Post

lostconfessions's Blog


The Slab

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Troubles

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Learning How to Say "No"

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

One Week In

So, have completed my first full week in 2013.

It has been...OK. No major problems or issues. But not having loads of fun either. Its been a bit dull.

I got a brief text from my "ex." I took the chance to apologise to her for the way I left things, and to wish her well for the future. I'm glad I got that chance at least. We havent spoken since. Needless to say, I am feeling lonely as heel right now - that big gaping hole is still there. But at least I know that if we never speak again, I got the chance to say a proper goodbye to her. I did love her, after all.

My mission to change myself continues at a snail's pace. I am making headway on some things. I have managed to cut back on my beer intake, and I am keeping up my efforts to take a walk everyday. I am trying to keep myself a bit more clean and tidy, and that is working too. So far, I have managed to be a bit more responsible when it comes to spending, and I have cleared a little bit of my debt.

The only thing I am failing at is managing my sleeping patterns. But it is SO HARD. My body doesnt like long periods of wakefullness, nor does it like long periods of sleep. If I slept the way I wanted to, I would wake around 10 AM. Go to bed around 3PM and have a mid-afternoon nap until 6 PM. Then I would stay up until about 5 in the morning. I still get my 8 hours sleep a day, although the hours are wierd.

I am trying to take my 8 hours sleep all in one go. But it is tough. I wake at 7AM to go to work. In the middle of the day, I suffer from major lag. All I want to do is nap. And when I get home around 6PM, I am dog tired - so tired I am ratty and cant focus on doing anything. This tiredness lasts till about 9PM, when - all of a sudden - I feel wide awake again. And I could go to bed and toss and turn for hours.

I dont know how I am going to break this cycle. I far prefer short, deep naps, than having one long sleep. I dont know why. I feel far more refreshed after a nap. Yet I could go to bed and sleep for 8 hours and wake up tired. It is so odd.

An Experiment in Change


2012 was a bit of a crazy one for me. It started as one of the best years of my life in a long time, and ended pretty much the opposite. I hope 2013 will be better.

I was never big into New Year Resolutions - didn't really believe in them. But I have been thinking about trying to change my life around for a while now, and I think that the start of a new year is as good a time as any.

I thought about the areas of my life that I wanted to change. I covered many areas of my life - lifestyle, physical health, emotional health, work, friends, relationships, finance, hobbies and pastimes....anything I could think of. I thought about things I wanted to buy and things I wanted to do. I pictured who I would like to be and how I would like to live. I tended to focus on REALISTIC goals. Goals I could actually see myself achieving.

Then I began to work backwards. I began to figure out the steps that I needed to take to achieve my goals.

Some of the steps were easy. Some were hard. Some needed money. Some didn't. Some steps required the breaking of a habit, or the creation of a new one. Some steps just required a one-off effort.

I began to focus on the easiest steps first. The smallest. They say that success breeds success and I reckoned that accomplishing the small things would give me confidence to begin work on bigger ones.

I took some of the easiest steps of the most important goals. The most important goals were to lose weight, to regain control of my sleeping patterns and energy levels, and to tidy up my life.

Some of the steps require me to form new habits. For example, in order to lose weight, I decided that I would need to start having a regular walk. But I HATE walking. I am too tired to do it when I get home from work. And I find it hard making the time to do it. So I decided to take a walk during my work lunch hour. And I decided that if I managed to do it for 30 consecutive work days, at the end of that period I would probably have "learned" that habit without having to make a conscious effort to remember to do it. This would help me free up my effort for talking other steps.

Other habit forming steps included:

  • Taking no beer on weekdays for a month


  • Keep a clean inbox for 30 days - learning to deal with mails as they came into my inbox


  • Getting up at 7am every morning on weekdays for a month - no snooze button


  • Getting to bed before 11.30pm every evening on weekdays for a month- no more sitting up till 2 am


I am tracking my progress on these steps. If I can manage to get in the habit of doing them after a month, I will choose another few to work on.

I am interested to see whether this plan works out or not.

Dealing With Break Up

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Getting Rid of Stuff

After a sleep, I feel a bit better.

The sickness has passed, and the pain in my shoulder and chest are gone now - for a while at least.

I can begin to make preparations for the New Year.It's time I thought about rebuilding. 

I think the best way to do that is to reduce the amount of STUFF in my life.

I have went through my various friends lists on a few different sites and trimmed them back. I only want people in my life who contribute anything to it and whom I can count on.

