CW: Discussion of depression and mental illness
Does everyone know the song that goes “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down” etc, etc, etc? I assume yes, since that was kind of the peak of comedy back in like, 2008, 2009. And look how far we’ve come. Now our memes have evolved. Even our evolving memes are about evolving.
Anyways, jokes aside, I wanted to write this because I literally keep Rick Rolling myself. I have that ear worm of a chorus stuck in my head, except it goes more like this: “You’re just gonna die alone/No one will ever love you/You’re a piece of sh*t/So f*ck you.”
I haven’t been seeing my therapist regularly, which may be part of the problem. Honestly, I have a lot going on and it feels like I have no time… but I know that some of that time is being sucked up by my insomnia and then sleeping late to compensate for it. And instead of doing something that is, I don’t know, “productive” – like doing homework or watching videos for my online classes, I end up just refreshing the same three websites over and over and over.
I know this procrastination is a symptom of depression. I know that I’m not a lazy person – give me a set schedule, give me the meds, support, and everything I need to feel okay, and I will be doing everything that I need to and get it done way before it’s due. But because I’m sort of free floating at the moment – my schedule is too loosey goosey – and because I’m not really seeing my professional supports right now, I can tell I’m slipping. I do have things I need to do and places I need to be, but it’s not exactly “set in stone” or anything.
However, I am actively trying to do things that are bettering myself. For example – I went to see my physical therapist today and she told me to do these five exercises to gain more mobility and movement in my shoulders and hip flexors. Doing those exercises hurt a LOT, but I know it’s good for me. So… I guess I have to kind of put the same sort of attitude into what I’m doing now. It’s easier for me to procrastinate and put off things that don’t have to be done immediately. Although getting the important things done is harder, and although they may sort of suck at the time while I’m doing them, I know that it’ll help me in the end.
Getting work done takes effort and energy though, which can be hard to summon when you’re feeling sort of “blah” and exhausted from not sleeping well. Doing chores, taking care of yourself, even just getting up to go to the bathroom seems emotionally and physically taxing. Simple self-care actions are no longer “easy peasy lemon squeezy” but instead, “difficult difficult lemon difficult.”
Somehow, despite this lack of general self-care, I go to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about three to four times a week now because, despite the constant soreness from it, and despite how hard it is to work myself up to get my *ss over there, I have found it to be a huge stress reliever.
I love martial arts. I love the rush you get when sparring. And I love the people at the place I’ve been going to, which, honestly, has been a big motivator. I’m really working hard to learn. My goal is to hopefully move up a stripe or two by the end of the year. I have a concrete goal and it’s got a set time limit. As long as I don’t keep doing stupid things to injure myself (which I’ve already done) I should be able to accomplish it. I also am taking Japanese classes, and I absolutely adore them. I have finally been learning something I’ve wanted to learn for so long! I would like to get to a point where I’m able to hold a basic conversation by the end of this class. Another goal.
As a mental health worker, I learned that having an attainable goal and giving yourself the appropriate time to reach it is very important. But usually this far off goal has to be broken up into much smaller goals. So, for every day, I have to set “mini” goals that I can check off at the end of the day. Being able to say, “I finished what I set out to do” is a good feeling and helps to combat the “laziness” feeling of depression.
Buuuuuuut… even though I know this, even though I have given this exact advice to my own clients and patients, I still struggle with getting myself to do it. I keep forgetting to set up goals for myself at the beginning of the day. I know what I am supposed to do, but the hard part for me is just doing it, even though I know it’s good for me.
Anyways. To get back to the main point – my Rick Rolling song is… not a pleasant refrain to have keep playing in my head. So I’m trying to combat that by distracting myself. It’s not really working at the moment. I know that the real solution is probably to just practice my affirmations. It’s just hard when it feels like there’s so much evidence to the contrary of each affirmation. And I know that the “evidence” I have that “proves” I’m a worthless piece of sh*t all comes from my bias towards negative self-perception. I know that being depressed makes you more likely to perceive things a certain way. I know that depression and all these years of self-hatred are still sort of lingering and not quite letting go. But I know that doing work to feel better is probably going to help in the long run. It’ll help me in my relationships with people and it’ll help me move forward with my life and my goals.
I want to get better. I know how to do it. I just have to take action.
This post was kind of circular, I realize that. I keep creeping into the pit of despair and then dragging myself on out, reminding myself of what I have to do to get better and how I gotta keep moving forward. The reason why I showed you the constant internal battle I have going on inside me is to show you how depression can really make you feel like you’re losing control. I know what I have to do, and I do want to get better, but it’s like I’m walking with 50 pound weights on my ankles. Every step towards recovery is slow. But I’m really trying, everyone.
I know I’m not being lazy – I’m just always fighting myself every step of the way.
If you’re feeling depressed and “lazy,” I hope this can help. I hope that you seek treatment and get the support you need. I hope that you recognize that you’re probably not lazy, but fighting yourself every step of the way. And that takes a lot out of you! Like I said, I just feel like I’m lacking the energy to put in effort for some things. But I have found getting better is just… worth it. Worth the struggle. Worth fighting for.
Please do seek professional help if you feel very depressed. And please do not hesitate to call the Suicide Hotlines (1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255) or Samaritans (call or text 1-877-870-4673).
All my love!