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What I Am Doing To Improve Life


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I pray and I don't read How to... books 'cause i am temped to tear them up to pieces when I am at the bookshop. If i bought some ( by accidance) there would be too much mess in our flat.

 

I really enjoyed reading this.  Making me laugh just thinking about it since I think I can pretty closely relate.  I do read how-to articles (and books), especially regarding topics relating to overcoming depression, etc., but there are many ways and reasons I can reflect your sentiment above.

 

Thanks.  :-)

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Believing that there is more good in the world than evil.  I take the train a lot and see cattle grazing in open fields.  Because of what I know about the terrible suffering they endure at the ends of their lives, I try to remember that most of their lives are contented or I hope so.  This does not help in situations where creatures live most of their earthly lives in misery.  I hang on to a belief in Heaven for those.  Both these beliefs musts overcome my pessimistic temperament and my depressive illness as well as my somewhat morbid philosophical perspective.   I try to remember something someone told me:  "When someone is in pain you try to relieve it or hold their hand if you can't relieve it.  You don't spout philosophical aphorisms at them."

 

I try to never look "down" on anyone.  Always "up" with respect.  I often think I would be capable of doing prison ministry because I seem to be able to find good in people no one finds good in.  I pray.  Sometimes I cry out.  Then that is my prayer. 

 

I try to remember that I am not an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-perfect Being.  I could be wrong about everything even when I seem very positive about my ideas.

Edited by Epictetus
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Believing that there is more good in the world than evil.  I take the train a lot and see cattle grazing in open fields.  Because of what I know about the terrible suffering they endure at the ends of their lives, I try to remember that most of their lives are contented or I hope so.  This does not help in situations where creatures live most of their earthly lives in misery.  I hang on to a belief in Heaven for those.  Both these beliefs musts overcome my pessimistic temperament and my depressive illness as well as my somewhat morbid philosophical perspective.   I try to remember something someone told me:  "When someone is in pain you try to relieve it or hold their hand if you can't relieve it.  You don't spout philosophical aphorisms at them."

 

I try to never look "down" on anyone.  Always "up" with respect.  I often think I would be capable of doing prison ministry because I seem to be able to find good in people no one finds good in.  I pray.  Sometimes I cry out.  Then that is my prayer. 

 

I try to remember that I am not an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-perfect Being.  I could be wrong about everything even when I seem very positive about my ideas.

 

Thanks Epictetus

I like that.

And I tend to have a similar philosophical view and often orientation in terms of mood and depression.  I try to fold it into a relatively dark and dry sens of humor, and it sometimes 'works.'

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G-

The new Mission Impossible series has one fatal flaw, IMHO: The Ego, or to wit, Tom Cruise.  Otherwise I'm sure I would enjoy them; I make it a practice not to watch movies with The Ego in them, haven't seen one since Top Gun! (Gawd-Aweful!)  Except for War of the Worlds and Edge of Tomorrow, oops. I'm sorry, I hope you're not a Tom Cruise fan. My husband loved Top Gun & can't believe I don't like it.  I also really enjoyed the Red series and the Expendables series; what a hoot, seeing all the action greats in one movie! 

 

Yeah, depression has a whole host of unhealthy mental traps that exacerbate it and without therapy to work through them, can prolong depression or worsen it. I struggle with those, too.  Some I've made progress with, but it is hard won and slow-going!  I can't imagine dealing with bi-polar too, it would be too exhausting for me.

 

I really don't look forward to the holidays.  It sounds like you had a good time, though.  Taking little ones anywhere is always a bit of an adventure, regardless of where you go. 

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G-

The new Mission Impossible series has one fatal flaw, IMHO: The Ego, or to wit, Tom Cruise.  Otherwise I'm sure I would enjoy them; I make it a practice not to watch movies with The Ego in them, haven't seen one since Top Gun! (Gawd-Aweful!)  Except for War of the Worlds and Edge of Tomorrow, oops. I'm sorry, I hope you're not a Tom Cruise fan. My husband loved Top Gun & can't believe I don't like it.  I also really enjoyed the Red series and the Expendables series; what a hoot, seeing all the action greats in one movie! 

