It’s nearly my ninth year of getting past suicide, so I feel like sharing my list in celebration. Whoo! When I first began to fight off my depression with therapy, the major thing I had to change was old habits that I had picked up within the darkness.
I didn’t realize, while I was under the throes of depression, that I was actually causing myself more pain and grief by how I was responding to it. For example, when I felt very depressed, one of my responses was to isolate myself from everything and everyone that I loved. I had to learn how to do the opposite in order to break free. This is my example list of positive alternatives. ^_^
1.) I avoid sad music – Whenever I feel sad, I don’t select my moody playlist of Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nirvana, Radiohead, Tool, Stabbing Westward, Type O Negative, or that one Bruno Mars song where he drags a piano. NO!
In the past, I would spend hours in my room, staring up at my ceiling, listening to moody sad songs (including Sarah McLachlan) and contemplating the many ways to attempt suicide.
Hey… don’t judge my listening tastes! I’m a creep… I’m a weirdo. :-P
Anyway, whenever I feel really bad or mildly depressed, I avoid all sad songs as they only tend to add to my depressive mood and encourage me to sink further into self-pitying. Sure, some feel that listening to sad music can cause them to feel less alone and that someone in the cosmos understand their pain. For me, I over identified with the dark lyrics and often take them much to heart.
When the lyrics of Micheal Andrews, “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” floated across my mind, it only encouraged me to give up more so. As I felt that my own dreams of dying was the best I’ve ever had or was ever going to get. Not good. >_>
The sad songs are saved for the days when I’m happy. I can enjoy the beauty of them when I’m in a better spirits. Meanwhile, when I’m sad or mildly depressed, I listen to peppy dubstep and EDM (mostly Monstercat) or full albums of my favorite band U2 (while skipping their moody songs). My U2 favorites during my sad times are: “Beautiful Day”, “Walk On” and “Stuck In A Moment…”.
AND… if that doesn’t rise my spirits, I watch my favorite Todrick Hall video: End Of Time Target Flash Mob. If I’m not dancing to this video by the end of it, the little kid cheering “yay” and “good job” always brings a smile to me without fail.
2.) I watch comedies – I LOVE to laugh. So, whenever I feel sad, I DON’T choose to watch a depressing movie. I use to do that in my past, which only gave me more ideas that the world is nothing but a festering place of misery! When I’m sad, I stay within the “comedy” section on Netflix.
When I’m really really sad, I choose to watch romantic comedies. I don’t care for rom-coms, but there’s an extra kick to watching those and yelling at the screen, “Oh, come on! Like we’re suppose to believe that would ever happen in real life! Bwahahaha!” And I’m not balking at the crazy comedic situations of the films, but the ridiculous “love story”. :-P
Comedies are SO much fun and they are sure to end my funk every time! I run to them whenever a friend or relative is unavailable to vent my woes to. Which brings me to the next one on my list.
3.) I share what I feel with someone – I don’t always need an answer to solve my woes and sometimes there isn’t any real answer that can be given. However, it seems to help when I simply tell someone, “I feel sad.” In the past, I would just keep those three words to myself, locking away my pain and discomfort inside of me, and it would only fester and grow there like a fungus in the dark.
Just admitting to my friends or relatives that I feel sad within a moment is sometimes enough.
4.) I allow myself to cry – It’s the same as above. If I have to cry, I let the tears out. I remind myself that this isn’t a sign of “weakness” nor does it mean that I’m slipping back to that horrible dark place. I tell myself, “It’s just a moment. This time will pass.” And it does. ^_^
5.) I write! – It often helps me, when I write, even if I never share it. I tend NOT to write about sad things when I’m sad. I use to write whole journals in the past with my pain and dark misery scrawled across the pages. It never made me feel any better, but instead it personified the pain into a living object. I began giving my journals a foreboding name like “The Book Of Pain” and the notebooks breathed like living pets made of shadow and despair. Oof! >_<
Nowadays, when I’m sad, I think of a wish that I’ve always wanted to come true and write whole novels with wonderful characters surrounding that wish. I write the main character as myself, which can be a lot of fun. I allow myself to become lost within an extraordinary world for a while, until I feel better again.
Just by changing a few habits, my depression is more manageable and short lived. I almost want to say that I don’t have depression anymore, that I’m cured, because 95% of the year I’m fine and only reach a dull sadness sometimes. I feel like the worse of my depression is in remission and when mild depression lurks around a few times in a year, I SO have it handled ^_^
Life is what I make of it and I choose to be awesome.
Thanks for reading!