Sunday Run-down: We Can do Better Than This

After a bad day yesterday, I went to bed thinking, “It’s okay, there’s always tomorrow.  I’ll make up for the bad day I had today by doing better tomorrow.”  Well, I don’t know.  I sort of gave up on today as soon as I woke up this morning.  I don’t know why, really.  I just didn’t really have it in me to bother summoning the energy I would have needed to do just about anything.  And so instead of working on small tasks or just focusing on getting one thing accomplished, I threw in the towel and figured, “Why bother?”

I think maybe that sentiment is one of the hardest parts of depression to combat effectively.  The answer is always obvious, very straightforward, and simple: “Why bother?”  “Because you’ll feel much better if you do than you will if you don’t.”  A response like that should indicate that you’re dealing with a no-brainer.  The problem is, though, that depression wants to keep you feeling bad more than anything.  So it comes up with a counter-response: “Yeah, but I’ll just end up feeling this way again no matter what.”  And thus begins the most frustrating argument you could ever have with yourself.  Moving past that depressive urge to wallow rather than act is sometimes a question of determination and stubbornness; other times it entails far more than that.  I’m not sure what I needed today, because I didn’t really take much time to think about it and try to figure it out.  And I regret that.

At this point, all I can really do is remind myself that I can do better than this.  I’ve been happy in the past, and I can be happy again.  The work that it requires is worth doing, and even if I do ultimately get depressed again, at least I will have had happiness in equal or even greater measure.  And so as tempting as it would be to shrug and say, “Why bother making a plan for this week?”, I am going to state my intentions for the next seven days.  Not doing so would just be giving up, which I don’t want to do.  And because it’s fun to make graphs with pretty colors, I put my mileage goals into graph form.  You’ll notice there are two different scenarios here–the Novice 2 plan as well as the Intermediate 1 plan (I’m unable to insert any links, once again.  Otherwise I would link to the plans here.  Thanks, WordPress).  Since Hal Higdon appeared to be the overwhelming crowd favorite, I thought I’d go with one of his plans.  I just haven’t decided which one yet.

 

My other goal is going to be to work on acting opposite (if I could link here, I would link to this: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/opposite_action.html).  It’s been a while since I’ve made a concerted effort to focus on how my thoughts and actions are feeding into my mood, and I’m hoping that maybe paying a bit more attention to that will have its benefits.

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5 comments

  1. Hey there,
    I don’t have too much to say — Just wanted to say that I’ve noticed you’ve been down a bit lately, and although I know it’s not much consolation, I can totally relate to the inertia you’re feeling and the inability to *do* anything. I’ve definitely been there before. I’m actually in a better place now, but with that comes the constant fear that at any moment this will all slip away and I’ll end up in that dark place again. So I’m enjoying where I am now, but it comes at the price of fear. I’m moving back to the U.S. in a couple of months, and I’m terrified that the move back will trigger a downswing in my mood. I’m trying so hard to figure out WHAT it is that is making me not depressed now so that I can get back to this place whenever I want, but I know it’s not that easy.
    Wow, didn’t mean to make this about me! As a reader for several months now, though, I just wanted to tell you you’re not alone and that you shouldn’t feel bad about sharing the “bad stuff” with your readers, either!

  2. We had DBT session each week when I was in treatment. I learned a lot of those skills from the psychologist that lead it. If I can just remember them, they’re super helpful! Hopefully you find focusing on opposite action helpful!

  3. I also love graphs with pretty colors so that is a gorgeous way to set up your goals!

    One section of your post particularly called to me: ” I’m not sure what I needed today, because I didn’t really take much time to think about it and try to figure it out. And I regret that.” When I am in a funk, or in a bad eating cycle, I don’t think I put enough effort into thinking about what I need and giving it to myself. As strange as this sounds, I’ve started painting my nails a lot recently. I’ve bought all these crazy colors and the shatter polish and I change it up when it starts to chip. It’s kind of like one little thing I can control that makes me smile. Is there something little like this that you can treat yourself to?

  4. I haven’t commented on your posts lately, and I think it’s because they’ve been hitting pretty close to home. I’ve struggled with depression for most of my adult life, and so this battle is one that I know well. Even when I know that what I’m feeling is only because of the depression and not ME, it’s small consolation.

    “At this point, all I can really do is remind myself that I can do better than this. I’ve been happy in the past, and I can be happy again.”

    This is so true, and it’s something I’ve told myself over and over and over again. For me, I use the bad times as a way to gauge how strong I really am – if I’ve been able to get back up time and time again, isn’t that a pretty awesome measure of strength, rather than an indication of weakness? I remind myself that I’ve been down this road before, and I’ll undoubtedly have to walk down it again – but that’s okay because I’ll get to where I want to be eventually.

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