I went through some of my email accounts and cleared them out. I am tired of big inboxes. I want to concentrate on REAL things in my life - not heaps and heaps of spam messages flooding in everyday. When I get a message, I am going to take action on it, then delete it or save it its important.

Finally, I am working through my room and I am dumping EVERYTHING that does not add to my life in anyway. I am shredding old paperwork. I am giving away unwanted gifts. I am throwing out old clothes.

Its a start. If I want to rebuild, I need to eliminate everything from my life that is going to make that more difficult. I am bored with the amount of meaningless STUFF in my life.

OMG

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

The Cure for Depression

Contrary to the post title, the sad truth is that there really is none. Despression is complex - there are many "causes". Personality types and learned cognitive practices, brain functioning, life experiences, genetics(?), social and economic factors. It is hard to put forward a single cure when the cause is not strictly known.

Yet, there are ways of "coping" and "managing" that can alleviate the symptoms. People who want to manage need to come up with solutions that suit themselves, depending on their own views of what is wrong.

1. Visit a Doctor
The first step is to get help. I dont believe medication is the answer to depression. It might provide temporary relief to the symptoms, but the causes most likley remain. but this does not mean that medication cant help. When things are going bad, the first step is to stabilise the situation - get things under control - before attempting to make everything better. Medication can help to do this.

2. Talk
This is so difficult, but not as difficult now as it used to be. Talking means giving vent to your thoughts. Getting other people's thoughts on things can help you challenge your own thinking. Have you ever tried to defend one of your negative thoughts to someone? It is hard. It is hard because your negative thoughts are usually build on false premises and illogical argument. An intelligent and rational person will pick holes in your arguments straight away, and help you realise that perhaps there is usually more than one way of looking at things.

You can talk to anyone you wish whom you think will listen to you. You can talk to someone face to face, or call a helpline even. You can go into any of the many forums on the internet for people suffering from depression. Depression is a recognised medical condition; and there are so many sufferers, you should never feel ashamed of talking about your thoughts and feelings.

Or you can blog too. Its another form of talking in my eyes.

3. Therapy
The way we think is ingrained into who we are. Changing thinking habits and bahaviours is extremely difficult, but just like any habit, it CAN be changed. You will just probably need help. Cognitive bahvioural therapy is an extremely useful way of tackling negative thinking patterns. But any therapy helps - therapy gets us talking, and can help us find out what our root problems are.

4. Tackle Problems
Depression can very often be caused by stressful life experiences that we feel we cant deal with. We tend to bury our heads in the sand and let things slide, hoping the problems will go away. But they rarely do. They keep getting bigger and bigger. And this puts us under more and more pressure.

Perhaps making a list of problems might help you focus? List all the problems you have and rank them in order from the biggest to the smallest. Then take the top 3. Make a list on what you think you need to do to solve these problems. Make the items small and achieveable.

For example, if your biggest problem is debt, dont write "pay off all loans". This is the end goal. Instead, you need to think of ways of allowing you to do this. The first thing might be to get advice from a free debt crisis centre. Contact your debtors. Make arrangements with them. Cut back on your spending. keep all your paperwork filed in one place.

Try to do one small thing everyday that will contribute towards solving the problem. All these little things add up, The problem starts to get smaller. You feel better empowered and positive about finally getting rid of the problem. Hence, hope is born.

5. Raise Self Esteem
Self-esteem has a huge impact on our lives. And low self-esteem can magnifiy and worsen feelings of depression and negative thoughts. But the way we think about ourselves has developed over many years, and changing this is diffuclt also.

But there are ways. And these involve taking action to make us feel better about ourselves.

Setting and achieving goals raises self esteem. As does congratulating and rewarding ourselves when we do something right.  Our self esteem rises when we know we can rely on ourselves. We become more confident in making our lives a nicer place to live. We realise that it is not how other people look at us but how we look at ourselves that is the most important thing.

One fault we make is always looking at what we have to do, rather than looking at what we have done. That is why, very often, when I make a list of things to do, I dont delete the items I have done. Rather, I tick them off or cross them out. That way, I can sometime focus on what I HAVE done rather than what I HAVENT. I feel better about myself.

6. Relax
People like me never seem to be able to go for a moment without thinking about myself and my problems. It takes up all my focus and energy, leaving me feeling drained and tired. Yet, there are things I like doing that sometimes helps me forget.

I like reading and watching movies. I like computer games and going shopping. I like leaving work early sometimes to beat the traffic whilst listening to the radio. I love comedy shows, and music.

