require us to pave the way, and it’s scary. There’s no road map. The streets on this direction were not named yet. How do we know if we made the right turn? We don’t know what’s gonna happen! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Anxiety is like the twin brother of depression (I refer to depression as the twin sister ‘coz she’s the cry baby). Looking too far ahead is terrifying for us!
Before my depression, I can vividly see my future! I lived in a house like this; I am married to a guy like this; we had this number of kids; the girls will be named this and this; and the boys will be named this and this.
But now, it’s a complete blur. Again, it was frustrating. So, I don’t go there anymore.
So how do I move forward?
I set this goal of making it through the week, one day at a time. If the week is still blurry, I make some adjustments and focus on making it through the day, one hour at a time.
Getting through the day or even just through an hour requires us to complete certain tasks. That’s just what life is — a series of tasks. How exhausting! But here’s what you can do to get yourself moving.
GIVE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
It’s not a reward ‘coz I don’t want you to work hard for it. Think of it as an add-on to the task that you need to accomplish; like “cherry on top”.
It’s on top so you have the option of enjoying that cherry before, during or after completing the task. It’s completely up to you!
It may be food, clothes, a person or whatever. Just something or someone that you like.
For example, you need to go buy some groceries ‘coz you ran out of food on the fridge.
Yeah, it’s such a difficult thing to do!
I’d rather stay in bed and read a book or watch netflix than buy some stupid groceries. I don’t care if I starve to death!
But try doing this. Think: What do you like about the grocery store? What’s in there? Do they have your favorite ice cream? Is your favorite restaurant just across the street? Is there a cute cashier?
If you can’t think of anything, you can ask your favorite person to go with you. Then you can say “Okay. This is gonna be fun ‘coz I’ll be doing it with my favorite person!”
It is difficult to complete a task or to do a certain activity so it’s important to think about something (an add-on) that will make you feel excited to do it.
FOCUS ON YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Use your senses.
Focusing on your other senses helps divert your attention from that terrible mood.
When I suddenly feel like I wanna cry while walking in the park, I blink and I stare at the sky. I look at it and I try to describe it in my head. “The sky is blue. The clouds look like cotton candies.” It’s that simple.
Then I look at the trees. “The leaves are thick and green.” Then I combine the sky and the trees and look for something in between. The birds, the breeze… and the flowers and trees and the moon up above… (Did I just make you sing?!LOL)
This method is different from “trying to see all the blessings in your life”. I really do not recommend that.
Here, you are simply seeing, smelling, and listening to what is around you at the moment. You are not necessarily looking for something beautiful. You are merely describing it as it is. If it’s beautiful then that’s a bonus.
(When I was in college, seeing tweety bird made me feel calm. Most of my college notebooks had tweety bird covers! I don’t know why, but that cartoon character had that effect on me. LOL)
DO NOT EXPECT SPECIAL TREATMENT
I do not like it when people tell me that I am special.
C’mon! I’m just an ordinary human being. People don’t have to lie and tell me I am special just to make me feel good about myself.
That would actually make me think that I deserve better than what is currently being served to me, which would only make me feel even more frustrated and depressed!
Do not think that just because you are depressed you ought to be treated in a special way. Otherwise, you are in for more disappointments.
Trust me. No matter how much people claim that they know all about your mental health condition, and that they know how to treat you so you won’t get depressed, keep in mind that they are only human (too). They get tired, too. They get angry, too.
They are not perfect, just like you. So there is a chance that they will get mad at you and treat you poorly. They won’t always be in their best behavior. Nobody is.
DO SOMETHING GOOD
Go help an old woman cross the street; give a beggar some food; Volunteer in coastal clean-up activities; donate cash for a cause; or simply smile at some stranger you accidentally had eye contact with (Do this with caution. That stranger might get the wrong impression. LOL).
It has to be something that you do without expecting anything in return. And please, do not document and post it anywhere.
Remember, you are doing this to FEEL good, not to LOOK good!
Try doing these everyday!
But don’t be too hard on yourself. If you just want to lie down and cry, go ahead.
Accept it. It doesn’t mean defeat. You are merely taking a break.
Forgive yourself for being that way. You are having constant battles with your mind and it is exhausting!
There is no guarantee that this will work for you the same way it does for me. So don’t hate me, okay? I’m just sharing this ‘coz this really helps me make it through some days of the week without shedding some unexplained tears.
Please, let us help each other and stop this alarming number of deaths by suicide.
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