Smiles VIII

I have been struggling for a while to fight against the return of depression. I have made great strides in overcoming quite a bit of the triggers which cause anxiety, but this hopeless feeling can be a bit overwhelming. I can’t tell you how mad and frustrated I am that my happiness moments didn’t last long. I have turned to keeping myself busy with big and tedious projects to escape my thoughts. Knitting is a great activity due to the necessity of having to count.

Because I can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, there are weeks I can only deal with one thought at a time while trying to ignore a bunch of negative self-talk. Focusing on counting a knitting pattern, semi-blocks the thoughts. The only problem is that counting doesn’t replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.

I can do this. I know I can. I believe I can. I know I can’t think myself happy, but I can certainly refuse to think about the negative that brings me down. When I begin to feel as if nothing matters, it is rather difficult to fill the void that blocking negative thinking leaves. In theory, having positive thoughts should fill that void. But, I feel nothing.

I have written about a routine I perform each morning–I tell myself that ‘today will be a good day. No doubt something will challenge me, but I am strong’. Not the exact words every morning, but something close.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been waking up saying … “crap, I woke up”. Pretty negative, right? However, I get out of bed and work hard to change the thought of giving up.

Other than trying to keep my hands busy, the way I’m trying to fight back is by taking note of what makes me smile. Some days I have to look very hard. When fighting against anxiety, which is intensified by feeling that nothing matters, exhausts me and makes it hard to fight.

What an oxymoronic way to live.

With so much to smile about, so many beautiful things in this world, I refuse to give in.

So….

  • the feel of the carpet right after vacuuming

  • waking up in the middle of the night because a dream I was having about someone annoying me by humming while I was trying to read, was my husband’s snoring which had infiltrated my dreams. Ever have those moments? When a sound is incorporated in a dream?

  • our oldest’s son’s enthusiasm that he finally found an apartment close to where he works, eliminating a horribly long commute

  • the color of my husband’s eyes

  • the fact that my husband will mute the television and look at me when I have something to say—even if it’s nonsense

  • Facetime with my daughter

These brought smiles to me the last couple of days.

I’m off to find something else to smile about—and to see how much more I can learn about building a shower pan.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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20 Responses to Smiles VIII

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    I totally get this and I totally empathize with you. The major difference is that there is no way I could tackle a major project while in this mode, so thumbs up to you! Use what works for you and keep moving.
    And I really like reading your smile lists. Thanks for sharing them.

    • April says:

      I was wondering if everything was “all in my head” because I have always been able to force my way through the day, especially with the kids. I grew up with a depressed mom who would stay in bed for periods of time. I was determined to avoid that at all costs….so I plod along. At least to the couch. I think the reason I’m doing big projects right now is because I haven’t totally slipped into the world of total lacking the will to live. I’m headed that direction, I recognize that I wish I could just disappear, and I’m hoping my therapist can help me through it. I’m having to see her a little more regularly right now. I’m glad you like the things I’m finding worthy of noting. 🙂

      • meANXIETYme says:

        I’m sorry you are struggling. I wish I had something amazing and inspiring to say, but the only thing that comes to me is to keep moving. It’s what I’m trying to do.
        And I’m glad you are working with your therapist. She is part of your toolbox and should be used! I normally see my therapist every other week, but because of the overwhelming feelings and issues, I saw her in between the two regular appointments. If I have to, I’ll do it again.
        My thoughts are with you. Just be careful with your projects so that you don’t get hurt physically. Slow and steady, forward motion.
        And HUGS.

        • April says:

          Aw…thanks for the hugs. I am really going slow….I think we have had to use the other shower for over a month now. I am reminding myself to pay attention to what I’m doing. It’s the focus on what’s at hand that is helping me from dwelling on the what if I get really depressed again…

  2. I’m sorry for the difficult time April. And so impressed with the determination to continue with YOUR plan. I found smiles myself, in your list. 🙂

    • April says:

      I really didn’t want to write about the difficulties. Really, I wanted to share that it IS possible to fight against depression. Every person will choose an individual way to do this (fight to keep from completely losing hope)…or they give up. One doesn’t have to give up. There are options. It may seem to take forever to find a solution, but there is one. I will continue to add what I find to make me smile, or what I may find beautiful in my posts for as long as I need the reminder–but I don’t really want to write much about depression—–I just want others who may be suffering to NEVER give up.

      If I can do it after many years of deep clinical depression, others can too!

  3. Gallivanta says:

    Your husband mutes the TV to listen to you! What a sweetheart you have!

  4. Glynis Jolly says:

    Obviously you’re having a rough time right now. I’ve had time like this too although I doubt seriously that they last anywhere as long as yours do. Maybe now that the winter seems to really be over here in the South, you can get outside for beautiful fresh air. I don’t know why it is but fresh air seems to always help me change my outlook on life.

    Yes, a just vacuumed carpet makes me smile too. 😉

    • April says:

      I haven’t completely slipped, but I have one foot in the hole. I’m working hard to replace negative thoughts with positive ones…which means I have to care. Right now, I’m not so sure I care much.

      • Glynis Jolly says:

        Hang in there, April. If need be, let others help you. If you’re like me, this is a hard thing to do but sometimes it’s necessary. ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. mewhoami says:

    You’re absolutely right about negative thinking and the impact it can have on us. Maybe we can’t make ourselves happy, but we can certainly make ourselves ‘happier’ than we would have been otherwise. Negative self talk is a destroyer.

    (side note – I think your comments are closed on your latest post.)

    • April says:

      how do I do that? I know how to turn them off, but I have only done that one time. Urg. Yes, when I start to feel myself being more negative, the more negative I bring into my mind….it’s a hard fight to block them, but we can all do it in my opinion.

  6. reocochran says:

    I like how you find joy in your husband’s eye color and your son’s shortened commute. You show a generous and loving nature, April. You have such details that make me smile here.

  7. aviets says:

    I have that sound-in-a-dream thing pretty often. It’s always weird.

    Since I’m just now catching up on missing several days’ worth of your posts, I hate that I didn’t know you’d been having a rough time. Pulling for you, as always.

  8. Little things that bring so much joy… Lovely post, Ms April!

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