 

Yeah, depression has a whole host of unhealthy mental traps that exacerbate it and without therapy to work through them, can prolong depression or worsen it. I struggle with those, too.  Some I've made progress with, but it is hard won and slow-going!  I can't imagine dealing with bi-polar too, it would be too exhausting for me.

 

I really don't look forward to the holidays.  It sounds like you had a good time, though.  Taking little ones anywhere is always a bit of an adventure, regardless of where you go. 

 

I am amused that you have deemed Tom Cruise, "The Ego."  I can't argue with that.  He was always cocky even in his early days (and easy to understand, if not justify).  I knew he was a little egomeniacal (and weird) around the time of the Katy Holmes couch jumping thing - though in retrospect, that in isolation would have been just kind of sweet and nutty in love.

 

But I read the book Going Clear, which is a well-documented expose on Scientology, and in short, wowza the guy is really a scary and conniving control freak.

 

It takes a lot for me though not to be willing to read or watch someone's movie/book if I am interested.  I have a pretty high tolerance for being willing to separate art from artist.  And also, I just really enjoy a great movie that sucks you in as so few do.  Most of his I have to admit, are good, with notable exceptions.  But I admire the principle of those who eschew certain content for reasons like that.

 

I am petty sure I watched ?the first? Red movie and think I liked it - it (obviously) is one that I don't remember in detail.  The expendables had their moments and virtues for me, although I much prefer a more fully realized film with a little better character development.  And Marvel superhero movies, which I have been watching with my oldest who loves them. 

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.....just going to have a shower. And paint my nails to look at them when bored at work. It will improve my life a great deal.

That's good.

Little things can make a big difference.  Something I have to recurringly remind myself of.

I know my little girls certainly seem to get a boost by painting their nails.  I do when I shower and dress a little sharper.

Best to you today.

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I'm so distracted/anxious at work now all of the sudden.  The executive recruiting work I'm doing has gotten quite tough with the particular industry segment's leaders extremely unresponsive, and I feel like a piece of garbage because of it and then I let this compound it be escaping into internet distraction.  The cycle just perpetuates itself.


I haven't struggled with this much in the last 6 months (hurray!), but now that it is back, it is extremely depressing and scary and brings with it the very real risk of losing a job and falling into total economic calamity.  


 


Sharing something here was a little step of sorts.  I need to get back to some basics of self care, self-compassion and doing what I can one moment at a time.  It sounds so easy.


 


I need to see the middle ground that these extremes do not often happen, and remember I can do small things about it - but it is extremely tough right now, and it amps up my usually overly-aggressive inner critic.

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I keep a sheet of paper with various helpful things to remember when I need encouragement, compassion, understanding, consolation and so on.  I read it regularly and more often when I am suffering.  85% probably comes from CBT insights.  If I have my own insights and they seem to have more than temporary value, I add these to the paper.  Its kind of like a "portable therapist" for me.  Sometimes I think of it humorously as "words of advice" in times for trouble from my pre-frontal cortex to my limbic system.  :confusedread:

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I keep a sheet of paper with various helpful things to remember when I need encouragement, compassion, understanding, consolation and so on.  I read it regularly and more often when I am suffering.  85% probably comes from CBT insights.  If I have my own insights and they seem to have more than temporary value, I add these to the paper.  Its kind of like a "portable therapist" for me.  Sometimes I think of it humorously as "words of advice" in times for trouble from my pre-frontal cortex to my limbic system.  :confusedread:

 

That's a good idea.  I have tried and done things like that in the past on little cards or a sheet.  I have trouble sticking with it or holding on to it over time.

 

I really like how you've described it as a portable therapist or words of advice from your pre-frontal cortex to your limbic system - that's great.

