THINGS I TOTALLY DO, BUT SHOULD NOT DO WHILE IN A DEPRESSIVE/ANXIOUS STATE
Hello, ladies and gents. I'm diagnosed with depression and General Anxiety Disorder. Takes two to tango, y'know. Here's a list of some of the general awful things I do when I'm feeling particularly low and generally *negative* to compensate, distract, and pull myself out of the pit of despair.
- •TIME TO ISOLATE AND PURSUE LIFE AS A HERMIT.Valley girl voice: "I'm just like, really not into existing right now." I pull an amazing Houdini disappearing act ON MASELF from time to time. Here's the magic trick: in the modern social media and technological age, totally delete and/or disable all of your social media outlets. Delete all numbers from your phone (except for family members, because you don't want to incite their panic). Find yourself totally isolated and alone and convince yourself that's how it should be. Feel worse. TA-DA!
- •BECOME THE WORLD'S BUSIEST HUMANWell fuck, isolation didn't work. Let's counteract that by filling our schedule with ALL THE ACTIVITIES. YES TO EVERYTHING. LET'S TRY POTTERY. KNITTING. CHURN MY OWN BUTTER CLASS. PURSUE JUGGLING. WHAT'S CROSSFIT? WHO AM I? NO TIME TO THINK. Putting yourself on the backburner is a pretty fantastic distraction, until you're exhausted, broke, grumpy, and left with yourself again. Doing all the things feels like self-care, but it's totally not.
- •OH DANG. LET'S BANG.SEX IS GREAT. unless it's with the wrong person. Like the guy with a girlfriend. Or the guy who you can't really tolerate, but has a nice face. Or the guy who is enamored with you and is always there but you have no interest in. Is sex bad? Absolutely not. Is putting yourself out and using others a healthy approach to sex? Absolutely not. It's fucking great for about five minutes after, and then the feelings of being cheap and desperate creep in and OH GOD I'M SAD AGAIN LET'S HAVE MORE SEX.
- •BINGE DRINK, BABYI'm not talking glass of wine after a stressful day. I'm talking lets-play-edward-forty-hands-on-a-weeknight-after-ive-had-five-beers-already-and-my-limit-is--typically-two-tops. I will admit that I love to drink. But drinking while I'm low leads to regrettable choices (see above), exacerbated emotional expression and general intolerable behavior, and also makes you feel soooo much lower the next day. Also, beer bloat is nasty.
- •SEEK VALIDATIONEx boyfriend? Hey what's up, remember how great I am? Dude I had nice camaraderie with that one semester in college? What's new, my friend, also remember our sexual tension because I'm pretty, right? Acquaintance on facebook? We have a thing in common that I just created an interest in for the purpose of this interaction. Let's chat. Dog being walked by his person on the street? Who's a good boy?! He won't mind being stopped for five whole minutes while I give you head pats and we become BFFs.
- •RUMINATIONI feel like this was a class in Harry Potter. I wish that's what I was involved in, but then it wouldn't be on my depressive list, it would be on my HOLY SHIT ITS REAL ALL MY DREAMS CAME TRUE list. I'm real good at being in my head about things. I can marinate in obsessive thoughts about past things and interactions that I probably messed up or that will have bad consequences that I'm making up. It's a cycle I can't get out of, and it's exhausting. I've been thinking too much, oh woah, woah.
- •This isn't an exhaustive list, but it captures my bad habits pretty generally. Hopefully next time I'm feeling low, I can look at this list and realize "hey. You're doing the thing. Stop that. And that other thing. AND THAT ONE." And then I can look at my list of things that make me feel better and go in the right direction.