Friday, March 7, 2014

My fight against depression - Appealing to my inner child.

Some mornings, this is what I wake up to. That face!
I'm writing again! Which means I must be feeling a lot better! And I thought I'd share this little tip on how to fight depression. It's not for everyone I'm sure but those with a certain ability to connect with their inner child might find it appealing.
When I was a kid at school, our teachers liked to reward our good work with stickers. I'm sure teachers today carry on the tradition, or at least I hope they do. I would carefully remove them from my school work and keep them in a notebook and would trade them with other kids who did the same.

One day, when I was home sick from work, going trough the brutal side effects of antidepressants, I was watching an episode of "How it's made" on how to make stickers. So it kind of reminded me of my old sticker collection (that got lost somehow). I've been suffering from depression for a long time. The thing about depression is when you have it young, it tends to stay. And it doesn't help that I still live, literally, with the scars of my medical baggage and am a chronic pain suffer. I've been in the thralls of another bout of depression recently. I sort of predicted this summer that this would happen. Even then I was missing more and more days at work. I knew I was in trouble though when I couldn't celebrate my life's latest achievement: being hired by TD(if you work in a call center environment in Saint John, it's a big deal!). Instead, I was scared. I was nervous and scared that I would screw things up. And I almost did, I almost made it happen, like a self actualized prophecy. So much sick time during your probation isn't well looked upon by most companies. But TD was comprehensive (they are truly wonderful!) and with my new health benefits that took effect on day one I've been able to finally get help and medicate properly. Things are finally starting to look up. I'm still scared of loosing it all. I haven't exactly had an easy life, what with crohn's disease, etc. But every day is not as much a battle as it used to be although it's not always so. I thought in a desperate attempt to do anything not to let depression take away from me this coveted job and inspired by my childhood memory and that episode of "How  it's Made", I decided to get back to collecting stickers. This time with a twist to it. It seams really quite silly when you look at it but, I dunno, it appeals to the inner child in me and that's not a bad thing when you suffer from depression. So each day I don't miss a single minute at work is awarded a sticker. I often skip breakfast due to my bad social anxiety so I focus on trying to get a sticker for that instead and it works! I often used to go to work on an empty stomach so even just having some apple sauce for breakfast is a victory for me. Matt, my fiance, convinced me to get a Wii U fit instead of a exercise bike and I'm glad he did. For a depressed person with chronic pains, it's just the low impact activity I need. Each time I spend 10 minutes on it I award myself a sticker. Or one sticker if I remember to use my wii fit meter throughout the day which helps me log the walks I take to the bus stop every day. This week that's all I've been doing though since I'm in more pain than usual. The dauphins are for each 10 minutes of yoga. I have a tendency to drink just coffee, so now I keep track of my coffee intake and water intake. I'm really trying to force myself to drink lots of water to help me metabolize the 10 mg of citalopram I take each day. And it works because I focus now on the things that I accomplish rather then the things I haven't done.

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