I stopped and looked at myself
On the inside
The space that no one else sees
From a clear head
After blurry weeks of just surviving
And I saw a desert
Nothing but dry sand
All the way to the horizon
I blinked and looked again
Nothing but ocean
No wonder I feel lost
No joy, no love, no life
(28 August 2015)
The weekend was a struggle and exhausting for me. But during conversations with a friend online, I came to understanding that depression was gripping me at the moment. Just that realisation, and knowing that a couple friends were looking out for me, gave me far more energy this morning than I would have otherwise.
I started the day with small goals. Just three tasks to focus on, for the benefit of myself. And that was all I had to achieve today. It’s a great little technique to create focus and accountability for your actions through the day.
So my focus was as in the picture above.
Today I will:
1. Get up, dress up, show up to work
2. Take care of myself
3. Be thankful at the end of the day
Number one is a good technique for any difficult to action tasks. Whether it is morning exercise, or some other new habit you want to form. Just get up, dress up, show up…
Number two is about not being critical of any setbacks. Accepting myself for who I am. Someone making an effort today despite everything that conspires against such actions. No judgement for who I am. It’s also about eating healthy and drinking healthy during the day.
Number three is partly my current project. Looking for silver linings in each day. It’s also Thankful for friends that help me get through a day. Thankful for friends that check up on me and ask how I’m going. Thankful for the ability to help out friends with my own wisdom. Thankful for feeling good tonight after making reasonable achievements in the office today. Thankful for a warm house and comfy bed to sleep in.
Little guides like this or a focus for the day really help me get through when I’m overwhelmed by feelings or just can’t see the light. How do you get through the day?
Feeling strong emotions is exhausting for me. Or is it that I am exhausted when I start feeling strong emotions? I was going to use the adjective negative for my emotions, but really they are not necessarily so. Just my interpretation of the situation around feeling them is negative. So much is coming up, coming out, as I do this therapy homework. Today I suspect sometime (>20) years ago I started suppressing my strong feelings because I couldn’t deal with them or they were too painful.
Being critical of myself for feeling sad, letting that take me over, for being emotional exhausted and feeling unable to cope with it all. Rebut: I am coping with help from close people in my life. I am learning (something) through all this. I am surviving and becoming stronger, bolder, more caring in a less selfish way, because this is the way I am being treated by other(s). Even managing this rebut is an achievement to feel good about.
In some ways I cling to feeling miserable because despite the anguish, it affords me opportunity to connect with others in dealing with it. Therein lies the attraction that I hesitate to lose.
How do you feel about strong emotions?
How do you think I am going with this?
What coping advise can you provide?
lots of tiredness, nay, exhaustion
throughout the last week or more
and I’m learning some acceptance
that I never felt before
there is so much pain and sadness
flooding through and from my heart
yet I tolerate and flow with it
getting by is a good start
[This poem was received overnight, sent by my cousin, after I shared my guilt and shame post with her. She is studying psychology and has personal experience with PTSD and depression and has pointed out the high number of significant stress factors in my life both currently and over the last year that would leave a typical person exhausted and not coping. It helps to have another point of view, but mostly I feel a special warmth that this poem was written for me.]
When others are not helping
[He] is there
When others are obsessing
about how they can benefit
what they want
how this will affect them
[He] considers the other
When others are tired
lost confused tangled
stuck in a myriad of ways
Even though it costs him
[He] reaches out a hand
When family is uncertain
needing a shoulder
needing physical help
needing his mind
[He] is the rock
being a rock
reaching out a hand
being an anchor that others hold on to.
It drains … but he doesn’t walk away,
just buries it inside
It exhausts … but he doesn’t pull the plug
just keeps holding it together til others are OK
What a rock
What an anchor
What a [Man]!
Friends around me
Can only momentarily distract
within your limited affections.
When you hold back
uneasy in your own mind
For reasons I can’t fathom
and you forget
the importance of expressing.
is just that
Conveys no emotion
Nothing that matters
into the nothingness I feel
Will my grounding disappear
And I fall away
from all that I know
there are times
I want it to be so
Escape from pain
From trying again
Again and again
Into my domain