Winter Is Here

When you have depression, winter just sucks. I may have moved to the wrong state in that aspect. There is hardly any sunlight, and you have to spend 10 minutes bundling up before greeting the single digit weather. My depression has gotten better in the past two years when it comes to winter, but there are times when it really hits hard.

Keeping busy is hard to do during the winter, because, well, you don’t want to go outside. Mind you, it does beat 90+ degree weather with 100% humidity. I have acclimated to the cold, because 32 degrees outside it feels great now. There are some days where you have to just stay under the covers. You don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas, and you just want to flip through the Netflix catalog for 30 minutes. You have to get yourself out of that hole sometimes because life does go on. Here are a few things that help me when I’m in this situation.

Get a hobby.

Reading a book or walking the dog is fine, but it really helps if you do something you love. Especially something that has a tangible outcome. For example, I write for different websites on subjects I love. This really helps me feel accomplished after I finished the article. It helps me cope with my negative mindset. I have always felt like I was ‘a failure’ or ‘not good enough’. I was conditioned to feel that way, and part of it is my depression talking. I still struggle with this, and it’s hard to rewire your thinking process. However, it gives me some relief when I create something that I put so much effort into.

Socialize somehow, some way.

I know that depression isn’t something you get over like a light switch. Even if you know you are going to have a good time, you still have a sinking feeling. You will have your ‘what ifs’, your doubts, you over thinking things. That’s okay. Try to push through it, and go outside. You don’t have to necessarily go out with friends, just go to a public place. When I feel down, I like to go to a local coffee shop, and just write or read. You aren’t engaging with people directly, but you are sharing a space with other people willingly. That gives you a sense of community.

Take care of yourself.

We live in a society where we are conditioned to feel like we have to give every piece of ourselves, and self-care is a sign of weakness. So many people have health problems due to stress, and we don’t take the time to care for our emotional and mental well-being. There are two things you should do when it comes to self-care: make sure you are seeing a doctor or a therapist. You need to have some regulation in your life to help cope with depression. I can’t stress this enough. This keeps you sane. Even if you think medicine isn’t the right path for you, you need a professional guiding your decisions.

The second thing is fulfilling your wants. I’m not saying go spend hundreds on things. If you don’t have expendable income, then take a hot bath or exercise. What helps me is a hot bath with candles and a bath bomb. I just relax for a while or read a book. I focus on doing yoga, something that will keep me relaxed.

I hope that if you are struggling with seasonal depression, this helps. I have dealt with it for so long untreated. It sucks. It sucks when you don’t know what’s going on with you, and you don’t know what to do. I know it feels hopeless, but you can live with depression in a healthy way. It is going to take time and patience, but you can do it.

 

-E.

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So This is The New Year, And I Don’t Feel Any Different.

I have always hated New Year’s. I feel I start alot of my blogs this way, but I truly hate New Year’s. I think it’s because I have always felt very alone. Every year, when I was a kid, we would visit family; I wouldn’t be with any friends or anyone my own age, for that matter. I was alone with my own devices. Later in life, I had a boyfriend abandoned me on New Year’s. I was stuck by myself that night playing my 3DS on my grandmother’s couch.

It’s not that I have no where to go on New Year’s, and it really doesn’t matter. I think, deep down, I’m melancholy because something is ending. Time is subjective, and the idea of a year ‘ending’ is socially constructed. This time, however, I don’t necessarily feel melancholy. I feel apathetic if any thing. I really should be celebrating this past year. I really have accomplished alot in 2017. Despite living in a poor political and social climate, I have done well.

That’s hard for me to say. I feel like I never do enough. I feel, deep down, I wasted my year. I have to constantly remind myself my accomplishments. Hell, I’m writing on a regular basis, and I bought a house!

I’m trying to look towards the future. I am going to try and shed a few pounds. I really want to learn Japanese (and hopefully go visit there in the fall), and I want to watch every ‘best picture’ winner this year. The one thing I want most: life to slow down. Just a tiny bit.

-E

Lady Bird 

I finally got to see Lady Bird this past week. I have been following this film for several months, and it was an incredible experience. The premise of the movie is a teenager finding her place in the world. It sounds typical, but it explores her relationships with other people, and how she is a different person with each. She doesn’t necessarily become mature at the end of the film, but has a better understanding of the people in her life.
This movie really hit home with me. As a teenager, I struggled finding myself. I moved when I was 10 years old. It is the worst time for a kid to change schools. I didn’t know anyone, and I tried my hardest to make friends. I did make some, but I never had that ‘friend’. You know, the kind you meet in kindergarten, and stay best friends until graduation; maybe ‘lucky’ enough to have kids at the same time so they grow up to rinse and repeat. I wanted that, mainly because I felt so alienated for no reason.

I think that’s why I turned to the ‘alternative’ crowd. These bands of misfits fit the stereotype of being losers. I hate to say that, but they fit the bill. They were slackers, and didn’t have any ambition. That didn’t appeal to me. I wanted more than a husband and kids. I didn’t want to be stuck in Kentucky. I didn’t want to go to church every Sunday. I wanted out.

This was about the time I started to feel depression.

I started crying during Lady Bird because I knew how she felt. She was an average student who didn’t fit in, and was constantly overlooked. That was me, and no one understood that. Looking back, if I just had one person who would listen to me, and just be empathetic, I would have fared better. We can rewind time unfortunately, but I can be that voice that says ‘you can survive this’. It may seem horrible and hopeless, but there will be a time where you can control your life a bit more, and make your own decisions. Look forward to those days.

-E.

‘I’ve Got Out At Last!’

A subject I have always been curious about was demon possession. Growing up, I did believe that it was a real thing, and that terrified me. The fear worsened when I started dealing with mental illness. If you google search ‘demon possession and mental illness’ you get a mass of information from religious establishments trying to prove that possession is real. Or they have a laundry list of how to tell the difference between demon possession and mental illness.

It’s scary because just up until recently we have acknowledged that mental illness is a problem that needs to be taken seriously. Could you imagine living with bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia in the 19th century? You would lead a very difficult life. I reflect on this because it absolutely terrifies me. It’s one of the few irrational fears that I have. If I lived with the mental illness that I have during the 19th century, I could have been put into a mental institution, and went through horrible ‘treatments’.

My mind goes back to ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This short story was written in 1892, and is worth your time. It is reflects on the perspective of women at that time; especially when it comes to mental health. The woman in the story is, obviously, dealing with a mental illness and her husband insists on bed rest. The woman’s state of mind is worsened by having to stay in this room during the summer. Could you imagine? Being made to lay in bed for months at a time?

I know with my depression, I have to keep busy. If I don’t, my mind will stray. This is dangerous because I can easily start thinking about everything that is wrong with me, how I’m a ‘failure’, how I’m ‘worthless’,etc. Then I spiral down the hole that is depression. This can lead to suicidal thoughts, mood swings, or even the will to live. On my worst days, I can’t get out of bed; I literally can’t do anything.

We can’t fall into these times again. We need to keep battling this stigma on mental illness. We can’t blame it on ‘demon possession’ or it’s a ‘woman’s issue’. We have to be rational thinkers. We can’t blame what we don’t understand on something supernatural. We can’t blame it on one of the minorities of our society. I hope we never back track this far. I hope we never grasp for ignorance instead of rationality again.

 

-E.