………”Snap out of it”

When the least helpful sling shot statement thrown at depressed people turns out to be the best advice you’ve ever had.

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This is the foundation post of my blog.
The first post of a blog has a great responsibility to set the tone for the rest of the blogging future on this tiny area of the marvelous internet. Getting it right is of absolute importance.
It is the sacred text that the future civilisation of this region of the blogging community will revert to, will base itself around, that will attract future generations of followers. It has it’s own energy, own gravity.
The subject is vital, the delivery of it’s message more so………..(Jesus, what a worry).

(is this what it felt like to be Jesus? Do you think he realised how much weight his words would carry? I’m not certain he did, but probably those who rewrote him definitely did, and look how that all turned out – crusades, and crusafictions, and a couple of millenia later we’re all still hating each other to death. No pressure…..).

That paragraph above ^ that’s me all over – overthinking. I can’t even get into a cheery “hey how’s it going? Thanks for joining me here!” without taking on a bucket load of anxiety and a God Complex. I analyse and re-analyse until I have paralysis of analysis. I get stuck in the details inside my head running what I affectionately call “The Hamster Wheel of Thought” until my mind is moving so fast that my body has to stay still. I get bogged down, literally, on the sofa, and while I carefully play chess with all of my decisions for the day, the week, the month, and the next 5 – 20 years, I actually get NOTHING physically done that day. Not all days are like this, just a lot. It’s got worse since back injuries made movement painful, and since finances restricted options. It’s also got worse since I discovered Facebook and Pinterest, and I’ll probably write a whole post on that later.

So this blog has been started because this is my way of running through the Hamster Wheel of Thought in one clean revolution. As I jog along the thoughts, I can type them out onto here (I’m a very fast typer) and then (hopefully) let them go.They will no longer require storage on the inside of my head as they are now stored externally on the internet.
Every day I run through my internal mind storage and reorganise it all perfectly (sometimes I do a lot of this instead of sleeping at night), meanwhile my house, croft, car, life, get messier and messier. I know the cure, and the way to feeling calm is action, but the anxiety of not paying attention to what’s coming next in life by thinking it all through carefully creates almost complete inaction – to the observer.

To the observer I appear to be lazy, or unmotivated, and there seems to be no really good reason why I just can’t go and get on with stuff. Little do they know, those in my world, that it only keeps turning because I am powering it with the Hamster Wheel of Thought. The temptation for those around me to shout “Get on with it! Pull your socks up! Snap out of it!” must be barely bearable. In my mind, however, the only reason we are not all dead or utterly destitute, is because I’m on that wheel.

Who’s right?

I think all of us.

My experiences have taught me that taking your time, and rushing into things are BOTH bad ideas. Careful consideration of facts, and making a decision, and then getting the fuck on with it are the best way to do things.
I don’t take long to consider, and I take even less time in getting on with it. This is also why I am addicted to writing lists – what I need, what order I need them, time frames, people to consult or involve, are all detailed in about 15 different notebooks strewn around the house. I personally get very frustrated by people who do not organise or commit quickly to those two aspects – consideration, and action.

However, I am insanely jealous of people who can make confident decisions. I can not make decisions easily. My anxiety makes me really worry that I have not considered all options. I ask opinions, make plans; many plans, all the possible plans, every single tiny variation seen out to the nth degree, and then can’t decide on which one. To the other people in my world this appears to be changing plans, but they seem to have a different definition of the word “plan” than I do. In fact I think their definition of “plan” is closer to the definition of “decision”.

“To decide is to cut off from ALL other options”
That’s the definition of “Decide”.

To me, “Plan” is defined as “a fluid approach to completing a task” where it is ever changing, like traffic in a traffic jam switching lanes, weaving around, sometimes going the right way, sometimes holding itself up, but eventually always getting to its destination. I don’t change plans, but my plans change. The plan is always the same – to get there, to Happiness, by whatever sensible means, as cheaply as possible, with as little stress or upset and as much savvy as I can muster. I also know that every step of the journey gives me more savvy,and I genuinely feel that if there’s a purpose for life it is that – to gain Savvy. By that I mean it is the nature of energy, which can not be created or destroyed, to go around the universe changing state and frequency and gaining as much change and experience (savvy) as it can. It seems pretty obvious to me universally and historically that when energy (including in human form) or experience are limited, held down, locked up or pushed through narrow channels that this is when real problems begin. Life or energy just wants to flow everywhere, and as much as possible return to a state of balance once it touches the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Look at the definition of “Decide” again – “to cut off” that’s the part I struggle with. I hate the idea of burning a bridge……
Perhaps it’s because in the Highlands there are so few bridges you are BOUND to have to recross one at some point in the not too distant future. I mean that literally and figuratively. How do you get back to the center point from the edges of the world if you’ve burnt all your bridges?
But until I cut off I can’t reach balance, because I am stuck on the wheel, and not taking action, and if I have learnt a few things about coping with being a bit mental, one of them is DEFINITELY that you have to get a balance between action and thought in your life. So decision making is what I am concentrating on at the moment.

