Climbing out of a hole.

When you fall in to a hole, it can be very difficult to get out. The deeper the hole? The harder it is to get out of it. When that hole is dug by depression, anxiety, exhaustion, a lack of self-esteem or any other force that zaps your physical and mental energy, it is REALLY HARD to see the steps that you can use to plan your escape.

I’ve been in very serious depressions. I nearly died a few years ago but my husband found me in time (that p*ssed me off completely but looking back now, I am grateful). That wasn’t the first time. Just the most recent. To add to my depression (Major Depressive Disorder), I deal with daily high anxiety, PTSD, DID, hallucinations amongst other issues. I am not telling you this so you feel badly for me. I am telling you because I want you to know that my list of ideas comes from my heart and my life. I am not just sitting here spouting off about crap that I really do not understand. This is the actual list that I use on a regular basis and it does eventually work. It is never a quick fix but a slow fix is better than no fix at all right?
I am a potty mouth so of course my list title includes profanity. πŸ˜‰

How to Get Your Sh*t Together.

  1. You are not alone. You feel like you are and you feel lonely but you are not alone. There are millions of other people who are feeling just alone as you are right now. Draw strength from that thought.
  2. Ignore all the happy people around you that make life look perfect. You look like that too. It is a mask. No one has a perfect life.
  3. Tell your doctor or therapist how you feel. Do not worry about their feelings or being a “downer”. They are paid and have been trained to help you deal with the ugly side of life. Your needs matter.
  4. Remember that medication can help but it can’t do the work for you.
  5. Eat well. Eating chips for breakfast or cookies for supper might be yummy but your body NEEDS nutrition to heal. NOT eating (as I do) is just as bad. If you are finding it too difficult to make healthy meals, go easy on yourself. Buy yourself a fruit, veggie or lean meat party tray. Eat off of them. If you can cook, make a big pot of soup or stew that can do you for a few days. Add a LOT of veggies.
  6. Get some blood work done. Check your vitamin and mineral levels as well as your thyroid, hormone, and sugar levels. If your body is doing the Hokey-Pokey, you are going to lack energy and your mood can really suffer.
  7. Depressed people usually have a gift for being creative. Paint, draw, sing, dance, or sign up for something you’ve always wanted to try. Do anything that allows you to express that creativity within you. It can create its own light to help guide your way.
  8. Meditate. You do not need to sit on the floor on a pillow demanding your brain be completely quiet for an hour. If you can? GREAT! If not? Take a quiet walk in nature and focus on the sights and sounds that surround you. Get a guided meditation off of YouTube and follow along with what they tell you. Try a meditative art. You can colour in a colouring book, draw squiggles and just watch the lines as they are created, paint with water… just do anything that takes your mind to a calmer state.
  9. Record the most boring TV program you can find and keep it handy for a sleepless night. A really boring book is good to keep on hand too. If you find it interesting enough to stay up and watch/read it? You need something even more boring. Business/political shows or romance novels are like sleeping pills for me. I am sure I go to sleep just to get away from watching/reading more.
  10. Face a window as often as possible. Just looking out at the world can be calming. That said? If you have a really crappy view? Put something pretty outside your window. Flowers in the summer, a bird-feeder in the winter…
  11. If you can cry? Cry. If you are like me and you can not cry (or cry only 1 or 2 times a year at most), find a way to let those emotions out of you. Writing helps me express how I feel. Do what works for you.
  12. Any “friend” or “Helpful” family member that feels you are acting this way because you are lazy, looking for attention or just need to think more happy thoughts? Well… I always do try to explain but if they keep it up? I avoid them. I feel crappy enough. I don’t need their help to feel even more crappy.
  13. Get up, have a shower, get dressed, do your hair… even if it takes you all day to do it. When you look good you feel good. It takes no more energy to put on nicer clothes than it does to put on sweats. That said? Any time after supper? I can change in to my comfy PJ’s guilt free.
  14. Depression and low moods lie. No matter what that little voice in your head says? You are not worthless,Β  unloved or unimportant. It really is a lie. Expose it.
  15. Keep track of what you do right. If you make even the smallest step towards becoming more healthy again, give yourself credit. There are days where the highlights of my whole day is that I managed to get out of bed to pee and I continue to breathe. On some days? That took all my energy and I give myself credit for getting that far.
  16. This is the most important one in my opinion… FORGIVE YOURSELF! If you don’t get up, don’t get showered, don’t eat well, fall off the wagon in some way, can’t manage to leave your home, or any other “failures” (in your eyes), just forgive yourself. Curl up in bed, get cozy, and remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day.

Stairs

20 responses to “Climbing out of a hole.

  1. Movement helps me. I don’t call it exercise because when I am depressed it is very slow. But anything I can do to move my body is helpful: stretches, dancing to the radio, or any other simple movement. It gets oxygen to my brain, gets my blood moving, all helpful.

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  2. What a great blog Heather! I have struggled with depression for over 20 years, beating myself up for not being….well, NORMAL. My family SO didn’t get it, not until my elder sister died of cancer. Since then my younger sister and my niece are also dealing with depression. It’s NOT shameful or a sign of weakness – and it can happen to ANYONE. There is nothing wrong with crying – perhaps if my niece had cried and grieved openly over the last five years, she would now be leading a full and happy life.
    Your advice is spot-on Heather, and has helped me enormously over the last few years. Thanks for sharing. Hugs.xxx

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  3. Dancing butterfly

    Yes keep crawling. One foot in front of the other. One second at a time if that’s what it takes. Great ideas Heather and I know you do these.
    The accomplishments journal and gratitude journal have been helpful for me in terms of keeping me out of really bad places.
    And I loved your suggestion of creative outlets.
    Thank you Heather. Thank you.

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  4. Boy, I have known that hole and it does want to pull you in! This is a great post Heather! Good stuff!

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  5. Excellent post!!!!

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  6. You have GOT to write a book!! Excellent suggestions from someone who has obviously “been there.” Thank you for all you are doing to help others.

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  7. Awesome list of things to do to get out of your hole! Thank you for sharing it with us! And I second Janet… Thank you for all you are doing to help others! It is a real blessing. πŸ™‚

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  8. Paula Chisholm

    Great advise, I think this could refer to any of us at any time, life is so stressful these days, I’ll betaking your last piece of advise Heather, we can be so mean to ourselves at times.
    love your blogs and you of course . πŸ™‚

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