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As have been struggling lately with feeling I'm sinking back into serious depression amidst a storm of stressful life circumstances, I occasionally find something of both a port and a lighthouse that helps me get through it.

 

I have 2 girls (and soon to be a boy - in 10 days!).  My youngest is 4 1/2 and she is a hilarious curly blond-headed hot mess.  Among the long list of affectionate nick names and icons I use to try to capture her feisty monkey/bulldog-like chutzpah, is The Animal from the mupets (also the Spot cave-boy character from the recent Good Dinosaur animated film if anyone has seen the trailer or movie).

https://www.google.com/search?q=spot+from+good+dinosaur&espv=2&biw=1474&bih=661&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNqpC_r8DJAhVB2GMKHYQMADIQsAQIGw

 

We moved recently and thus some of her favorite toys are still misplaced.  For about 3-4 days she has been asking my wife to find her favorite little unicorn plastic figure toy.

Yesterday when coming in through the garage I opened a box of toys we had there on a whim, and found the Unicorn.  It is hard to describe her level of excitement.  She didn't put it down all night. That was last night.

My wife just texted me that she has mentioned to her numerous times today how DaDa found her unicorn and how happy she is about this.

And that is giving me a boost today for which I am extremely grateful.  It may be a cliche, but they are the reason I keep getting up and keeping on.

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I'm trying to give myself less reasons to feel bad, and more reasons to feel good. For example, I'm learning to wean myself off of the really depressing kind of stories I've somehow tended to spin out, and trying to create more healthful, inspiring stuff. Not that I have much time for writing these days, but I still find myself fleshing things out in my head here and there, to be written out later. And I'm trying to take it, and my characters - who are in many ways expressions of facets of myself - in healthier directions.

 

It's hard to shake certain compulsions, though. Entrenched habits, like feeling obligated to take on more than I can handle. I know I have to take care of myself now, though, and that it's really important to form and stick to that habit if I want to create a good future for myself. Which I now have the power to do because I'm at a critical juncture in my life. :)

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I'm trying to give myself less reasons to feel bad, and more reasons to feel good. For example, I'm learning to wean myself off of the really depressing kind of stories I've somehow tended to spin out, and trying to create more healthful, inspiring stuff. Not that I have much time for writing these days, but I still find myself fleshing things out in my head here and there, to be written out later. And I'm trying to take it, and my characters - who are in many ways expressions of facets of myself - in healthier directions.

 

It's hard to shake certain compulsions, though. Entrenched habits, like feeling obligated to take on more than I can handle. I know I have to take care of myself now, though, and that it's really important to form and stick to that habit if I want to create a good future for myself. Which I now have the power to do because I'm at a critical juncture in my life. :)

 

Frozen,

 

That's really interesting.  I occasionally have this debate with myself.  I don't write much currently, but just in terms of what I read and watch...and even think about and talk about.  I haven't found any kind of ideal balance or answer for myself.  For me, it is important to not pour to much energy in resisting or refusing to accept what is, so I mainly try to seek and find the beauty and redemption even in the pain without judging myself for being that way...  And at the same time, checking myself to not view or make things bad or worse than what they actually are or need to be...if that makes sense

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Self Improvement - Reducing Media Consumption - Especially Right Now

 

I'm listening to the book, The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.  It's personal growth / self improvement built loosely around Tim's personal story which is an interesting one.  He incorporates data from research from science, management science, and other gurus.  It's irreverent and is making me think, which I like.

 

One of the things he recommends is going on a 'media fast' where, for 5 days (at least), I simply refrain from consuming the normal news media.  (He makes an exception for an hour of pleasure TV and an hour of fiction or pleasure reading per day).  In a nearby section, he also talks about limiting to a maximum of 10 minutes of not-directly work related web browsing per hour, which sounds generous, but I think for a lot of us--I know for me--really isn't that extravagant and would represent a step in the right direction.  I'm not certain if these two can go together, and I may need to re-listen to or read (when the inter-library book comes in) the section on this.  He does not restrict listening to music at all.  (In yet another section, he talks about restricting what you research and read to information you actually need, plus pleasure reading, and in yet another, a very, very basic technique to dramatically increasing reading speed, which i'm going to try out today at work - I did this in High school, some in college and law school, but find it dissipates without very intentional, aware, concerted effort and energy, which is to say I did not successfully built a long term habit, and instead, I frequently regress as I read).

