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on dealing with depression


Here's thing thing about depression; it is really self-destructive.   I was watching the movie A Star Is Born and the Jackson Main character was such a tortured self-destructive alcoholic that I shocked myself by how much I related to his pain.  His powerless compulsions mirrored how I feel trying to battle my depression.  I'm not saying all depressives are alcoholic but when I picked up my first drink at age 15 I did it mainly so I wouldn't have to care (about what others thought of me, about my school grades, about my future, about the fights going on at home, or even about the emotional pain I felt inside).  I have also been depressed on and off since the age of 15, and just like with drinking, when I am depressed I don't care.  I wonder if on some level my depression is a subconscious path I take in order not to care.  To numb out like with the drinking.  Almost my entire life I've just wanted to check out, and since I gave up drinking in 1997 maybe the depression has become my drug of choice.  It is a familiar friend, so much so that in a warped way it is comforting.  On one level it brings a certain amount of relief, but mostly it just brings pain and my life becomes unmanageable.  I'm not saying depression is always a choice - sometimes it just happens chemically or whatever - but what if I also am sometimes subconsciously choosing it?  I wonder....

And when I say depression is self-destructive I am basing it on the similarities of my drinking and depression.   I even made a list of some of the symptoms they have in common:
#1 lack of basic grooming ie showering and brushing teeth regularly
#2 feeling helpless, powerless, and out of control
#3 tendency to isolate
#4 self-centeredness, not caring much about others or the world around me but lots of self-pity
#5 not taking care of my body ie proper nutrition
#6 over-indulging (in anything) in a desperate attempt to feel better

There are however many layers of my depression:  chemical, hereditary (my aunt and great-grandmother), and also it happens when I have been beating myself up a lot.  It happens when I am a slave to my shame spirals.  I have such a relentless and vicious inner critic I am barely even aware of it. but boy does it get me down.  I believe it is one big reason for both my alcoholism and my depression.  But the other day it hit me, if I can just stop judging and criticizing, and shaming myself then maybe I wouldn't be as depressed.  Perhaps there is a solution after all because believe me, even the myriad of anti-depressant pills out there are never quite enough.

I don't ask you to care about my depression but just incase your own depression sounds similar to mine (and you of course care about your own depression) I will share with you my new plan of action to make myself feel better and not need to retreat.  It all boils down to loving and taking care of myself.

SET MINUSCULE GOALS (THAT FEEL GARGANTUAN)
 For me, must brush teeth and wash face and put on makeup and jewelry before leaving the house in the morning (when I do shower it is at night).  Some of you know that stuff like this can be a lot harder than it sounds.  Any kind of accomplishment, no matter how small,  is a mood booster

TAPPING (EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE)
So simple to do and supposedly has miraculous healing results.  It releases old patterns and stinkin' thinkin'  Just tap lightly on certain points of your head, hands, and body while repeatedly reciting the negativity you are trying to get rid of.  It requires little effort and doesn't take long at all.  I'm going to try and tap away my negative self talk and low self worth.

WATCH GALA DARLING VIDEOS
Gala is super inspirational and is all about self-love and feeling good and how to live in the "vortex".  Her YouTube videos and instagram feed are always infectious and fun to watch because you never know what wig or get-up she'll be wearing.  She even has a video on how to do tapping

READ THE BIG RED BOOK OF ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS
This has terrific value and advice on learning how to be your own loving parent and quiet the inner critic.  It really helps you to be aware and has chapters entitled "The Solution:  Becoming Your Own Loving Parent", "Beyond Survival:  Practicing Self Love", and even "My Parents Did Not Drink But I can Relate".  It's available on Amazon.

SOCIALIZE WITH GOOD-VIBE PEEPS
I don't go to my 12 Step Meetings as much when I am depressed but that is exactly when I need them the most.  However sometimes even fun and supportive co-workers can make your day.

And that is it.  That is actually plenty to do so that I don't get overwhelmed and quit. I know you're supposed to eat healthy and exercise when you are depressed but honestly that is sometimes just  beyond me.  This list will, I believe, help me to feel better about myself and give me a smidgen of self esteem; something to pull me back from the dregs of despair.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.



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