Author: vitafey

I am a woman who is recovering from chronic Depression and Anxiety. This blog is meant to be a place to track my progress, and occasionally rant a little.

I say “ridiculous” a ridiculous amount of times

This morning I hit the snooze on my alarm a ridiculous number of times. It was already set for a ridiculously late time of day to be getting out of bed. Then I ended up laying in bed for a ridiculous length of time after turning off my alarm. I then took ridiculously long to get dressed. My breakfast took a ridiculous amount of time to get through. Well it shouldn’t be referred to as breakfast since it was ridiculously late in the day. I then took ridiculously long to get going after having some coffee. I did end up doing some gardening because my 94 year old grandmother was trying to do it, and it would have been ridiculous to allow that. My household chores took a ridiculous amount of time to get started. Now it’s ridiculously late in the day for me to not have things finished.

What I’ve realized is that I’m actually not feeling all that bad. Lately, I’ve barely been feeling depressed on a daily basis. The low moods are coming and going. But it’s becoming apparent to me that I’m very accustom to being depressed.

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Thinking about what other people are thinking about me

So I spend a great deal of time in the public library. To be honest, I’m there nearly every day. It’s quiet, has a good internet connection, is very close to my home, and there are a whole bunch of books on a variety of subjects that interest me. It seems like a sensible place to spend my over-abundance of spare time.

I rarely do much reading while I’m in the library. Most of my time is spent working on my laptop, or looking for new books to check out. I then read the books at home. Though the library is nice and quiet, I prefer curling up in the cozy chair in my bedroom with a cup of coffee or tea. Because nothing is more relaxing than having a nice cup of tea over a book about teenagers fighting to their deaths, or Taliban controlled Afghanistan, or living with a severe mood disorder. It does the body good.

At my house I currently have over twenty library books. They are all on the subjects of achieving happiness, stories of people who have lived through depression, the history of mental illness, and overcoming a serious mood disorder. Actually, I think I have nearly half of the library’s resources on mood disorders in my bedroom.

I try not to trouble myself by worrying too much about what complete strangers might be thinking about me, but I do it anyway. Every time I go to check out a book I imagine the librarian thinking, “Hmmm, another mental illness book. Obviously somebody is crazy…” Though I’d prefer to believe she is thinking, “Oh, she must be researching mood disorders for some kind of project. That’s interesting”. Or maybe she just thinks I’m some introverted and  unemployed girl with way too much time on my hands. Which is fairly accurate. Or maybe nobody in the library notices me at all and I just think too much…

Girl Anachronism

I love this song, and the Dresden Dolls in general. This sums up how I feel during those really bad episodes.
Anachronism is defined as ” a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.” Yep, that’s how I feel sometimes. Other women my age are functioning like smartphones, and I’m the rotary phone in your grandparents attic. What is a rotary phone? It’s those things you see people talking on in old movies. Why is it kept in their attic? Because even your grandparents have cellphones, or at least push-button telephones.

That feeling

It amazes me at how quickly I can go into a feeling of absolute hopelessness and self-loathing. Yesterday evening I was in a decent, even somewhat optimistic mood. Then, something ended up reminding me of a recent event that had made me unhappy. I was quickly overcome with melancholy and became outwardly irritable.

During these times, any slightly agitating incident feels so much more cumbersome to handle. When I went to get into my car, the driver’s and front passenger’s doors were both jammed (I assume it had to do with the snow and ice outside). To be able to leave in my car I had to enter from the back seat and crawl up to the front. This is not that tiring of an experience, but I was already in an upsetting mental state. It felt as if everything in my life is always falling apart and nothing good ever happens to me. I spent the rest of my evening crying over Taco Bell while watching reruns on television (I don’t even remember what was on).

Of course, this was an overreaction. My circumstances are not that bad. Yes I’m unemployed, single, broke, directionless and depressed. Okay it sounds bad when I say it like that. But I do have a fairly decent life. I have a nice place to live and enough food. My basic needs are met. As far as life in comparison to many people in this world, I’m doing okay.

It just frustrates me to not have something fulfilling in my life. If I had something that I felt truly passionate, it would make a huge difference. But I guess it’s what I need to keep working on to find.

Ten Lies Depression Tells You

This is pretty accurate.

The Belle Jar

1. You are a bad person who deserves bad things.

2. You are unhappy because you are lazy or lacking in willpower. Happiness is a choice, a choice that you have failed to make. Somehow, somewhere over the course of your lifetime, when faced with some metaphysical fork in the road, you chose the wrong path. You brought this curse down on yourself.

3. Your sadness is the baseline by which the rest of your life should be measured. This sadnesss is your norm, and any other emotions, especially positive ones, are exceptions to the rule. Yes of course there will be good times, of course there will be flashes of joy; you will certainly, on occasion, experience the pleasure of a good book or a ripe juicy peach,  However, those experiences will be few and far between. Your bad days will always outnumber the good.

4. Your family and…

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Having a Purpose

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

When trying to achieve true happiness in life, it is necessary that we feel our life has a purpose. Without a defined purpose, or mission, it can often feel as if we are wondering aimlessly through our days. For many of us, it can be very difficult to recognize our mission in life. But once we have a mission in life, it will help to drive up our happiness with the feeling that our days are full of meaning.

