Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why we don't do the things we Love

My last post started out talking about things that I love to do and led me to realize that while they are the things that I love to do, I am not doing them. I came across this blog post about 6 reasons why we don't do the things we Love, I decided to take a look at what guest blogger ASHLEY HAUPT, from LITTLE PIECES OF ORDINARY had to say about this topic.

Here are the reasons Ashley sites in her post:


This is very interesting perspective. For those of us who have suffered from depression, we don't make time for anything! Unfortunately, we don't make time for ourselves, our families, our lives, at all. It is an ugly little secret of depression, as we hide it. But, honestly, we turn down invitations, with lies and half truths. All the while, the real truth is, we can't get out of bed. Those of us who are functioning depressives, the work week can take it all out of us. I can go to work, work hard all week, all smiles, gripping and grinning with the executives, smiling and laughing with co-workers. We get home, and if we are really good, we make dinner for our families, help with homework and other family business and then, we climb into our beds, thankful for the reprieve. However, if we are only some-what functioning, we just manage the work part and get into bed, order some take out, or eat a bowl of cold cereal and sleep, or turn on the tube. So, the truth is, we don't make time for the things we love, this may include our families and always includes ourselves. Frankly we often don't love ourselves enough to do the things we love. Depression is an ugly, ugly thing and I am going to blow the top off it, for my own recovery and for the sake of helping others. If my blog can help one person in the world know that they are not alone and they are not helpless, maybe they too can dig their way out of it, as I am attempting to do. Enough about that, let's take a look at what else Ashley has to say about why we don't do the things we love.


This is another thing people with depression never do. Depression is an ugly cycle, we don't take care of the things we need to take care of, because we are lethargic, because we can't get out of bed, because we can't face the day. Then we feel guilty for being that way and we do not give ourselves permission to enjoy anything. If I can't make dinner for my kids, why on earth do I deserve to go out dancing tonight? Since happiness is what we seek, perhaps doing things we love more often would actually help us improve our outlook and help us get out of bed. Making commitments to others, to do something fun can hold us accountable and get us out of bed, even when we don't want to. So, unlike the normal person, who maybe needs to learn how to say no to somebody, take a cue from Jim Carrey and say Yes! I agreed to go to a Christmas party with my veterans service organization last weekend. I RSVPd weeks ago, maybe I was being hopeful, maybe I was just having a good day, either way, I lamented about it all day. As usual, I was in bed on Saturday afternoon, watching the time tick away. I didn't want to get up and take a shower, I didn't want to find something to wear, I didn't want to drive 1 1/2 hours to the east bay. The clock ticking away, chastising me for still being in bed... Finally, I took the first step, got out of bed, put my ass in the shower and got dressed. Once I was dressed and ready, there really wasn't any turning back now, why waste all that effort? I went to the party and I had a good time. Afterwards, I drove to the city and I had dinner and a drink with a guy I have been sort of dating. We had a fantastic evening and I didn't get home until 5 am. HA, for someone that didn't want to go out in the first place, because it was too much effort, I think physics kept in. You know that saying, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.... I had a great night. Honestly, I think the energy and regeneration I received from that night has carried me through today, Wednesday. It really does feel that way, I am recharged, re-energized for three days, from just one day doing something I love. So, from this point forward, I am going to give myself permission, if that is what's stopping me... I give myself permission to do the things I love and have some fun. It actually might help me want to get out more.


At first reading, I didn't think this one applied to me at all. But, the more I thought about it the more I realized that it does apply to me. I am and have always been an all or nothing kind of girl. I want it all and I want it now. I sound like Veruca Salt... But the truth is, when it comes to cleaning my house, I never clean until it is the last minute.. I am not good at just picking up a little here and picking up a little there, when I clean, I deep clean, I even clean out my drawers, clean my closet, steam the carpets etc. If I don't have the energy to do it all, I just choose to not do any of it. Not a good attitude to have when you are depressed, because it causes another ugly cycle. I do nothing rather than all. After a couple days of nothing and living with three teenage boys, that doing nothing over time, becomes a bigger and bigger and more insurmountable task, which, with all or nothing thinking leads to even more procrastination. Then, the mess itself contributes to the problem. The chaos and the clutter of a messy house leads to more depression, more guilt and more doing nothing. It is difficult to give myself permission to go do the things I love, when my house is in disarray. So, in essence, thinking too big, or all or nothing thinking does stop me from doing things I love. Not in the way Ashley meant in her article, but in the end, it still applies. 


It is difficult to explain to someone that has never suffered from depression, how low depression takes you. You can get so low, that nothing matters... I am a functioning depressive, at least professionally. My job, I always get it done. People I work with professionally would never, ever suspect my inner life and turmoil. Depression is a secret life after all. I already talked about the guilt that comes from depression, and not getting things done, so of course, we don't think doing things we love are going to matter. Everything is painful, even the things we love. Everything take effort. Getting out of bed takes effort. So, doing something just because you love it seems almost ridiculous at certain stages of depression. In reality, as I discovered last weekend. Forcing ourselves to get out there and do something we love, feeds the soul. It is the very thing we need to recharge our battery and get us on the road to recovery. It does matter. So we need to make an effort to do the things we love, it will only help us in the long run. If forcing myself to take a shower to go to a party leads me to a great night of fun, that recharges me for half a week to follow, just imagine what doing that more often can do for my psyche.


I am not sure how I feel about this one. I think a depressed person could fall on either end of this spectrum. Someone who is depressed thinks everything is self indulgent, but, laying in bed, lamenting about our depressed life, is pretty self indulgent to begin with. So, for this I revert to reason #4. Get up, take one step at a time, put one foot on the floor, put another foot on the floor, take that damn shower! You know, if we aren't taking care of ourselves, we aren't able to give, as an employee, a boss, a parent, a partner. So if a little bit of dancing gets me out of bed for a little while AND recharges me, feeds my soul, how can that be self indulgent? I might actually make dinner for the kids this week, instead of ramen or fast food. For me, being more self indulgent, may be the exact thing I need to do in order to be a better me, in all aspects of my life. 


Ha Ha, I promise you, that I was reading these one at a time, and writing about them as I went, so I did not know this was her 6th point. It just means my commentary on this point will be minimal. Taking care of ourselves will help us be better employees, better parents, better partners.... It is not self indulgent and it does recharge us. Since those of us who are depressed can use a damn recharge, it is urgent to get ourselves out of the comfort zone. Recharge yourself, do something good for yourself, do what you love! Take the first step, one step at a time and do something you love. If you already know you love it, it can't be that bad, right, so get the negative talk out of your head and go do it. You deserve it, the people you love deserve it to, because a little recharge and a little happiness, will take us just one baby step, but a giant leap on our way to recovery!

I didn't intend for this to be so much about depression, but when I evaluated my reasons for why I haven't done the things I love lately, my depression always seems to be the answer. So, I wanted to look at this article realistically from my true perspective, which is depression. I want to get out of this ugly cycle, so I need to tell the truth to myself.

Please be sure to stop by here and read the original article or here and visit the authors blog.

What are your thoughts, tell me what you think, what are your reasons for not doing the things you love?


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