I was thinking about it, but I changed my mind.
Found a friend who didn’t call me selfish, change the subject or tell me it’s not that bad. Someone who could listen without giving me advice. Unless advice is offered very tactfully it will be perceived as a judgement, that the answer is simple and that I’m not trying hard enough. And basically just make me hate them.
Saw a therapist. In Australia you get 10 free sessions a year on Medicare and surprisingly when combined with the other coping tools listed here it can prove very helpful. Even if it’s just one thing they say, it has helped me move through a new door of self awareness. I was certain there was nothing more for me to gain from counselling and when goal setting was suggested I scoffed. ‘That’s one of the reasons I’m so messed up because of all this pressure to achieve something.’ But It did help me. It helped me realise that living on the street wasn’t an option anymore. That what was most important to me at that time was having somewhere safe to live. So I started taking steps towards it and am picking up keys to a studio apartment.
Faced my emotions. I read somewhere that if people could just deal with their emotions, there would be no need for therapy. Luckily I have a tool for that, Vipassana Meditation. On average I practice 1 hour a day, have done for 3 years. And I don’t have insomnia anymore. It’s like excercise for the mind, making it strong. It is not about 3rd dimensions, it is like training a very naughty dog x 1000. But like excercise which makes me feel good when I do it and enhances many other areas of my life, when I don’t do it, the benefits are easy to forget. So frequency is key.
Minimized addictions. There is no way around it, whether it’s heroin or cake, there is no truth for me in synthetic experiences. At times it’s not even about resisting it’s about knowing what I have to do to get better which is experience those difficult feelings naturally. Nothing motivates abstinence like abstinence. The feeling of being clean and not needing anything to be myself. I’ve been working on this for over 10 years and have remained completely drug, alcohol and cigarette free since the 1st day of 2013
My other demon is habitual eating. Besides my friends and even my therapist thinking it’s hilarious for me to eat 10 donuts and a jar of Nutella, I feel like it’s just as physically and spiritually damaging as other drugs. Just my opinion. I had to cut out sugar again recently for over 2 weeks because I’d been hitting it so hard I was breaking out in dermatitis and waking up in night sweats.
Excercise. Nike got it right, just do it. I know it’s good for me because I’m full of endorphins after a workout, it’s a stress reliever, it burns guilty calories, tones and keeps my body functional and most importantly gets my mind off staring at the wall trying to solve the mystery of depression. I said to my therapist, “I feel like excercise is just a distraction, like a band aid, that I’m running away from my problems and they will be right there where I left them. ‘That may be so,‘ she said ‘But is sitting there thinking about it actually helping?’ ‘Absolutely not,‘ I said. ‘I’ll sit there for 3 fucking days drawing nooses.’ ‘Exactly, she said ‘It’s very dangerous.‘
Work. All of the above, helping my mate at work, djing, volunteering in the community. Even if I do feel like pulling out on the day because I’m quiet and weird and can’t hold a fucking conversation, I go get involved and usually find it was worth it. Just doing something to get me out of the house, into a routine, a reason not to stay up allnight. Developing my interests. There are times when all of this rationale is beyond me and I can’t get off that dark path but I like to think my determination has something to do with improvement. Recovery is hard work but suffering is harder. I know some people don’t have a support network and depression has often convinced me that I don’t have one either, which is bollocks. Because there is someone to ask for help, I just need to keep asking and if they don’t come I’ll scream at the top of my lungs until they do.
I didn’t always have a support network or interests to give me something to work towards. I used to drink, steal, and hate. But with continuous hard work better things came. It happens very slowly but 15 years passes quickly and there is nothing more important than my mental health. That is my job and it is so difficult, almost impossible, that’s why I don’t blame people for killing themselves or most of the population for being addicted to something. I know when I see a filthy person crouched in a street corner talking to themselves that it could have been me. Can someone come back from that? I was on the start of that path, the voices in my head were taking over. I would love to know, or hear from anyone that has recovered from mental illness (or developed the tools to cope.) There was a time I thought I’d be able to kill someone if they wronged me. Now I can’t even kill a mosquito. So I make an exception on getting advice when my therapist says, ‘Keep doing whatever your doing, because it’s working.’