py & Paste This Code:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Overcoming Depression

Recently I've talked to many people who are depressed, and I want to help. Sometimes when people are venting, it is the wrong time to jump in and give advice. When they say they want someone to listen, they need to talk, they are not receptive to advice. I think that's fairly true of everyone. My experiences with depression anxiety disorder may not translate to anyone else, so if they don't apply to you don't use them. On the other hand, if there is a common thread, please take from here anything you find helpful.

I feel the single most important factor in overcoming depression is the righteous use of agency. Depression takes away some agency in how we feel and think. It does not take away our agency in what we do, but Satan would like to make us think it does. The temptation to stay in bed is overwhelming on some days, maybe even most days, but the choice to get out of bed is strike one against Satan's tactics. It's the first big step in not giving him power over you. Sometimes medication is needed to return agency. One thing that is very important to understand is that antidepressants can't and won't make you happy. They will return your agency to you so that you can make you happy.

Let us not make the mistake of thinking that people with depression/anxiety are not moving solely because they are apathetic. At least I had a million thoughts racing through my mind, and it took all my energy just to maintain the stream. At the same time, I had no idea how to stop the race. Depressed people are not apathetic because of laziness, on the contrary, they are working very hard just to exist from second to second.

There are two different kinds of choices: choosing not to do bad, and choosing to do good. I personally have trouble choosing to eat well, but I have less trouble with the choice to not have the whole pan of brownies (even though that one can be hard too.) I've heard many people say that you must replace a bad choice with a good choice, and I know that to be true, but in my experience I had to first commit to not making the bad choice. This decision in my life has usually been one of choosing not to act. Sometimes inaction is a lesser and safer evil. One such choice is the choosing of thoughts. We have to redirect, but we have to recognize our thoughts as bad first. The ones I have the most trouble with are where I am criticizing myself. It took me a while to learn that I have to get rid of those if they are dragging my spirit down. If they depress me it does not make any difference whether or not they are justified, because they dissuade me from change anyway.

But the best part about choosing not to do something bad is that it leaves the door wide open so that I can choose something good. After choosing not to eat the whole pan of brownies I could choose to eat some broccoli instead. But let's be honest, that's not too likely. It is more feasible for me to have one brownie and then choose to either eat a main course, or if I've already done that, choose to not eat anything until my next meal. After I choose not to cut myself down, I could try to praise myself, but that usually comes out sarcastic. I've found the best response in these moments is to focus on the present. Instead of berating myself about the past, or worrying how I am going to mess up in the future, I pick one homework assignment or activity, and just walk myself through that. Then my thoughts are geared toward action, the thing that will ultimately cause me to be better.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why I Love Sara

Hi Sary! You are going to hate me for this post, but I have to write what's on my mind.

So why is the gorgeous and wonderful Sary Poppins Child on my mind? Because she is at my house, that's why! Sara is my cousin and friend since forever. Forever? You inquire. Probably I respond. Of course I can only go back as far as recorded history. Recorded history states:

There was this day, about 2000 years ago ( January of 1988 to be specific) when Scott and Kathy Christensen brought home a new baby girl. At least they began to, but they decided that they didn't want to go home and cook and stuff just yet, so they went to Cinda and Randy Child's place instead. They looked around for where to set me down in order to eat and visit. They found a crib, but there was a already had a 3 month old girl in it. What to do? They placed both girls in the same crib and went about their business. Little did they know they would be setting a life long precedent.

So now we are 22 and still spending time together. Doing what you may ask? Well, here are some examples:

You get the idea. Despite previous evidence, she is a serious person when the situation calls for it. Obviously, since she does well in nursing school, she has to be serious at some time. Sara has always been a very good student. In fact she tells me that having an A in a class gives you a lot more lisence to goof off to the teacher. Since she goofs off all the time and still does very well, I will take her word for it.

I have to say that even though I find Sara's dislike of so many good movies appaling, I am greatful to have her as a friend. She is the only one who can get me to act like a 20-something college student. I stop being uptight around her, and I let myeslf just let loose and have fun.

By the same token, she is the one that can get me to laugh when my sense of humor takes a nosedive. I don't know how she can make everything funny when I'm in a bad mood but somehow she does it. That is one of the few reasons I go shopping with her. Only the truest love could get me to go shopping, so Sary, you better milk it for all it's worth. Oh yeah, you already do.