Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Mental Blackhole

There is not a single person who can detail life with any form of depression better than people who are actually going through it. It's constant and it is hard. I never really accepted the fact that I was depressed until I was in college. The assignments, the homework, the abundance of intimidating strangers and teachers I would encounter everyday. I found myself spiraling into some dark world of confusion and anger. If I could concentrate on an assignment or on anything that demanded my attention, I would complete (attempt) it...or at least start it. But the further I dove into a task, the chances of me giving it my energy decreased. Endless circle of torment.

Then I realized this:
Without focus, I hesitate and slip into depression, into my mind that held a place in the very back that would diminish my productiveness. I never got anywhere. What would take me hours to finish would turn into days, days into weeks, and eventually it's placed on the back burner. I called it the Mental Blackhole (TMB)

Sounds terrible, doesn't it? And you might think I feel sorry for myself, and you would be right...if you would run into the 18 year old version of myself. If you would say that now, you would be wrong.

But remember that I don't feel sorry for myself now, but I do still fall into depression whilst being productive. When I realize this has happened I become infuriated. Years ago, my anger would translate into self-hate and guilt, which was absolutely the dumbest thing I could do. “I am wasting time. I am wasting MY time,” I would think. “What a distraction. How pathetic of me.” I had to remember that I have a self-esteem to maintain. The difference between then and now is that I ask myself a series of questions:
But what am I so angry at? Myself? The task I need to complete? The process of starting the task?

Discovering I had become depressed after trying to move forward into my life was like discovering I had been walking around town bombarding into places naked and ashamed. Every person has expectations for themselves. It is okay to be frustrated when you have difficulty completing something. But to what extent is too much? I won't accept excuses even though I toss them around constantly. So once I learned what was being ensued, I transferred all my energy into digging myself out TMB. Now this isn't easy. It has taken me years and years to master with it...well...not so much mastered yet...but eventually I'll have my blackbelt in getting out of depression.

 I accomplished this by doing these two things:
  • Closing the gap between the time I entered the depression and the time I realized I was in depression 
  • Closing the gap between the time I realized I was in depression and the time it took before I finally accepted I was depressed.
Think about it. How much time do you really take to just accept it? Hours (you wish)? Days? Months? More than that?
It has taken me many years of training and a countless amount of patience. But if you start to follow those steps then it's possible to narrow it down even more. The important way of accomplishing this is learning how to point it out before you lose too much time, because how much of it have you already taken just thinking about it? So the point- Be prepared for the future. Be prepared for you.

 Control. Do I have control over myself? Do you? Or maybe we're not as in control as we would love to be. At any rate, get rid that mental illness! Prepare. Be ready and be attentive. Depression hits us from our side, hits us where we are weak.

So I will begin to end this first blog to highlight something...When you read my entries, remember that there is no advice on how to prevent depression, though it would be nice. Just advice to help accept it. But to Hell with it all! Let's prevent depression. If there is a dead end on a street, there is always a sign warning me about it way before I get there. I should be able to put my car in reverse and turn the freak around, thank you.

So our next step, because we are in this together is what? I don't know if I we prevent it entirely, but we can try, dammit. So let's accept and let's fix. Here is my personal list. What is yours?

Key points for the future to deal with/prevent TMB:
  • It is possible that when I start a task, I will be depressed in the end whether I want to or not
  • Try not to focus or get scared of the possibility that I will be depressed
  • Write down tasks that need to be completed and give myself a lenient time frame to complete it
  • If I complete an assignment, congratulate myself no matter the importance of the task

  • If I become depressed, take a moment to do something that will provide stress relief

  • If depression seeps in, reassure myself. Do not put myself down 
  • Remind myself that I am not an emotionless robot, it is okay to cry sometimes
  • Depression is mean. It does not care about the hierarchy of what is considered important to me. (I can get depressed about washing dishes to having an interview for a job.)