Whenever I feel like getting depressed, it usually helps to look at pictures of the world – of people – nature – everything.
Pictures that remind me of beauty. Like … Unsplash. But really, there are lots of places on the ‘net.
And in the world.
The trick is to remember that you need to look for them, whenever you feel that shadow coming into your heart.
I feel down and frozen. It is a vicious circle. I feel there is too little time to really delve into this project and hence I freeze up and don’t get things done. Some times nothing at all, sometimes very little.
So it is a self-defeating process.
I feel there is too little time, so that freezes me and I don’t do enough with the time I do have. And hence I get even less time to complete something, because … well, time passes. And in the end it is over.
Maybe it is just today. Yesterday I felt a bit better and got more done, in less time, actually. I recorded a video, and even though I did not use it because it was not good quality at least I got that done.
Today I have just uploaded a video and then done all sorts of house-chores that I also felt needed to be done, and soon I have to go fetch Jay, and I have sent some emails to customers who asked about stuff and I have postponed that stuff.
I fear I am impacted by some sort of down-ish energy. But how to break the circle.
Maybe if I just force myself to do one video, no matter how shitty it is. Maybe at least I can say I tried.
Maybe I can break the deadlock in my mind. And if not I can say I tried.
Maybe that is the best way to go.
I wish things were easier, but since they are not – let me go this way.
If it really is the case that a shadow is still in me and very deeply so, then I ask for the help of you – universe, God, etc. –
help me break free from it.
As soon as possible.
A friend of mine who was admitted to the psychiatric ward at much the same time as I, is a pensioner today. He does not have a strong purpose.
His ‘purpose’ if it even exists in any meaningful form, is mostly about surviving and getting by. More concretely it is about being safe, and about doing stuff he enjoys like reading or watching television.
Of course his case is more complicated than that brief glimpse, but it does make one wonder, doesn’t it?
I mean, my friend and I went through the same ordeal more or less at the same time.
We had very similar symptoms of anxiety and depression, strong enough for us to be admitted to hospital. Me in 2005. Him in 2006.
Today one of us is still in there. In a kind of hospital.
Now, I don’t know of course if this kind of self-hate is the same as yours, in substance or in strength, but surely there is a familiarity.
Those feelings must spring from somewhere, and IMO it is very much the same source, so to speak. Something inside is broken and needs fixing. Medication can help but it has side-effects and it is NOT a cure. See a health professional about this, but make sure you see more than one.
What helped me was, to some extent, therapy but mostly therapy I trained myself to habituate – i.e. I learned how to think differently. All the time.
To stop the hateful thoughts and replace them with something else. Cognitive behavioral therapy, I believe it is called – and it was a self-made variation thereof I used, with some help from therapists.
But what I would really like to point out is that I did not seriously commit myself to this kind of therapy, including the 24/7 practice (which was the most important) before I realized, deeply, that my current status quo would lead to self-destruction.
You can fill in the blanks there … But I realized that I hurt myself and that ultimately it would not do me any good to continue.
Whatever it was inside me that apparently believed I would do something or other that I, well, needed by hating myself … that illusion was dispelled and I could finally seek help.
Reality is merciless here. If your nervous system can’t take the way you live, it will break down again, even if you think that you ought to do fine, or that you are fine.
But there is a lot more to it than these stray thoughts, of course.
And it is a difficult and hard road ahead.
Still, there is hope. As I know from my own journey, even if my experiences – or that of many others – can’t be totally transplanted to this situation.
These past weeks, as I understand H, has been about putting out the big blaze. Now the real reconstruction work starts.
But it is a very simple kind of work in its essence.
They need help. And professional help. And it has to come from family and private funds.
And everybody needs patience and courage and needs to acknowledge, each in their own way and time, that the healing process will not lead back to the old life.
It will lead to something new, which – frightening as it may seem now – is actually the best. For example a more flexible and realistic and loving and communicative attitude towards … everything.
That’s a tall order.
For old and frail people like H’s parents.
But it need not be perfectly like that.
There just needs to be a movement – towards change.
That will give hope.
You can start dealing with problems better and more rationally – after the ice-cream.
As I get older I find that I still struggle with fears, perhaps more so than before – fears that come out of nowhere.
But, I suppose, founded in reality. Or potential reality.
Fear of growing old, dying suddenly, getting ill, becoming handicapped, losing Char or Jay like that, etc.
Those and other fears. But the physical ones – about physical danger – seem more pertinent. They circle like shadows of sharks.
I have before berated myself for those fears, but as I grow older I also find that the only way to deal with them properly is to accept them completely.
And then use the rest of the time to the best of my ability, regardless whether the fears come true or not.
It is difficult but it is the only way. Otherwise you get a vicious circle with fear of … fear.
And I could say the same about a lot of other sharks.
If you feel bad about how little you achieve in a day, then try to lower your expectations. Not too much, just a little, until you feel better. Praise yourself for what you have achieved. Affirm that you will achieve more of what is truly important, just not today.
It sounds like hard work – this kind of control – and it is. But it is much harder on you to succumb to the allure of bashing yourself about all the things you can’t do in a given day and how problematic that is.
That is the result of expectations that have become toxic – blocks to actually realizing and achieving something because you spend too much time to worry about these expectations and why they are not fulfilled more.
What do you – right now – think you can’t let go of, but which you feel stressed about keeping in your life?
What if you could let go of it?
Why don’t you find a reason to do it, then?
Your Life’s Journey. Where are you going in it?
What is The Most Important Destination?
Answer that and you will have one powerful tool to knock out stress. Not the only one, but one of the big ones.
A power-tool, if there ever was one!
And now, today, I felt again afraid that I – for some reason – would not make it. Would not draw all the things I really want to draw. Or write all the things I really want to write.
Very afraid …
And I think I know why …
I felt afraid because I was not spending enough time doing it.
For when I don’t spend enough time doing it, then … it is obvious to feel afraid: “What if I die tomorrow or next year? … Without having … ”
I see that now.
And I shared that.
I hope you can use it. I can.
Maybe my mum doesn’t want that kind of ambiguity when talking about her post-cancer operation treatment options, because I don’t give her straight answers and tell her one course, just as she is not comfortable with my brother’s very straight-forward directness about what he definitely things she should do.
Maybe she just wants things to go on as normal, forever. Unfortunately, that is a wish nobody can fulfill.
So we will have to do our best to make the time until forever starts, as beautiful as possible.