I’m concentrating on it because I have an idea that I can defeat my mentalness without use of drugs if I follow one simple step, and that is the step, everyday, towards never ending self improvement. I want to end each day a 1% better version of myself than I started it – then maybe I can sleep. (FYI, I often fail, and even have been known to finish the day 10% worse than I started. It’s simple, but it’s not easy).
In reality what that means is that I DO have to “snap out of it”. One of the least helpful things you can tell a depressed person is also the best advice. It took me a long time to get with this part of the program, I can tell you. On some subatomic level I knew it was right – it always resonated as right. My moral compass pointed right at it. As old fashioned an attitude towards depression it was, I knew that the the only way you can get out of the torture of depression was to just get off the wheel and take action – getting off the wheel is the same as snapping out of it. It took a long time to get the courage, the motivation, and the belief that it was right. It was really only once I had been at rock bottom (and for quite some time) that I had strong words with myself – why could I just not let myself be happy? Why couldn’t I have what other people had? Why could I not feel satisfied instead of frustrated? When would I believe I was enough? What’s REALLY stopping me?
The answer was simple and inescapable – me.
I was the reason – yes I’d had a seriously screwed up view of normal from an upbringing I just don’t need to detail here. But at some point you become the grown up, the choices become your own.Work, education, environment, family, past deeds – all of these become bad excuses for refusing to live a positive, healthy, happy lifestyle.

Happiness is NOT an emotion. Happiness is a DECISION.

I’ve come to realise however, that good advice can only be heard when the person is ready . They have to to do the work – not drugs, not health professionals, not society, not family (these are only supportive tools for your tool box, but they are not the answer). Only the individual can get on the path to never ending self improvement. Just the same as only an addict can make the changes necessary for quitting. Until they are ready there’s nothing can be done, until a depressed or anxious person is ready, telling them to “snap out of it” can make them worse in fact because it reiterates the feeling of being rubbish, and a failure.

Real change is the hardest and the easiest thing to do. By nature of the illness committing to something so all encompassing and never ending sounds like it’s destined to fail, which starts negative thoughts, but the truth is it’s harder staying blocked in a rut. Living the liberated life of change is easy, and EXACTLY what a depressed person needs.

Change is hard for those with anxiety and depression. Utterly necessary, but the it’s the forbidden lover of “What if’s”, “Buts” and “Maybe’s”. All of which will throw you on the Hamster Wheel and away you go again, inactive and unhappily a step backwards.

We all know that diet and exercise can really help keep you balanced, don’t we? If the answer there was “no?!” then GTF (Google the Fucker) and you’ll get PLENTY of information out there on that. It’s the first step. If you are not trying to exercise, and make positive diet changes, you are not really trying to get better, or taking any steps towards never ending self improvement. This is because you fall into a couple of mindsets – the “I don’t deserve to feel happy” which may or may not be true, or the “I don’t want to do any work because I’m selfish and lazy”. In which case two thirds of the options above are equal to not reading this any further. By that I mean it’s not for you. If you deserve to be unhappy then you must’ve done something truly sinister and have zero remorse and I shouldn’t be trying to include you in my version of reality. I can’t tell you, you aren’t alone and this community is with you, because, whilst you sadly aren’t alone, this community isn’t with you.
If you think you don’t deserve to be happy but haven’t done anything sinister, or at the very least are really genuinely remorseful, then my advice is GET OVER IT and read on. I do not believe in revisiting the past, going back over things to learn about your negative behaviours, or thought patterns. I don’t think it’s helpful. I think it’s much better to give yourself a break, say “well I fucked that up” understand you aren’t going to do it again (are you?) and move on. It’s that or risk feeling like an undeserving failure all your life – how many truly successful individuals look like they think they’re an undeserving failure? I’ve never seen Olympians, or Lewis Hamilton, or Lord Sugar, or the regular happy person you meet in life looking like they suffer with self loathing.
The problem is not what you were thinking when you fucked up, the problem is what you WEREN’T thinking. Reasonable people will fuck up on monumental levels because they have no good example of the right way to think about things or conduct their behaviour. A reasonable person will easily identify the right way to behave through their moral compass when given an example to follow. It will scream out to them “this is the way! This is RIGHT, and doesn’t it feel GOOD?! And SAFE even!” so I’m all about showing people the way, not about forcing them to regret. It’s all about positivity attracting more positivity. It’s just science.

If you are a lazy, selfish person, then again – this blog will hold nothing for you. In my world there’s two types of mental person. So often society bungs us all together under the umbrella of Mental Illness and then splits us down into our various personality quirks, personality disorders, etc.
Society has a lot of labels for people, and to my mind this allows the selfish and lazy type to get chances they probably don’t deserve. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “you can’t be angry at an ill person. They don’t know any better. They can’t help it. You wouldn’t be mad if his leg was broken, its the same”.

No it’s not.

If he broke his leg doing something selfish I would be mad. And excuse me, I am mad as a fish, but I still know “better”, and lots of people expect me to know better. To my mind you are either trying hard to make a better person of yourself and be a useful asset to society through good community work, good parenting, good social functioning, valuable input through your work etc (all for the reward of feeling happy at the end of it) or you are trying hard to bend all those sections of society to your will and make them an asset to you. You are either getting with the program or trying to rewrite the program. You are either out there flowing and experiencing, or you are trying to narrow and control, life.

I’m flowing. I’m experiencing. If you are too then it’s a lot more fun in good company so come with me!

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