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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Day 45: Mid-point

So yeah man this is day 45 and I should be feeling great and all but of course inevitably I'm feeling completely shitty.

Yeah, I don't know what to tell you. I don't have the energy to pretend I'm...

... Ung. No. Not that tone. I guess there are things I can do. It's OK to feel like this, but I don't need to add to it. There is no "should". It's not that I "should" be feeling great. Reality is just what it is. Unhappiness is the discrepancy between your assumptions about reality and reality itself. What's that thing, you can argue with reality -- you'll just lose 100% of the time?

So I can say: "It would be nice if I felt great." Or: "I would like to feel great." Or just: "I have felt great before but right now I do not feel great." But not "I should feel great."

Or if I find I have said, "I should feel great," then not to worry about that. "I shouldn't have said 'should' just then." Pssch. Just let it go. This moment is this moment.

I feel tired in all my muscles. I feel a draining away of energy, of determination, desire. An emptying out. Everything is clouded and foggy. My vision is... it's like I'm not totally here in the scene, but looking out on it from a ways back, down inside myself.

It's depression.

I guess I've had tiny attacks of depression like this most nights for many years. Sometimes they just make for a tough evening, just those attacks themselves. Other times I beat myself up for letting an attack come on, for being the kind of person who lets attacks come on, whatever. Or I get a hopeless "here we go again" feeling, like this is what it has been like for so long, this is all I can envisage for the future, what's the point in any of this? And any of those things can worsen the initial attack, increase its duration, turn it into a full depressive episode.

So better to just let myself feel whatever I feel. If I'm depressed right now, once again, then so be it. I could suffer from continuous migraines. I could have trouble breathing. I could have diabetes or fibromyalgia or arthritis. I don't. But I do get depressed. Hopefully I can work on assuaging that depression as I continue with my life, but who knows? I mean I'd like to not have this feeling any more, but probably the first step towards that is practising, getting good at, accepting the feeling when it is here.

So it's here. I'm depressed. But actually already the shift in perspective has changed it. The amount of energy is the same, but the kind of valence, I suppose, the electrical charge, of the energy is different. Now it's more that I'm fragile and drained, but actually OK, rather than somehow fundamentally broken and miserable.

Maybe I need a crisis plan to put into action for the next time this happens, probably tomorrow, and for the day after, and the day after that.

1. Find reality.
2. Recognise reality.
3. Admit reality.
4. Accept reality.
5. Notice the ways I am arguing with reality.
6. Re-frame experiences to offer alternative interpretations ("I should be feeling great" becomes "it would be nice to feel great but I accept that right now that is difficult for me").

That's a rough list. It's all I can do tonight. But that's enough, for now. I'm proud of myself for doing this much.

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