I haven’t made a post in a while, something that I am well aware of. I have started drafts of things, ranging from my experiences as a new AmeriCorps member to a comprehensive review of the psychological nightmare that is Neo Yokio. I also haven’t written a Kyuranger review for Geek Volcano in five weeks, even though Kyuranger has been truly worth discussing. My challenge is beyond a lack of focus or motivation – its depression.
I’ve dealt with some depressive episodes this year, which isn’t surprising to me. Money problems and job instability are possibly my biggest triggers. I’ve had more than my fair share of money issues this past year, but I thought things were stabilizing…until my car’s engine failed on the second day of my new job. In the past three weeks I’ve learned that my car warranty expired only 90 days before the failure, that my car manufacturer’s service is awful, and that the repair will cost more than two months’ wages.
Throughout all of my other issues I’ve at least had my car. I had lined up side work to help supplement my modest stipend, but they are not located on a bus line so I had to give them up. I’m of course actively looking for freelance writing work (which is remote) but it takes time not only to hear back, but also to ultimately write and get paid.
Anyways. I feel guilty for whining. And that guilt always makes my depression spiral even more, because it gives into the cycle of self-loathing and finding everything pointless. So yesterday I started the process of taking back control of my thoughts and my actions. I am in a metaphorical fist fight with my depression, and this is what I’m doing to fight it:
At first, I felt very zen about the car failure. My boyfriend and family were stunned – normally this would have immediately put me in meltdown mode. But I am trying to learn from past experiences, which showed me that everything always works out in the end. But weeks passed…and things are getting worse. My confidence and coolness have dissipated and my anxiety rising. I went through Plans A through Y, and am now on Plan Z, which you may recognize as the worst possible plan because zombies.
I’ve been in serious denial about both my predicament and the dark feelings that it is causing. The other day I finally let myself have a good long cry. I went for a long walk in the sun and made myself say out loud “I am having a depressive episode and I need to do something about it” before returning home and entering the next round of my Depression Fight.
GETTING SHIT DONE
As I’ve said before, I love lists. I love organization, studyblrs, and finding ways to optimize my productivity. I am happiest when I am doing just enough things that I feel fulfilled, but not so much that I feel overwhelmed. But due to my depression, I haven’t done much of anything, let alone make a list.
Finally sitting down and making a list of the things I’d been slacking on was enlightening. My brooding thoughts and the fog cloud of depression made me either forget or not care about the urgent things that I needed to accomplish. After I had everything in tangible form and out of my messy brain, I immediately started getting shit done. Writing this blog post was included on that list, of course. 🙂
This is my current process – which involves me trying to twist a lot of my negative thoughts into neutral or positive ones. I am in the hard on-going process of reminding myself about my abilities, my accomplishments and my upcoming projects. I’m performing poetry at two shows in the next three weeks and will have my art gallery debut next Friday! These are great things that my brain had completely erased for weeks.
After I get some of my shit together and refocus my energy I plan on using the last $15 on my credit card to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and some gin and have a girl’s night in. My boyfriend was laid off (again!) so I haven’t had much alone time, but he’s returning to work this week. Thinking about an upcoming night of vices, painting, and Sailor Moon has put me at ease and given me something to work toward, even if it isn’t full recovery from my depression.
I’ve hit a block, but I’m not back at square one. I have made progress and will continue to do so. I know this, and this makes continuing to work much easier.
PS: If you can help me with my engine replacement, here’s my Youcaring page.