I have been enjoying depression for the last week or two. Before I explain that odd statement thought I want to throw out a few disclaimers and notes.
This is just my life, my story. Other peoples depression is different. Maybe my advice will help, maybe it wont. I don’t have it as bad as many people who suffer from depression. I don’t think everyone takes depression the same way. I don’t think everyone with depression even has the same thing, psychology is so nascent and we understand so little that there is probably a vast number of different causes we all lump under “Depression” because all we can see is the most obvious symptom. Last; this isn’t a cure or a fix — it’s just my life, my story.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Back to the Story
I used to get really bad depression, the kind where I lie awake all night thinking about how useless and pointless everything is. How I’m just going to fuck everything up for the actual good people around me. That suicide isn’t even appealing cause that would just hurt others even more than staying alive does. I would try to fix it by redoubling my efforts at All The Things(tm). And then at the end of the day I would be depressed, exhausted, and even more stressed because there were even more things I was failing at even harder.
Then randomly on Facebook a friend who also had depression posted a meme giving advice on depression, the salient point was “Stop trying to be strong.” (Ironically this line deeply and greatly offended a lot of people who didn’t have depression … for some reason) For me this was the key though. When I was feeling depressed and didn’t want to work on my projects, I simply didn’t I went and did whatever I DID want to do instead; walk in the park, stare at the ceiling for hours, watch crappy escapist TV. I was still sad but sad is nice, compared to stress sadness is just happinesses mellow sibling.
I have been depressed again. It’s been a long time since I was depressed last. Exercise and fixing my sleep disorders had mostly eradicated it but now it was back for a visit. Maybe it’s because I over exerted my socialness at a solid week of conventions, maybe because I hadn’t been exercising in all that time, or maybe just because.
Whatever the cause I said fuck it all, and just went with it. Don’t feel inspired to write, then fuck my writing goals I wont write. Don’t feel up to putting cloths on, I guess I’m going to the store in my dinosaur onesie. Can’t bring myself to open dating apps and try to human at strangers on the internet in the vain hope that they will someday love me — hello loneliness, can I offer you a cider and pizza?
I found that despite what I originally thought, (that while depressed everything sucked), lots of activities where engaging (some even fun) until I told myself, “I should do something more important than this” and that thought was poisoning everything in my life — so I stopped listening to it.
Ironically this has made me really productive in other areas of my life. All my video games are boring? Might as well do my taxes, their as fun as any other pointless game. Should I put in extra hours at work? Sure I mean, what else am I going to do, at least it’s more distracting. Don’t have the energy to get out of bed? Time to put a dent in my to-read list. Sure I don’t have the attention span to remember what I just read but rereading just kills more time — win-win. To bored to even read? Cool I’ll just stare at this wall and think, I got lots to think about and it’s good to figure out your life once in awhile you know.
The key to this productivity that I once would have found so remarkable during my depressions is that I’m not trying. These aren’t my goals, in fact I stopped trying to have goals when I feel like this, these are my distractions. It’s like how procrastinators are so good at doing everything but what they are supposed to be doing, I’m literally just looking for ways to kill the time until I feel better… and that’s ok. All the thoughts about how worthless I am went away when I stop measuring how much I’m worth.
Of course it’s not a perfect solution, I find myself regularly thinking “Well I’m starting to feel better, now to all the things I SHOULD be doing” which just slides me back into depression. But at least this sort of struggle is one which I win on some days.