There are days when sadness is everywhere, inside of you and outside in the world. It is one of the most exhausting things that can happen to a person who is not moving even one single inch, physically. Although it can be confirmed that you are moving downward inches per minute, emotionally. You’re caught in a bad time and there’s not any light to aim for, unless you take the Most Drastic Step and then Head for the Light, as is commonly mentioned by those who have had near-death experiences. Naturally I do not advocate the such, for both reasons of law suits and also ethical reasons, I suppose. Listen, I’m not going to tell you how to live your life or die your death. I’m just going to give you some easy goals to attain that might make you feel better. Goals for the Massively Depressed.
You lucky people out there who have never felt like this, let me break it down for you. Okay, there is feeling depressed – where you cry some, and put on a brave face for friends and family, think dark thoughts, are pessimistic and lonely, maybe turn to vices for relief. These sorts of activities are all classic signs of depression. But then, there is being Depressed. When that capital D gets in the driver’s seat, there is no brave face available. Everyone for miles can see that you are not well. More often than not, when you do such simple activities such as “take a breath” it can sound like a ragged breath of a person who is about to break into a weeping spell that will end all weeping spells. The Depressed person will isolate themselves, though, so you might not really have to witness it. Isolation is the only “brave face” they can get. Everything about the person is slowed down. It may take minutes for a simple response to your questions. They might not actually move for hours. Even blinking slows. It is a hard time.
But, Depressed Friends, I am here for you. I know what you are going through, I do. And I hope you can remember these tips designed to help you. It is no secret that productivity usually lightens the spirits, but we have to be reasonable here. We have to work with what we’ve got. Faithful readers, instead of laying down to die, why not try some of these things first?
Suggested Goal: Get Out of That Bed
I know. This sounds like an impossible task to some of you out there, but hear me out. The bed is comfy and cozy, but you should not let it be your permanent setting! Sleeping is a good relief from your horrible reality that drones on and on, but you can’t sleep forever. Well… You shouldn’t want to, anyway. A lot of the time when I am disinclined to get out of bed, I hardly ever sleep anyway. I am awake, but just don’t get up. ”What’s the use?” I wonder. ”I will only wind up back here in a few hours anyway. Might as well just stay.” That’s actually a really compelling argument at the time, but right now, as I type this from sitting in a desk chair in front of a table, I know that it’s just not right! If you stay in bed for too long, you can’t feel better. Your body knows that staying in bed is what happens when it is sick and diseased, and will start believing that is what is happening. Soon, you will sicken. And what is worse than being Depressed? You got it – being Depressed AND ill. Anyway, you start to stink after about a day. No one likes to be stinky.
Suggested Goal: Wash Your Sorrows Down the Drain
That’s right. Take a shower or bath! If you have actually managed to get out of bed, you should reward yourself with a smell-good treat. Feeling clean actually makes you feel better, I believe Science even backs me up on that. Or at least, it does if it knows what’s good for it. Showering leaves you feeling fresh and able to tackle the world beyond the shower, if only a little. But friends, even a little means a lot to the Depressed. At the very least, showers give you a place to cry very hard if you must, and the tears are rinsed off instantly. If you are running low on tissues, weeping in the shower is the best option. However, a pro-tip for you all: if you live with other people, do not bawl too loudly, as shower stalls create some sort of terrible echo and can sound pretty loud and alarming to housemates. If Questions are not Asked, you can bet that Conclusions will be Jumped To.
Suggested Goal: Put on Some Pants, Dang It
Even if you foolishly opt out of taking some time to clean yourself, putting on clothes (including shoes) can make you feel as if you have achieved something. If you are feeling ambitious, you can try to get fresh, clean clothes out of the closet or chest of drawers. Otherwise, I want you to know that we will all still be proud of you if you just throw on anything you find from the heap of dirty clothes on the floor, or the ones from the hamper – which will have probably been dirty since before your current descent. Putting on clothes such that, if you wanted to, you could walk down the street and not be stopped by concerned citizens seeing if you are an escaped mental patient gives one a sense of purpose. A sense of being Capable. It is a reminder to yourself that, see, you ARE able to dress yourself on your own. That ranks you higher than many thousands of adults. Take that knowledge and wrap it around your spirit like the encouraging hug that it is. You’ll be fine.