 

In any case, I've decided to try this, this week as a means of kind of a mental cleanse, almost a detox, considering what the news has been so filled with for days to weeks to months now - terrorism, shootings, etc.  I had sought and selected a couple of positive news sites and bookmarked them.....and checked them a few times, but alas, I enjoy and like to follow politics (I think it should be called the 'dismal science' rather than economics, but then it is even less of a science).

 

In my case, I'm allowing myself in the car to turn off the Four Hour Workweek book and switch over to news on CSPAN or NPR for a part of my commute, just because frankly it is in part a form of entertainment and relaxing, and I do think I feel connected to the world a little more by staying aware of what is 'going on.'  Ferris rightly points out that virtually none of it actually impacts me directly in any immediate or near-term time frame.

 

One reason I want to try this is that I have long struggled with distraction, work-avoidance, procrastination, etc. and the internet for me--particularly news, commenting on it, analyzing it, etc.is one of my top and easiest and most ubiquitous time-wasters.  It is wrapped up in the near-ADHD distractedness and depression that is by turns, a significant comportment of my inner critic, feelings of failure, and struggle with mood and mental illness.

 

So for this week, I have pledged to myself only to try, to experiment, and gradually, to determine how I would like to manage my intake of media more judiciously and intentionally.  I signed up for the free version of a time tracker (and time management software on my phone and pc) called Rescuetime.com (one of several so far recommended to try in the book).

 

It will track and provide a report of everything I do daily and weekly.  Yikes.  Obviously, I am not considering this site to be news/media to avoid, as long as I used it constructively and in a balanced way. 

 

I have a new baby coming Friday, so things are going to get busier.  In February, I will be representing myself at a trial, and I am in the interview process for another recruiting/consulting job that I felt like I needed to continue in at least as a hedge and because it could result in a more highly compensated position, which I would feel a lot of reasons to at least seriously consider, and because the nature of my job as an executive recruiter for my large Fortune 500 firm is always in a state of uncertainty.

 

I am feeling strange on Monday morning - can't quite put my finger on it.  I think it is not-fully conscious stress over stress (my definition of unhealthy worry).  So here's to the change of the day.

I hope everyone else out there has some meaningful pleasantness in their day.  Sending support and encouragement for whatever challenges anyone reading this is facing.

 

Best,

-g

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hi gandolfication,

I took a quick trip through your topic this morning, because I was curious.

First of all, thank you for posting. I too believe you have to make a conscious effort to fight/work against being depressed. It would be great if one little pill could cure me once and for all, but I suspect I'd have to work at being more positive anyway.

 

Your posts inspire me. I'm starting my own business and Tim Ferris's book is on my list to read. I'm engaging with "business" people and reading more "business" books. Years ago, I put them all in the category of bullcrap, but now I'm liking what I read. All of it has me thinking that I need to be more conscious in the way I go about my life--and that will also influence the unconscious. And it might actually become part of my being that I'm not a depressed loser who never accomplishes anything in her life, but that I actually will succeed at my new little business.

 

all the best to you, gandolfication! And to your increasing family. I loved reading about your daughter & her unicorn. Reminds me of how attached my son was to his little Simba figurine at that age. So much so, we had a spare hidden in case he lost it :)

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hi gandolfication,

I took a quick trip through your topic this morning, because I was curious.

First of all, thank you for posting. I too believe you have to make a conscious effort to fight/work against being depressed. It would be great if one little pill could cure me once and for all, but I suspect I'd have to work at being more positive anyway.

