It’s a cliche. It’s kinda naff.
But just step away from the naffness and put away your perplexity for a minute and have a think about my current focus. Depression.
How does it feel? Anything but fun, basically.
If you have depression based on one type of neurotransmitter your basic feelings will be of worthlessness, unhappiness etc all the time.
Another type you will have high levels of anxiety.
Another you might describe yourself as being empty, a shell, of not feeling at all.
But no human is ever as straightforward as that. Chances are you experience all of those as part of your illness.
I know I have. And do.
But, as humans we do have a lot in common, apart from complexity. We will share many things that make us feel good. Like being warm indoors when its cold and wet outside. And laughing. There are many simple pleasures in life.
We all have things that make us feel good. When we arent depressed.
Part of my brain re-balancing (or as I am coming to think of it – reclaiming my brain) involves ‘tricking’ my brain/body into producing dopamine, which I believe I am lacking.
But anyway……what makes you happy, what gives you a feeling of achievement, what motivates you to seek that achievement and happiness….and the reward you personally get from it as a result, is all very personal. Very individual. Like loving the crumble bit best from apple crumble and custard.
But when you are depressed – you …..forget…what these things are. You have no motivation. Everything is hard work, or its done just because you have to. Little or no pleasure or satisfaction is gained anymore even from things we used to enjoy. Activities, places, foods, people, projects etc etc etc
So we stop doing them coz we forget we enjoyed them coz we lost the motivation to do them in the first place.
And that’s why I am trying to give myself ‘rewards’ by giving my pleasure particles a kick up the backside!!
Behind the scenes of this blog, I am leading my brain quietly down memory lane. And it really does sound cheesy. It sounds naff. It sounds waffy and almost childish in a way. But, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!!!
I am trying to remember as many things, places, activities, people etc as possible that have brought me pleasure in some way.
With the absolute key proviso that they can still be done/experienced/visited/achieved/met/eaten ……whatever.
So…..if you used to enjoy getting an ice cream from the ice cream van with the kids, complete with flake and raspberry sauce – stick it on your list!! It’s do-able!!!
But the freshly baked choc au pain you had for breakfast every morning from that little bakery near your holiday apartment in Paris last year…..not so much.
If you loved walking in a particular park – stick it on the list…..and PLAN IT. Set a date to do it. Arrange it. Organise it. Dust off your camera and rucksack. Dig out your lunchbox.
Make it happen – at the end of next month for instance. It’s a while away yet. You have time. Time to build up to it, coz yes, its scary. But its 7 wks away. But the date is set. Your brain has all that time to get used to the idea. You have time to remember how beautiful that place is. How much you loved it there. How happy you would feel for being there.
I bet you start to look forward to it. Maybe anxiously. Maybe with a good dollop of fear and uncertainty. But your motivation is starting to kick in.
Am i making sense here?
I personally am starting with obvious, easily do-able things. Music, making a birthday present; I have been out twice this week, and I am building my lists.
It sounds naff. It sounds cheesy. It might even sound….childish. But I have always said I am still only 6 deep down inside LOL.
Last night for instance, my family sat and chilled out together for the first time in ages – because I wasnt in my hermitage on my own. I had no migraine symptoms, but we didnt need the TV. We sat and did our own things – cross stitching, beading, playing a DS, texting. But we chatted and we had a laugh. Simple. Rewarding. Pleasure.
Even a week ago, I couldnt have done that.
So – don’t knock the method til you’ve tried it 😀
PS – today’s scent was at the fragrance counter of Boots. Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume. I have fallen in love with this fragrance. It is sunshine and summer in a bottle and it doesnt make me itch or sneeze.
*sob* it’s just such an expensive bottle!!! But i think i am going to have to get myself a squirt of it every chance i get. It is so lovely.