Today 10

Wow! I can’t believe how fast time is going. Just a quick update.

I am still holding my own with the depression…yoohoo! Actually I think I have just been so busy that I have probably broken some cycle or other. My job is really good and I have been doing probably one day a week of overtime. I am also building furniture again…this time for ourselves, a “day bed” that can be a single, two singles or a double. Should be good. With the change in the weather, getting warmer, it is soon going to be time to get active in the garden as well. Oh yeah, I also made some shortbread the other day.

Been doing a few family things as well…suppose to be playing golf this Sunday with my sons.

My wife has been making some new meals recently and they have been a great success, and tasty…yum!

I am still working on some other posts but they haven’t gone far, slack!

Well that’s it for now, take care all

Depression: The Black Dog has become a transient visitor?

black dog

Yes I am pleased to say that my old ‘friend’ the Black Dog has become only a transient visitor, here today gone tomorrow…kind of! So since my previous post on this subject, Has anyone seen a Black Dog, things have settled some more. The depression has been back, but really nothing to overly concern me. Mornings are the time when I am most likely to feel flat but providing I get myself up and going I usually break the cycle, and since my new job requires me to be up at 4.30am five days a week, I am fairly well covered.

The other helpful thing about my new job is that at no time am I able to just drift off and dwell in my thoughts. I am either trying to maneuver a bus through heavy traffic or around inner suburban streets, or I am interacting with the passengers as they come and go. All round my mind is well occupied…this is so different from my previous office job that had become totally boring and something I could do in my sleep (or in a state of depression).

office sleeper

So all round I am feeling a lot stronger, a lot more positive. On bad days I can face them knowing that I can manage, and still feel a sense of accomplishment and, if I can make somebody else’s day a bit better then it’s still been a good day.

I am still on my medication and at this point I don’t see myself coming off it for a while, I am just not that sure of how strong I really am. Also, I have been getting out a bit more recently and my wife has detected some of my ‘old’, ‘odd’ behaviors, so one step at a time. The other thing that does concern me about coming off the meds is, what happens if I start to slip and that triggers anxiety attacks, I do not want to go back there!

So what’s the moral of this story? Depression/mental illness is not something that will necessarily leave you, even with treatment. Treatment however can make a big difference but it takes time as well as trial and error, but don’t give up. Always look for ways within your life that can help you…get a new job, something you like rather than something that pays well or has some prestige to it. Help others, not just by social media but by getting out and getting involved, have that interaction with others – even if this means some kind of group therapy where you can use your experience to assist others.

I know I still have a long way to go and that I am still going to have bad times, but right now I am feeling liberated from that old dog, he’s still there but he doesn’t have the hold that he did, he’s not tearing me down and making even my good days bad….let’s hope I still feel the same tomorrow!!!! (Just joking)

Depression: Has anyone seen a Black Dog?

I seem to have mislaid a Black Dog! My wife and I have been away for five days as my wife wanted to visit a sick friend who lives about 600kms south of Sydney. It’s a beautiful coastal area (will try to insert some photos later) and other the the day of our arrival, the days were mostly sunny and marginally warm. We arrived home Sunday evening quite tired from the journey and come Monday morning there was little movement in the camp…actually we slept in till after 11am.

After finally getting up we decided to make the day special by visiting IKEA to get some ideas on how to finish the last few bits of our granny flat. Two hours later….

In the evening we were watching some TV when my wife asked, “are you on a high?” I thought about it and said “no, I’m just feeling happy”. I then gave it some thought and realized that it wasn’t a High, I know what they feel like, rather the big black cloud that has hung around all my life was gone! Gone! I was amazed, but scared because, what happens if tomorrow it is back? I decided not to mention it to my in case it did come back. Next morning, Tuesday, I awoke to go for my walk…no morning blues! I got up without any reservation and wen about the whole day without even a hint of sadness, how cool is that! In the evening I decided it was time to tell my wife, it felt so good to be able to give her some really good news for a change. She was so happy, what a day!

Well I’m not so stupid as to think it has gone for good, but I don’t care, I am just going to enjoy it while it lasts, long may it last! My wife asked if I could ever remember it happening before, I can’t, it just seems to have always been there. I told her that I can remember times when I was happier, but the cloud was always there. This is a different feeling altogether. I told her that now, even if the cloud returns it won’t be as bad because now I will always know what it was like for it not to be there.

Today, Wednesday, I am still free and loving it. Incidentally if anyone finds that Black Dog…I don’t want it back!

