Flicker’s Lair Blog

Coming out fighting!

by Heidi on July 3rd, 2009
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Depression is a war. Each period of black clouds and bleakness is a battle that must be fought and must be won.

On one hand knowing that there have been many battles before that have been survived is a comfort because you know it is possible to win through to the other side. But on the other, there is the desperation of knowing that you have had to keep fighting the same battle, and will probably have to fight it again in the future.

After my last post I was really touched by the love and support I was offered by my blogging friends. These are people whom I have never met, still they took time out of their very busy days to reach out to me. “Thank you”.

To my knowledge only one member of my family reads my blog, certainly only one emailed me after my post – although it was with the exact words I needed: “For what it’s worth: I love you.” Only one of my ‘traditional’ friends reached out. I was hurt.

Since then my Native Remedies MindSoothe has arrived and I have been taking it for 12 days now.

I took a step back and created myself a task list. Broken down into little steps so that whenever I get anything done I have the satisfaction of checking it off the list. Which motivates me to check something else off. It has had some effect, and I was getting stuff done.

I was starting to feel a little more able, and was making progress, then for no reason I can identify, I sank again and the last couple of days I have achieved nothing. In fact yesterday it took me all morning to drag my worthless carcass out of bed!

The first thing I do after I come downstairs every morning is check my email. Today I was greeted by correspondence concerning a project for September I am working on / hoping for. I don’t want to say what the project is just yet in case there are people lurking that I don’t know about. But it is my ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, my ‘something to work toward and look forward too’. It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, to work on the things that earn a few extra pennies, and it gives me motivation to deal with my weight.

They gave me the motivation to get on my exercise machine! My weight has been / is a big problem for me. Right now I am overweight – to focus on the positive – I am no longer classed as obese (only just). I have added to my task list to get on my exercise machine for 30 minutes every (weekday) morning. First day – task complete – check!

According to all the standards for my height I should be somewhere between 110 and 150lbs. So for now I am going to aim for 150lbs and/or being able to fit into the majority of my wardrobe and/or being able to look in the mirror and not be repulsed!

Help wouldn’t be unappreciated. Please feel free to message me in the morning and ask if I have done my exercise! Or send me a joke or something funny, as I think it always helps to start the day with a smile. This morning I happened to find this: Interview With a Stick of Butter.

There is also someone else in this house who is fighting the battle of depression. Steve. No he isn’t depressed, but living with it is a hard thing. All the ‘self-help’ stuff is for the person with the condition not the people around them that are affected. And of course he is an English man (sorry for the generalization) and so is really awful at asking for help. If you can offer him any words of wisdom I know they would be quietly appreciated.

Native Remedies offer a selection of eBooks on a range of health subjects, including one on depression which includes these tips, that I want to share in case they may help someone else.

  • Regular exercise! Even if only for 30 min at a time, three days a week, a good workout will increase happiness inducing endorphins while burning the stress hormone cortisol which is associated with depression. If you do not feel motivated, or dislike exercising at first, keep going for long enough and you will definitely begin to see benefits within 3 – 6 weeks.
  • Talk it out. Talk to someone you trust, a close friend or a licensed counselor and try and come up with a plan of action. Often it is the first steps to recovery that are the most difficult, so try not to do it alone.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A poor diet depletes energy levels and a deficiency in certain nutrients (e.g. iron) can result in fatigue and feelings of depression. Ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, and explore serotonin uplifting foods such as oats, turkey, milk, pasta and other carbohydrate rich foods.
  • Set realistic goals and responsibilities. It is important to have a plan of action and to start taking responsibility for the future, but know your limits and set your goals within reason. Small steps taken consistently are better than big steps which cause you to bomb out.
  • Prioritize and learn to say no. Avoid unnecessary stress by doing what needs to be done first and learn to look after your own needs. Be careful not to allow others to overload you with their responsibilities.
  • Make a conscious effort to stop negative thoughts. Try and change these thoughts into neutral thoughts and do not indulge in pessimism. Remember that this will take time, and may be difficult at first, but it can also be life-changing. Psychotherapy can be very helpful in this regard.
  • Take action! While symptoms of depression may make you feel like crawling into bed or existing in your pajamas and slippers all day, make a decision everyday to get up, get dressed and do something. Simply cleaning your room, going for a scenic drive or doing something creative can be uplifting and help break a bad cycle.
  • Turn to nature. One of the best ways to re-energize and uplift your spirit is to get in touch with nature. Go for a walk in the forest, a picnic in the park or a simply sit on the beach and watch a sunset.
  • Let others help you. Don’t turn down a helping hand or a comforting hug. When depression hits, you may feel like pushing people away, but this is the time you need love and affection the most. Pets are also a great source of love and comfort!
  • Help others. One often feels a loss of purpose when depressed, so regain a positive purpose by helping others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or help out at an organization that could benefit from your time and skills.
  • Make a change. Change is often very invigorating and refreshing. Aim to change your life-style to a healthier one, change your negative attitude towards life, and change your job if you know that your current work makes you miserable. It need not even be a drastic change. Simply re-arranging furniture or giving a touch of paint to a dull room can go a long way to uplifting your mood – better yet, it will keep you busy.
  • Read all about it. There are many books which are very helpful in learning how to manage depression. These include books written by experts in the field – as well as books published by ordinary people with a useful or uplifting contribution to share.

Wow, this is a long post! I reckon if you got all the way down here you deserve a pat on the back!

I love to know what you think so please rate my post or leave me a comment. If you really liked this post maybe you would consider sharing it. Thank you.

(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  1. Heidi – great post! It’s good that you are doing research into depression and trying to understand it better. Journaling feelings is really helpful too and using a proper feeling vocabulary. For example, I used to say “I feel sad” but “sad” wasn’t actually what I was feeling, I might have been feeling “uncomfortable”, or “confused”. I have a sheet of feeling vocabulary – and will bring it next time. I also found it valuable to have a mantra that I would repeat when I needed it. I had one to sort of make me laugh that a friend gave me and a personal one that I used to get myself out of bed.
    I will definitely start emailing you in the morning to check in on your workout status!
    Keep going H – you can do it!

    Comment by Emily — July 3, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Hi Heidi

    I’m here if you ever need to talk – I know we don’t speak often but I am a very good listener. I don’t know where the time goes.

    Know that you have a loving husband and lots of good friends. Just think of what you have accomplished over the last year alone!

    I don’t know how you and Steve do it all – but always remember you do enjoy this new life of yours. Yes things can get difficult and you must feel that things just never end. But deep down there is a very strong person inside just fighting to get out – you just have to let it.

    If it helps I can always come down on my own sometime – the kids are on a week camp (days) from the 20th July – so I could come and theres no rush for me to leave – we could just talk!! :-) )

    Look after yourself.


    Kids are off school now until 1 Sept.

    Comment by Karon — July 5, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  3. No, YOU deserve a pat on the back for being pro-active even when it’s hardest to do (under the “black cloud”). Yep, exercise has been proven to be as or more effective than pharmaceuticals, so we’ll hold you to it! The 5-HTP I mentioned is an extract of an African shrub, not a pharmaceutical, in case you want to check it out.

    Comment by Michelle — July 8, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

  4. Thank You for your support Michelle. I already had the Mind Soothe ordered when you first mentioned the 5-HTP, and I have found St John’s Wort helpful before, so I am going with that. But I will keep the suggestion in mind.

    Comment by Heidi — July 15, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

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