Good without joy, grateful without happiness

Discussion in 'Positive Feelings and Motivational Messages' started by Michaela, Aug 9, 2016.

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  1. Michaela

    Michaela Member

    Good without job, grateful without happiness
    Redefining the way we evaluate our days

    During my periods of severe depression, most mornings I don't want to get up. I don't want the day to start only for the pain to kick in again. I don't want to fight my way through a day, realizing that no matter what I do it won't be worth it. But usually around 9am I do get up and start my day. And by 5pm I close the doors and say goodbye to the world and decide that that particular day is over. The last six hours that I'll spend awake I do not require myself to be social or active or anything, I allow myself to simply exist, to simply breathe (and maybe watch a series) until I go to bed at around 11pm. I literally have a 9-to-5 day in which I will put on a smile, fight my hardest, be social and do whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing.

    After eight hours of fighting I'm done, exhausted and only wish to disappear. All my efforts seem to have been in vain. I couldn't feel any joy or other positive feeling. I might have laughed, but my heart never laughed along. The day wasn't worth it in any way and I'd rather not have had to live it. But I did.

    I did and instead of focusing on not having been able to enjoy my day and feel any form of happiness, I focus on it having been a good day. I focus on it having been, objectively speaking, a (relative) good day and I am grateful for it. I am grateful not because I was able to feel any joy, but because if I hadn't been so depressed that all joy is stolen from me, I would have felt it.

    I choose to view my days more objectively. There are only-bad days, mostly-bad days, partly-bad days, partly-good days, mostly-good days and only-good days. And none of those things are based on my feelings, which at this point in time are simply very inaccurate, dark and twisty. At the end of the day, even the really really bad ones, I realize there's always something to be grateful for - namely the fact that I can shut the doors again, keep the world outside and go to bed. For those few precious hours, I will be able to disappear - and that is the ony thing I can even FEEL somewhat grateful about.

    So, not matter what tomorrow may bring, and no matter how not-worth-the-effort it's going to be, I will breathe and fight my way through it until I can let go and say 'today is done'.
    IamTetsuo likes this.
  2. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Hi Michaela and welcome to SF. Its pleasant to read a somewhat different perspective to most you will find here, my own included. If it works for you, then I am pleased you have found a way that works for you and hopefully others might benefit from that.

    One of the effects of depression is disturbed sleep patterns. Do you find it difficult to sleep or difficult to get to sleep? I have had terrible insomnia due to depression and anxiety issues and I am always eager to hear how others cope with that. I find it very difficult it must be said. I have tried lying in bed until I fall alseep, but I just end up ruminating, so its a bit pointless. Getting up disturbs my partner which I dont like doing if she has work the following day.

    So is your glass half empty or half full, or is it a case of neither?
  3. Michaela

    Michaela Member

    Hey SinisterKid,

    Yes, I struggle with going to sleep and getting to sleep. My PTSD tends to kick in more once the evening starts, so it takes me hours to be somewhat calm enough to go to bed. It takes me well over an hour to then finally fall asleep and I sleep very lightly so it's not rare to wake up multiple times or simply not get the rest I actually need. However this has been the case for so many years by now and I've had years of sleeping so little that I'm used to it in many ways and every hour is one. I make up stories when I'm in bed, as it's the only way to stop my mind from racing - I force it to focus on one storyline. It works for me, although it takes a long time before I finally am calm enough to fall asleep. Sometimes, when I'm really anxious, I listen to music (with those earplug-things, no idea what the English word is). But well, yeah, I try to go to bed at 11pm, but oftentimes it won't be before 1 or 2am. So yeah, not a great sleeper, but for me I'm already glad that I don't have to fake for anyone. I can be awake, upset, tired, broken down, sad, crying, etc. No one is there, no one will care. For me, although it is in many ways the hardest part of the 24-hour day, it's also the best, because at least all my despair can be there.

    To glass is definately half empty, or well, actually empty. The thing is though that as long as I decide to stay alive, I should also fight to make things better and that includes thinking positively and finding new ways to do that. This is my fourth episode of severe depression (or actually double depression) and it may not be my last. That means I will have to figure out a way to learn to live with this and to find ways to live in this world even when I feel all dead inside. But that's just my stubborn warrior spirit ;)

  4. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Thank heavens for that stubborn warrior spirit then!

    If I get it right, I feel the tiredness and I time it well, I get off to sleep. Otherwise, its just a constant battle. But you are correct, you somehow do adjust and your body and mind get used to it. If people work shifts, they probably experience something similar.

    The fourth episode part leaves me somewhat cold. This is my first severe depressive episode, so its all new to me and I am learning a lot in a very short space of time. I have not processed most of what I have learnt, but that will come with time no doubt. But if I thought this was the first of four, I am not sure how I would handle that. I would say thanks for sharing that with us, but it would be a lie ;)
  5. Michaela

    Michaela Member

    I'd say the odds are still in your favour then. Getting a second episode is a 30% chance, so I think with the right work (therapy, possibly meds, etc.) you have a pretty big chance of never having to experience it again ;)
    SinisterKid likes this.
  6. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Meds are a sore subject right now, so lets not go there. Therapy has been, what shall we say? eye opening? Near enough. Ward therapy, never again. Group therapy I enjoy and get something out of. 1 to 1 with psych is slightly scary as he is a observant and very intelligent man who already appears to know me very well in such a short space of time.

    But I will take those odds even though I am pretty sure I have read different stats to the ones you have read!
  7. Michaela

    Michaela Member

    Sorry, you're completely right. I've checked and read stats between 30% and 60%, but most (that I found) say 50%. So I misremembered, sorry...
  8. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Yeah, that definitely corresponds with what I read as well. Pretty scary still, 50/50 chance of having more mental health issues in the future. And they ask me why I cant see a future?
  9. Michaela

    Michaela Member

    It's also a 50/50 chance of having NO more depressions in the future. And the fact that you know this, means you can prepare and make a plan to catch to very early so it may not develop into a full-blown depression again. For me, I got no help with the first one and very little with the second and third. And now there aren't even odds anymore *sigh*
  10. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    That is very true, I never liked evens as far as odds go, I prefer them in my favour when possible. So I might need to try and stack the deck in my favour.

    I do have various plans and tools to help recognise the symptoms and try and do something about it before it happens. I am working on traps and triggers at the moment. I am aware of traps, but triggers I find very hard to identify, so that will take some effort.
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