Sometimes, taking time out helps me relax and get away from things for awhile. My mind becomes distracted by things other than itself, and I get a break from my life. I feel better afterwards, and have a bit more energy to keep going.

it is important that we reward ourselves from time to time for doing what we do everyday - keeping going.

7. Live Healhily
Probably the one I fail at most. But the importance of this cant be overestimated I think.

Our body has a tight relationship with the mind. Abuse the body, and the mind suffers too.

There is no secret to living healthily. It involves taking a little exercise, and cutting down on rubbish foods. It involves shaving, showering, brushing our teeth and wearing clean clothes. It involves having a nice tidy workstation, car, house, bedroom. It involves cutting back on tobacco, drugs and alcohol. it involves getting rest and a good night's sleep.

Living healhily raises our self-esteem. It improves our perception of who we are. It makes our bodies function more effectively, more easily, which can improve our brain function too. A well rested person sitting in a comfortable chair in a warm and well lit room will always function better than a tired one who is sitting in the fallout from last night's drinking session.

****
There are hundreds and thousands of books written on the subjects listed above. i dont pretend I have read many of them. i could write a blog on every item on the above list. But really, there is little point. Inside myself, I KNOW what I am doing wrong, I KNOW what I need to do to put things right, I KNOW I am not doing those things. I dont need a book to tell me anything.

But it is sometimes nice to sit down and take stock. Try to focus on the positive. I have experienced little shafts of light today in an otherwise dark place. Tomorrow might be a worse day than today. but then again, it might actually be better =)




The Anatomy of Depression

I have suffered from depression for most my adult life (though I had one of the happiest childhoods funnily enough).

It is such a strange affliction. People who dont suffer from it cant understand what it is like to have one's reality altered to the extent that one wants to die. People who do suffer from it cannot properly convey in words what it is like.

At least, I know that I cant.

But I learn all the time. And some of the greatest learning experiences I have is those little shafts of light that appear in the darkness, only to vanish again. But those little shafts of light stay long enough to help you see more of what is going on.

I am going to speak on a personal level now. Whether or not what I say applies to others, I can only guess. But I speak as a sufferer in my own horrible world.

There are three major components of depression that always seem to be present.

Those are irrational thinking, loneliness, and lack of hope.

Perhaps there are cross-overs between the three. But all other symptoms (like low self-esteem, sadness, despair, suicidal thoughts, negative thinking) all seem attributatble to one of these three components.

Irrational Thinking
In order to make sense of the world, we think. And by thinking about a particular situation, we make certain assumptions, we gather the evidence, we compare it to our assumptions, and we decide if we are right. If we think we are wrong, we adjust our assumptions in the light of the evidence. And when we think we are right, our view about a situation becomes more solid.

Our thoughts and our emotions are directly linked. For example, when we think we are loved by someone, we are happy. When we think we are not loved, we become sad. When we think we are good at something, we feel proud. When we think we have done something wrong, we become ashamed. And our emotions and behaviours are linked. When we are angry, we lash out. When we are happy, we relax.
 
Normal people tend to cope with this strategy fairly well. But people like myself tend to think irrationally.

We tend to make NEGATIVE assumptions about ourselves and the world, and we tend to concentrate ONLY on the evidence that backs up our assumptions. We ignore or disregard evidence that does not fit with our negative assumptions.

Furthermore, we apply our negative assumptions incorrectly. We over-generalise and catastrophise.

The best thing I can do is give an example.

One day, I dont receive any texts from my girlfriend. I catastrophise. I think "She doesnt love me the way she used to". I disregard the fact that she has texted me every day for a year. i disregard the fact that she said yesterday she was going to be busy. I focus on the fact that today, I didnt receive any texts. Then I am on high alert. I interpret every single missed text, love heart etc as further evidence that she is falling out of love with me.

Because of these thoughts, I become scared and angry. I lash out, I cause fights, I drink. And in a strange way, I fufil my own assumption. I become someone who is hard to love.

Loneliness
People like myself tend to build huge walls around ourselves. We tend to exist in complete isolation.  We tend to personalise everything to only apply to ourselves and this makes our thinking even more irrational.

To me, I am the only one whose heart is breaking today. My pain is worse than anyone else's. Actually, everyone else is happy. My troubles are bigger than anyone else's.

But the truth is that people are suffering pain everyday. There are thousands of people going through the same heartbreak that I am today. Some people are going through it worse than me.

But I live in my own little bubble. And in my bubble, everything is magnified and intensified. So, depressive and negative thoughts and emotions become so much more intense.

