Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Better Is Hard Work

Knowing that something is good for you and actually doing it are two different things.

Perfect examples - Exercise. Going to the dentist. We know that these things are good for us, but many of us don't want to do them, and I'm no different. I don't have any logical reasons not to, but I just don't want to.

I have tips galore from friends and family about how to cope with my depression. I've even come up with a bunch on my own. However, putting them into action can be really tough. Even the smallest things can seem so overwhelming. Like I've said before, I have a hard time remembering to brush my teeth every day, let alone do the hard work of trying to have a better life.

Sometimes it's just so much easier to sit around and watch TV, surf the internet and do some crossword puzzles. (I can spend hours on my laptop playing Farmville and Cityville.) To anyone who's not dealing with severe depression, that might sound like the perfect relaxing evening. However, I've got work to do. I need to figure out how to get my ass into gear and start living life again.

I went out and bought a workbook which aims to help me develop self-love and positive thinking. I've picked it up more than once. I've even read everything up to the first exercise and I've skimmed the questions I need to answer truthfully to myself. But, I just can't pick up a pencil and actually do it.

When looking at a task I can easily get overwhelmed. Doing the first exercise in this book won't be the end of it. There's all these other exercises to do after that! I've looked ahead and some of them are frightening to me - self-worth, deserving, facing my fears. Some things look completely silly - Talking to your inner child, saying things out loud to yourself when you look in a mirror.

But, at the end of the day, I'm the only one who can make this work. If I don't want to change, I can keep doing what I'm doing. However, I've seen where that leads and I don't want to go back there. I guess I'll just have to accept that sometimes I might take the day off from my "recovery." Just because I don't work on it for a day or two doesn't mean I can't start it back up again.


  1. And speaking of hard work - has anyone suggested a WRAP for you? WRAP = Wellness Recovery Action Plan. They use them all the time at one of the places I regularly work, and they seem to really help people who are focusing on recovery. The woman who developed it, Mary Ellen Copeland, is in recovery from mental illness. Check out this website for more info:

  2. No, they haven't! This sounds great. I'll ask my therapist next time I see her. =)

  3. Change and growth is hard work, but it's definitely worth the effort and the uncertainty it brings along with it. I think if you get overwhelmed looking at all the questions you need to answer truthfully out of a workbook you should just pick three or so a day to answer. That way it's not overwhelming and you can put more effort and thought into each question that will help you better understand yourself. I've seen a lot of questions like that in Shyness and Social Anxiety workbooks too and it can be overwhelming. So I'd recommend taking it slow and gradual. Give yourself some breaks and try to not be too hard on yourself, but at the same time push yourself and strive to follow through with your goals.