 

Your posts inspire me. I'm starting my own business and Tim Ferris's book is on my list to read. I'm engaging with "business" people and reading more "business" books. Years ago, I put them all in the category of bullcrap, but now I'm liking what I read. All of it has me thinking that I need to be more conscious in the way I go about my life--and that will also influence the unconscious. And it might actually become part of my being that I'm not a depressed loser who never accomplishes anything in her life, but that I actually will succeed at my new little business.

 

all the best to you, gandolfication! And to your increasing family. I loved reading about your daughter & her unicorn. Reminds me of how attached my son was to his little Simba figurine at that age. So much so, we had a spare hidden in case he lost it :)

 

Dolphin -

 

I can relate to feeling and thinking that all the self-help literature is mostly forced on the success of the author/publisher selling a book or program.  And of course, in many if not most cases, much of it is.  Earlier in life, I listened to (and read) a fair number of the self-improvement classics.  (The best one to me, was Zig Ziglar's 3-part magnum opus - How to Stay Motivated - Volume I: Developing the Qualities of Success, Volume II: Changing the Picture, Volume III: The Goals Program. I listened to it in high school and it got a lot out of me and I made real changes and developed in my life.  It's all pretty practical and never strays far from what common sense and intuition tell us, I think.  A while back I found digital recordings of these on iTunes that were either free, or extremely cheap ($4-5 or something for each volume compared to $280 new from Ziglar's site).  In case that's worth checking out.

 

I have found that I go somewhat in cycles as a find and digest a new source here and there, and that as I get older, and with depression, a little more skeptical than I was in my youth, I have to listen to or read these and sift and choose what I think will work and I give myself complete license if there are things that I think either won't work, or just aren't a good option for me right now.

 

I wish you luck with your business and I hope you enjoy some parts of the experience while you're in the process.  I ran my own law practice for a couple years.  My experience ended up and was for the most part, pretty rough, but this had to do with depression as much and more than the admittedly substantial challenge of running a business.

 

re, "not a depressed loser who never accomplishes anything in her life...", I know it is easy for me to recognize/acknowledged for you (and probably vice versa), but I am certain that you have accomplished things in your life, and probably a good deal more than what you're feeling you deserve credit for day to day.  I wish we could all see that for ourselves more clearly and more frequently.  It is one of the tricks I think all of our inner critics play on us, but all the more so when we struggle with depression.

 

The backup Simba toy is funny....my daughter has been wanting to have and play with a back up bunny stuffed animal (it is the equivalent of a kid's security blanket that she sleeps with, and frequently carries to various places around the house and occasionally in the car).  She's 4 (almost 5) and she did not fully appreciate but did finally accept that this backup (newer) stuffed bunny thing is for mama to preserve for when she is older and for our family, not for her.  One thing I love about kids at this age is that their 'problems' are very often simple and easily to solve or at least improve.

 

I wonder...if there's a higher power out there who views my problems the same way.

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Depression Chat Forum

 

I have occasionally looked for a depression chat forum.  (A while back, I posted about a text chat support site I tried with very mixed results - kind of like a depression/suicide hotline but for texting).  I normally don't like to chat on line, but the idea of more immediate feedback in a conversation seemed beneficial, especially when, as now, I am feeling anxious to the point of panic, especially while at work, a lot.

 

So I tried http://www.depression-chat-rooms.org/.  It works well on a pc (not well on a mobile phone btw)

 

The open forum with a bunch of chatters was too chaotic for me.  I'd rather have a conversation where I can actually engage with another human being and learn about and exchange thoughts and ideas, and share encouragement, strength and hope.  So I did.  You can request to PM someone there similar to here and then chat one to one.  I enjoyed it, but had to get back to work.

 

Anyhow, I referred the person here.  I may visit the chat site again, but I much prefer either the forum here where people think about and write and then people can respond when they log on, or a one-to-one conversation when i have time to chat.  Anyhow, I think it helped me get through a few minutes, I appreciated the person's time, and I'll do it again.

 

What an interesting (and in some ways strange) technological age we are in.

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