Yet, if I could burst my bubble, I would realise that I am NOT alone. Shit happens every single day to millions of people. This thought helps to de-personalise things. Not everything is about ME. This is not only happening ME. I am not alone in my suffering. Other people are suffering too. this is not God's way of trying to destroy me. Bad stuff happens us all.

Lack of Hope
This is probably one of the biggest reasons why people are depressed, and commit suicide. They lose hope that things will ever change. They give up on themselves, and others and life. And they need out.

i think i read about an experiment once. Rats were put in tanks of water. Some rats were rescused as soon as they began to swim. Some rats were rescued after a period of swimming. And some rats were let go to the point of drowning before they were rescued.

And a strange thing happened. All rats continued to swim after repeated exposure to the tank of water EXCEPT those which learned that no matter how long they swam for, they would almost drown. When those rats were put in the tank, they refused to swim. They just let themselves sink. They had given up to the point that they decided further attempts at swimming was pointless. The other rats learned, on the other hand, and by swimming and continuing to swim, eventually they would get out of the tank. They lived in hope.

People like myself feel little hope about things. In our altered reality, it seems that no matter what we do, no matter how we try, we cant seem to get out of the rut we have found ourselves in. We get tired trying. We feel drained. Our attempts to disentangle ourselves from our own mess get weaker and weaker. And the chances that we will get out of the rut drop and drop and drop. Eventually, we lose all hope. We give up on making anything of ourselves and our situation. We let take one last gasp of air and let ourselves sink.

Long post is long. But by trying to speak aloud, by trying to give voice to our thought processes, even in a blog, helps to make the fact that we ARE NOT thinking straight more real, and hopefully let us see that we can come to live with and understand ourselves.


What Does Unlucky Mean?

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Unlucky Stars

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Happy

Things seem to be getting back on track again, and I am finally feeling hopeful and happy.

We have regained the connection we had. I am feeling more confident - I dont feel like I am lugging about a load of luggage on my back.

I am planning a trip. I dont know what is going to happen - allI know is what I want to happen. I cant think about the alternatives right now.

I need cash - money reserves are low right now - mostly because of the activities of people who are NOT worrying about money right now. My wages have been lowered, I am paying more tax, and the price of everything is going up and up.

But I'll manage. I will make sure I do. i want this too much =)

2012 so far...

I was just thinking about what I am going through right now, and I think 2012 has so far been a bit crap.

I always like reviewing what sort of year I am having. The best year in my life was 1999. The worst year in my life was probably 2001. But 2012 is coming in a close second.

Maybe something amazing will happen between now and December...who knows? =)

Cost/Benefit...

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Realisation

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

I wish I could stop thinking

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Emptiness

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Letting Go

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

Positivity

This blog has been marked as containing adult content. Your current adult settings prevent you from seeing it. Please go to your account settings page and change your settings to allow adult content to view this blog

1-7 of 7 Blogs   

Previous Posts
The Slab, posted February 23rd, 2013
Troubles, posted February 23rd, 2013
Learning How to Say "No", posted January 10th, 2013
One Week In, posted January 8th, 2013
An Experiment in Change, posted January 3rd, 2013
Dealing With Break Up, posted January 2nd, 2013
Getting Rid of Stuff, posted December 30th, 2012
OMG, posted December 29th, 2012
The Cure for Depression, posted November 16th, 2012
The Anatomy of Depression, posted November 16th, 2012
What Does Unlucky Mean?, posted November 13th, 2012
Unlucky Stars, posted November 13th, 2012
Happy, posted October 23rd, 2012
2012 so far..., posted October 12th, 2012
Cost/Benefit..., posted October 12th, 2012
Realisation, posted October 10th, 2012
I wish I could stop thinking, posted September 28th, 2012
Emptiness, posted September 27th, 2012
Letting Go, posted September 24th, 2012
Positivity, posted September 19th, 2012
Change, posted September 18th, 2012
Chameleon, posted September 16th, 2012
Visualisation, posted September 15th, 2012
A Further Development, posted September 12th, 2012
The Simple Truth, posted September 11th, 2012
Why am I Hurting So Much?, posted September 11th, 2012
Fall Out, posted September 9th, 2012
Come Down, posted September 8th, 2012
/ragequit, posted September 8th, 2012
Insane in the Membrane, posted September 7th, 2012
Lost, posted September 6th, 2012

Blogroll
Here are some friends' blogs...

Help
How to Embed Photos in your Blog Embed Photos How to Embed Videos in your Blog Embed Videos