Hobbies

It is so hard to learn to put sadness in perspective so hard to understand that it is a feeling that comes in degrees, it can be a candle burning gently and harmlessly in your home, or it can be a full-fledged forest fire that destroy almost everything and is controlled by almost nothing. It can also be so much in-between
— Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

We all need hobbies. Something that can distract our minds and give us a purpose. Something we enjoy and brings us happiness.

I recently had this thrown in my face. It wasn’t good and led to those dark thoughts again. I had a person I trusted tell me and a counselor that I didn’t have any hobbies. I felt as though he was saying I didn’t do anything.

Am I only my depression and anxiety? Is that what I have become? Is this the downfall to telling people I suffer from an internal pain that seems to burn forever?

I had my depression and anxiety used against me. Isn’t it enough that I use it against myself every day? Does someone else really need to point it out?

I began telling myself that all I am is my depression. That’s the only significant thing in my life. Just another thing to hate myself for. I’ll add it to the ever growing list.

The truth is I do have hobbies, I can find enjoyment in things. I’ll admit that while I’m going through this dark episode it’s hard for me to find the energy or enjoyment in anything, but it’s there somewhere waiting to come back out.

That’s the hard part, finding that energy, that purpose to get up and enjoy things. Enjoy life. If only it were easy, but it’s not. Doing anything with these monsters sitting on our shoulders is painful. They’re a constant little voice in our head telling us we can’t or we’ll fail. So how do we start? Where do we start?

That’s where your support system comes in. They should be encouraging you to try. They should be there to help you as you stumble and can’t find your way. They should be pushing you toward success.

Some days they may have to come over and pull you out of bed, but it’s the best thing for you. Yes, this has happened to me. I was upset and didn’t want to move but she kept pushing me to do something. Anything besides sitting there and stewing in my own mind. That’s the most dangerous thing you can do when you suffer every day.

Set goals for yourself everyday. Goals that are achievable that day. Make small steps. Set yourself up for success, not failure.

Every night during the winter months I turn my thermostat down to sixty. I have two reasons for this. First, sleeping with big heavy blankets is comforting for me and I hate being hot when I sleep. The second reason is that it forces me out of bed in the morning to go downstairs and turn the heat back up. While I’m up I might as well stay up. I’m not saying that it isn’t still a constant battle that day. As that battle wages in my mind and I start to feel emotionally and physically exhausted I have to force myself to not go climb back into bed where I feel safe. Some days I fail, and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new chance. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay and that’s a whole new battle.

I challenge you to set a goal today. Something that is achievable so that you can feel that satisfaction. Nothing huge, don’t try to cure yourself in one day. Even if it’s something like calling someone that you have as part of your support system and giving them an update on how you are doing. That’s all it takes.

What are your goals for the day?