Doesn't that look yummy? Can you resist?
This past year I had good days and bad days. I know everyone has their ups and downs, not just people with bipolar disorder. But if you have any kind of mental illness, those bad days can feel insurmountable. Those bad days cloud over all of the good days. There were several times this year when I felt like giving up. There were moments when I thought 'how have I managed for so long with these awful thoughts, these feelings of hopelessness? Why do I have to live a life where I am weak half of the time as I would be if I had the flu?' But I managed! I survived! Some days I even thrived.
But I will avoid making any New Year's Resolutions. Why? In order to make resolutions I would have to analyze what I have not done well this year so that I could resolve to do better. And I don't want to remember that stuff. I want to hang onto the successes.
WARNING! DON'T MAKE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!
Give yourself a pat on the back instead!
This entire series on 'Taking Control of Christmas Chaos' won't be complete without getting you over the New Year's hump.
Making a list of New Years resolutions can just make you more depressed. That kind of list points out the parts of your life that you're doing wrong. You don't need to dwell on that, especially during your weakened post-Christmas condition. You are delicate. You need to be kind.
So here's an alternative plan. Make a list of successes for this past year. If you think hard enough you can find something. It doesn't matter how small it is.
Here's my list:
1. I survived.
2. I kept taking my medication even though it really doesn't seem to help much.
3. I'm still on speaking terms with everyone I know.
4. I survived supporting my husband through four surgeries, several trips to the big city, and compromised eyesight while he recovered.
5. I survived doing all of his jobs as well as mine. (Truthfully, I fell apart several times along the way, but I survived!)
6. I managed to craft a blog post every week.
7. I continued to search new ways to cope with this insidious bipolar disorder. I did not lose hope.
8. I adhered as much as possible to my coping strategies of walking, solitude, writing, quilting, reading and drawing.
If I made a list of my perceived areas of failure, it would be a much longer and depressing list.
If I listed the ways I could improve on my failures, I would become exhausted and depressed.
If I listed the number of times I lost hope, I would lose more hope.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you ready to make that list of your successes? Try it, it may not be as hard as you think.
I am so glad you stopped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.
Dare I say "Happy New Year"? Why not!
"Happy New Year!"
Look at my latest project! Isn’t it pretty? Actually, the picture doesn’t do it justice, it is so much brighter than this! I am going to give it away, probably to a women’s shelter, like my last projects.
This post could also be titled: “SEWING SAVES MY LIFE”.
Last time I shared a book review with you called “Crochet Saved My Life”. Today I am sharing my own experience but I have changed the word ‘saved’ to ‘saves’ because it only works when I do it and I have to keep doing it! Sewing that is….
I’ve loved sewing ever since my first sewing lessons when I was a kid. Did I tell you about that? I was ten, my sister was thirteen and the other girls in the class were young women. The first thing we had to do before we chose our pattern was take our measurements. Most of the girls were 34-24-34 or something like that. As the youngest in the class I was 29-29-29, a little embarrassing! But I loved the classes and I learned to love sewing.
It’s ‘Whimsical Wednesday’ where I chat about any old thing that comes to my flighty little mind!
Confession – I don’t read very many other blogs. Oh I tried, I really did, but so many other blogs about depression are – well – depressing!
If you struggle with depression you want to surround yourself with as much positive as you can and stay away from as much negative as you can.
The other important consideration with depression is to remember how easily overwhelmed we get and for me, too much information is overwhelming.
How are you coming along with our depression review? Are you learning something new?
We have covered the first four important items: diagnosis, medication, therapy and research. Are you on track?
Well, there is more to do if you really want to recover from this old depression. Like it or not you may have to make some lifestyle changes. Try to think of it as if you were picking out a whole new wardrobe.
‘Keywords’, did that word even exist before we had internet? Well, I checked and yes it did. It simply means a word that unlocks the meaning.
If we are going to do a good depression review, we need to get down to basics.
Here are my eight keywords for the depression journey:
Food for depression? Here's my go to food when I'm feeling rotten: first choice ice cream, second choice jujubes and if I have none of that in the house cinnamon toast brings comfort. But they only feel good while I am eating them. Twenty minutes or so and up to a few hours after, I don't feel all that great. But when grab I for those things my mood is low anyways so I figure "I'm already down, how much worse can it get?"
Food for depression? How far are you willing to go to feel well? Are you willing to change the way you live? How about the way you eat? Yes, depression has already taken a lot from your life. Changing the way you live is asking a lot I know, but hasn't depression already forced you into changing the way you live anyways? And besides, if some changes would help improve the quality of your life, wouldn't it be worth a try?
Beware of Christmas coming! Honestly, I don't enjoy a lot of it. There stress over present giving, not mine but everyone's elses too. The socializing exhausts me. Plus there is all of that 'holiday spirit' pressure to make you feel that there is something wrong with you if you are not happy about Christmas. And then there is the guilt over not loving Christmas.
Beware of Christmas coming. It is not 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' for many especially those of us who live with the challenge of depression. Apparently it is a stressful time of year for most people, for one reason or another.
For us, we need to identify which part we find difficult and try to figure out ahead of time how to either avoid that part or cope with it using strategies.
So, which part is your most challenging part? Social? Financial? Family relationships? Food? Alcohol? Religion? Too many people? Not enough people? Have I missed some? Unhappy family life? Recent loss?