It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to Survive Chronic Depression: Cheryl Style

The theme for this month's disability blog carnival (which will be up on the 21st) is "long nights and what we need to get through them." I thought I'd participate, especially since I've participated in just 1 carnival this calendar year, other then the one I hosted. I used to submit to all of them. So, lets see...

  1. itunes
  2. caffeine
  3. munchy snacks
WAIT! Dave doesn't want to know how to pull an all nighter?

In all seriousness, I've been wanting to put up this list for the last month and a half. I've been depressed most of the last decade, if not longer. The chronic nature of my depressive episodes is why I was for so long misdiagnosed as having unipolar depression. I haven't though been continuously depressed for the last 10 years. I have had some brief breaks here and there, so I'll post my tips, how I got there. If only I would listen to my advice all the time.
1) Find a good therapist
If for no other reasons then 1. you'll be guaranteed to get out 2hrs a week (travel time counts) and 2. there's 1hr a week where you don't have to pretend to be ok and/or worry about what people will think/say. A good therapist won't tell you to try harder, but will help you figure out how to keep trying. Do you get the difference?
2) Get out at least 1hr/day, preferably during daylight.
There are a lot of hours of my day spent in bed online. This is much easier said than done. Especially if you're on a limited budget. Going places tends to lead to spending $. But I was so proud of myself when I was doing this. It was such a big accomplishment, at the time I think I was radiating with pride. If you're working you're lucky. You're out.
3) Join a PEER RUN support group.
Most people are judgmental about how you got depressed/why you're depressed/ what you need to do/are doing to not be depressed. I've never met someone at OOO who was judgmental of my journey. If they are, they're really good at hiding it. Here, again, is the link to the DBSA.
4) Exercise. How much? What kind? I don't know.
A lot of my friends are obsessive swimmers. I like to run. And ride horses.
5) Spend time with furry creatures. Unless you're allergic.
People are rarely as happy to see me as animals (dogs, cats, ponies) are. When something is that happy to see you, you can't help but be happy too.
6) Shower more then once a week.
I know what you're thinking. If I'm not going anywhere why bother? Because you'll feel less gross. You'll still feel gross, being depressed automatically makes me feel gross, but don't you want to feel less gross? Take one extra 15min shower a week. You'll be amazed. You'll also be more likely to go out. Who wants to smell?
Don't pressure yourself to shower everyday if it's too overwhelming. Just twice a week. I've been there where the thought of both showering AND getting dressed (I could do either or) made me cry.
7) Get someone to do your laundry once a month. More if you don't own a lot of clothes.
Even if you have to pay someone it'll be worth it. Laundry is an overwhelming task, and not doing so will keep you from going out, for fear that your clothes smell. If you don't know a "cleaning lady" to pay, pay a friend. If they say no, they're not really your friend. If they truthfully have OCD and are afraid of germs, they get a free pass.
8) Eat at least twice a day.
Even if you have to order take out from some place like because you're too depressed to go out to buy groceries / take food out / make the food that you have or even get out of bed to go to the other room to get your phone to call in a delivery. Unfortunately, you do have to get out of bed to answer the door when the food arrives. If you don't eat enough you'll start feeling physically ill and that's the last thing you need when you're depressed.
9) Keep on top of your dishes.
Because even if you don't leave all day you can still say you did something.
10) Buy a velour track suit.
This wasn't on the original list, but I went shopping with my BFF 2 weeks ago, telling her that was a necessity. I'm surprised people still wear these. Do they actually, or is it just me? The Juicey craze popped up like a decade ago. I still sleep in my velour pants I got for Chanukah in 2001. They're a MUST if you're depressed, especially in the winter. They're great to curl up in bed in, and if you have to go out you don't have to change to look put together.
I don't know what you do if you're a guy.
PLEASE ADD YOUR IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS. We could all use the extra ideas.


Anonymous said...

you didn't tell me they were out of style. since i am around you i can tell the world you strive to live your advice, except for the one about laundry. girl, get someone to do it! it is so much easier to have someone do something that is so overwhelming for you, and allows you to takle the next bit of overwhelming easy to procrastinate and suck your energy out while its at it thing.

Cheryl said...

i really do think they are still in style but you didnt add any suggestions P.

Anonymous said...

Keep the apartment toasty warm in the winter. Helps with pain and comfort and increases the quality of time spent in the apartment. wear comfy velor.

Anonymous said...

my mother has to walk with her walker 20 minutes a day. I think moving 20 minutes a day helps get stuff pumping and air flow, more air to the brain helps me. I breath in from my gut through my nose and blow out, hard, trough my mouth. That helps. 3-5 times. I read to little children. That helps a lot. sunlight, even if it isn't sunny, helps me. I'm thinking that I'm going to try to roll 20 minutes a day on a different floor of the building or on a parking level on not so cold days. I think that will help. I'll let you know how consistent I am. You are welcome to join me.

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