Saturday, September 22, 2012
How I Beat Depression Today
I don’t know why it’s been so hard today.
That is one of the very frustrating things about mental illness. Feelings happen for no reason.
Try thinking of it this way. As your read this, your right hand suddenly punches you in the face.
Pretty scary, isn’t it? Because you should be in control of that hand, but instead it just hurt you. For no damn reason at all it just hurt you. And you didn’t see it coming.
That’s what today has been like. I was sad yesterday, and even more so today – my brain is giving me a major smackdown. I don’t know why. People often try to find reasons for me (“Oh, the weather’s changed,” or “It’s been hard for you with Teresa in the hospital.”) but really, today there is no reason.
So this is how I got through the day, and why I am able to write this post tonight:
- I focused on people other than myself. I took the kids out to see their mom, and we all had brunch together. I gave apples to some of my neighbours. I spent time individually with my son and my daughter.
- I got exercise. Even though I didn’t want to, I went for a run/walk. On the way I ran into one of my favourite people and her daughter. That really made the excursion worthwhile.
- I spent twenty minutes stretching.
- I did deep breathing.
- I practiced mindfulness by learning something new (I took out my wife’s sewing machine, and with the help of YouTube, sewed two pairs of pants for my daughter’s “One Direction” dolls (Niall and Liam)). Concentrating so hard on something really puts me in the present, and focuses my thinking.
I didn’t do everything textbook. I ate poorly, for example. I also should have gotten some rest. But in the main, this worked for today, and kept the downward spiral at bay.
I am functional tonight, and will see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, my brain will surprise me with a better mood instead of a punch to the face.