Being someone who has struggled with depression for most of my life, it is very for me to recognize and strive to fulfill my mission in life.  When it is painful, and sometimes impossible, to get out of bed to face the day, one can hardly imagine that day being spent in the pursuit of a deeper meaning. During these times, nothing is enjoyable and the days are completely meaningless. A depressed person’s days are spent simply surviving.

But despite the way we feel in the midst of depression, we have the right to a life of happiness and meaning. The key to figure out our mission in life is to evaluate the things we enjoy. Of course, many of us have times in which there is absolutely nothing we enjoy, or anything that will ever make us happy.

I have been lucky enough to be someone who greatly benefits from antidepressants. They do not make me happy, nor do they completely eradicate my depression and anxiety, but they do lift up to a level where I am occasionally able to experience some enjoyment. Having these times of relief has given me the ability to work towards discovering my mission in life. I am now able to known these things I enjoy doing and evaluate how these things relate to my life’s deeper meaning.

If you are at a point in your life where you can experience enjoyment, then I recommend taking the time to write down those things that you enjoy doing and experiencing. Don’t give it much thought, these are meant to be the things that enter your mind most naturally. Don’t bother editing because none of these things are insignificant. If you enjoy feeding ducks by the lake, it has a purpose in your life.

If you are someone that isn’t at a point in your life where you are experiencing any kind of enjoyment, then I recommend trying to think back to a time when you did have the ability. It may have been as a young child, but those things we enjoyed as children can still be a part of our adult lives. For instance, I enjoyed drawing cartoons as a kid, and as an adult I enjoy painting.

Here a list I created recently of things that I enjoy.

I Enjoy

Reading: fiction and non-fiction, but no cheesy romance novels

Painting and creating art

Going antiquing (preferably when I have some money)

Making jewelry. Well, not the process as much as the result.

Cuddling

Feeling loved or desired

Going for walks

Writing (sometimes)

Thrifting: mostly for clothes

The Library

Sleeping

When someone enjoys what I’ve cooked

Being around animals, particularly dogs

Feeling needed

Having something to look forward to

The way I feel after working out

Ward showers and sometimes baths

Exploring new places

Trying new things

Dancing to live music

Drinking a beer on a porch with a friend

Having knowledge that can help someone else

Having people I can count on when I am in need

The way I feel when I eat healthy

Several of the things that I enjoy happen to be extrinsic, and most likely not key to my mission in life. It is probably most beneficial to focus on the intrinsic joys, the ones I actually have some control over in my life. If we put too much value in those things outside of ourselves, we will be devastated if they are ever taken away. Of course, we should always appreciate our friends and family. We should appreciate the material things that we possess. But these things outside of us can be lost. We will be affected by the world around us no matter what, but as long as their is inner-joy and a mission in life we will be able to overcome life’s obstacles. Having a mission in life makes us able to achieve true happiness, and this happiness will affect the people around us.

Vision of Health and Wellness

Many books and programs on overcoming Depression encourage people to visualize themselves as a recovered person. It is meant to be a more defined goal than, say, “I don’t want to feel like crap anymore”. If we picture ourselves after recovery it helps to give us something with which to strive. Below is a rough version of my “vision of health and wellness” that I created last night. It is not something I spent a great deal working on. I went with whatever came into my head, since that is a more pure form of my true desires.

Vision of Health and Wellness

I am confident in my own abilities and comfortable in the company of others. My days are filled with work, volunteering, creative endeavors, and socializing. Exercise is part of my daily routine, as is caring for my home, and taking time for spiritual growth. My evenings often include socializing with friends and new people, but I do not feel the need to over-drink in order to control my anxiety. I am open to new experiences and expanding my social group. Taking time to pursue art and writing is something I do every day. I take pride in being properly dressed and presentable, but do not obsess over my looks. I am welcoming of love from those around me. Keeping in touch with friends and family is important to me. I know and accept my limitations, but still push myself to my full capabilities. When dealing with others, I try to be as diplomatic as possible, and apologize when I am harsh or out of line in some way. An amount of time is taken is day to meditate. I also journal every night before bed. Sleep comes easily and I have a peaceful slumber. In the morning, I wake looking forward to my day.

While working through recovering my “vision of health and wellness” may change slightly, or perhaps even drastically. It is okay to change my vision as much as I feel is necessary because my mind set will be changing over time. Everyone’s vision of being mentally healthy varies. All that matters is that we continually recognize that there is a better version of ourselves to strive towards becoming.

Anxious Blogger

This blog is my place to semi-anonymously write about my depression and anxiety, and whatever the hell else I feel like expressing. “Shadows Shape Shifting” is from a short story that I once wrote, which I may share on here at some point. Actually, I have to find it first.
As a New Years resolution I came up with trying something new, that I had always wanted to do, every month. February is my “start a blog” resolution, so yeah. The end of this month got here a bit sooner than I was prepared for because February is kind of short and all.
Unfortunately I’m one of those people who have a difficult time getting things started. Think I might suffer from poor executive function, among other things. Or I might just suffer from studying too much Psychology. But I’m positive I have anxiety and depression, since actual doctors say I do and give me drugs for it. My mom also says I do, and she’s pretty much always right.
I hope to use this as an outlet to track my personal development while recovering from anxiety and depression.