Mental Health: Depression – Reblog “On having stuff and things”

Found this post on thisisadepressionblog recently and thought it was a good read, see what you think;

This is a Depression Blog

my world of dysthymia, double depression, anxiety, and other such afflictions

On having stuff and things

I am not a particularly materialistic person. I enjoy owning things, of course – I like having a laptop for computing, cookware for making tasty things, etc. But I get fed up with having so much stuff.

My family hoarded things. In part, it’s a habit you pick up from poverty. You hold onto things because you don’t know if you’ll be able to afford to replace them. You hold onto things that are broken or worthless because they might have a purpose one day. Before you know it you’ve got all this stuff that you don’t use.

I’m guilty of this hoarding on a small scale. I hold onto things that I think I might be able to use for arts and crafts. I’ve got scraps of paper, and pieces of string, and stones that I might use one day – not today, and not tomorrow, but, maybe, one day. A cleverer person would probably throw them out.

Every once in a while, I get the urge to live a much simpler life, and I start getting rid of things I don’t need or want. It’s not easy. I second-guess myself (might need it later, might want it later). Yet, I’ve never run into a situation where I’ve needed something I’ve gotten rid of.

There are also things I might want. I want more tech gadgets, and I want more cookware. But I don’t need these things, so I don’t get them. It’s pretty simple.

I’m happier living without so much stuff. However, I’m surrounded by people who think differently. It can be straining. I have friends and family who just keep buying and collecting things they don’t need. It grinds my nerves. I’ve learnt not to question them (Why are you buying that? You don’t need it.), because they get very offended (wanting something is a good enough reason for them to get it). I guess if they can afford the stuff, and they have space for it, it is their prerogative. I don’t really understand it though.

clutter

Thanks Michelle, I added the pic because I thought it appropriate! I can really relate to some of this because I tend to hoard and purge. I would say though that living simpler, less cluttered is really a load off so should be something that one considers if they suffer with mental illness.

ClutterCleared

But don’t take it this far!!!

Previous Guest post by Michelle click here

Anxiety – Team sports, Movies, Books

Anxiety, what do these three things have to do with anxiety? Well this time I am not talking about ‘tells’ as in my earlier post. No, this time I am on a different tangent altogether. This time it is all about how these things cause/can cause anxiety. I know, not everyone is affected negatively by this kind of anxiety. For me though it has always been a source of unwanted anxiety. Sounds like I have had this under control all my life, right? No. It is only just recently (I’m not going to tell you just, how recently!) that I put this together.

The one thing I have always known is that I always like to read the end of a book before I start from the beginning, with team sports I like to know the result before I watch the game, and with movies I ‘prefer’ to know the outcome at the beginning – otherwise all the way through it I am guessing the result, it helps to reduce the anxiety because I can kinda kid myself that I know the answer (for another explanation why other people like to know the conclusion first, click here). However, this is not an open and shut case with me. There are movies that I enjoy and have watched numerous times, yet there will be certain points in the show where I will suddenly jump out of my seat and go and make a cuppa or go to the bathroom. Just something about that part suddenly makes the anxiety hit the ceiling.

So why did I say ‘Team’ sports? Well I can watch golf, tennis, motor sport, etc. and it doesn’t affect my anxiety. The conclusion I have come to is that with ‘individual’ sports, the person in many ways is playing against themselves. The fact that other people are there can be almost inconsequential. Now obviously they want to beat the others because there is prestige and money at stake, but how often have you heard a competitor say that while disappointed that they lost, they are really happy with the improvement they have made? Some people will obviously say that they are just saying that to make themselves feel better, maybe, however that is exactly how I feel about it. When I play golf with others, I tend to experiment and just enjoy the experience, I don’t even care if we don’t keep the score because I know if I am playing better or worse than last time, I don’t need it written on paper.

Okay so I know how to avoid some of that ‘day to day’ anxiety, isn’t that a good thing? Well anything that stops you having an anxiety attack can’t be all bad.

hands-over-ears-woman-bigst

However, according to one clinical psychologist (if you want to read the article, click here) “Avoidance … can create new problems, such as addictive behaviors, Greenberg said. And the more we avoid something, the more anxious and fearful we become.” This same psychologist also made a good point in saying, “when we avoid something today, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to learn new skills or solve problems”.

The problem that I have with all this good advice is, I never get around to putting it into practice! You see, I am just not the kind of person who sits down to watch something, and says “this is a good opportunity to practice….”. It just won’t happen. So to this day anxiety is a part of every day life. Fortunately I have got past the high level of anxiety that had me on drugs, so I will just put up with it and continue with my little oddities.

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