Suggested Goal: Tend to Some Important Chores
Now, I am not even going to suggest that you do big things like “take out the trash” or even “do the dishes.” I know as well as anyone that filth has to accumulate in order to give the Depressed person a sense of misery. You wouldn’t put a panda bear in a desert setting, would you? So too you should not expect a Depressed Human to live in a pristine home that is running smoothly. Rather, what I am recommending here is that you feed your fish or your many cats. Believe me, finding floating fish will not help your mood. Neglect is the cruelest method of murder of all, and you don’t need that darkening your sky. Plus, hungry cats are loud cats. Shut their mouths with kibble. Some of you may have noticed that I did not direct any recommendations to dog owners. This is because it is scientifically impossible to feel Depressed when you have a healthy and happy dog as a friend. A sick, dying-of-old-age dog, yes. Any other dog: no.
Suggested Goal: Eat a Little Bit of Something Eventually
But not too much, Tubby! Haha, really though. Some people, when Depressed, will eat like a hog. But comfort food is your enemy, kids! Food doesn’t care if you are happy or sad – all it wants to do is load you down with fat! Great bubbly stacks of FAT! Although, I seriously think that only little-d depressed people get the gobbles when they are sad. Big-D Depressed folk no longer can do things like “taste flavors” or “derive any enjoyment out of any activity.” So now I must caution in the other direction: Starvation isn’t going to help you. Sure, you might get some wonderful hipbones and collarbones, but who’s going to appreciate them? Not you. Not anyone else, either, because you will be in isolation. It is obvious that being hungry makes your mood terrible, just look at your cranky cats. Listen to any goddamn baby at any time. They are ALWAYS crying if they are even slightly hungry. And you’re hungry. You won’t notice it because you will be preoccupied with internal sadness, and your body is slowed down and deadened to sensation, so you won’t really feel it – but be sure to eat a little something every single day. It doesn’t have to be much. After all, you are barely moving and therefore barely expending any energy, so you don’t have a lot to replace with foodbites. Even if you only eat half a bowl of plain oatmeal or four saltines, your body will reward you by decreasing the amount of Gloom Chemicals that are pouring from out of some gland in your brain, or however that stuff works. But don’t mistakenly think that food is going to cure you. Food doesn’t mean happiness, it just means a temporary relief of despondency. Please, use it responsibly.
Suggested Goal: Watch a Lot of Entertainment
You’re probably going to sit there and dazedly watch hours of television anyway, so you might as well consider it a personal triumph, imo. Watch every episode of Three’s Company. Learn from a marathon of some documentaries. Feel victorious knowing that you can say that you have won some video game in a single day or span of days, uninterrupted by sleep. It’s better than just staring at a wall, and you should remind skeptical or concerned people this. How much you consume entertainment like this isn’t going to make an impact on the world, but really, what DOES? Who makes impacts anyway? At least you’ve done something with your time when you attain this goal, and that is always better than nothing.
Suggested Goal: Make It Back to Bed
The trouble with getting out of bed, as you know by now, is that eventually you will go back to it, coming round full circle. Rather than dismally thinking that you have not gotten anywhere, I want you to take solace in the idea that you HAVE gotten somewhere! You have gotten out of bed in the first place!! That’s wonderful! Now, as you realize that it is time to sleep for real after your hard day, I would like you to aim for this one last goal: Get back to bed. I know firsthand that it is not always easy. I mean, you have been on the couch or recliner for so long that you can see little reason to get up. You are comfy. You are sedentary. Lord, are you sedentary. But bed is where you should sleep if only to give you yet another sense of accomplishment. So stagger your sad old butt back to your bedroom chamber, or, if you live in a smaller sort of place, stagger your sad old butt three feet over to your bed spot. I guess if your bed doubles as a couch by way of being a futon, then you’ve been in bed all day… Then I challenge you to meet this goal by putting on pajamas, or at least not sleeping in the clothes you have worn all day long. Get under your sheet or blankets! Give yourself the luxury of sleeping like a human being. You deserve it. You’ve had a big, successful day.
Amanda lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a complete hermit in many respects, so if you find her out-of-doors, consider yourself lucky, Bucko!
Contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org
or maybe AIM: octocakes