In last month’s entry, I discussed the self-destruct mechanism in my head. It’s usually pretty prevalent. It often pops up when things are going well. It also often shows up when things are going poorly. It’s easy for me to not finish something and feel a moment of relief, since going through with whatever I had stopped doing would cause anxiety. However, all of those unfinished things create different anxieties for me, often leading me directly into a depressive spell when they pile up.
It’s also very easy for me to be in the self-destruct/give up mode when I don’t see a scenario getting any better. And when I’m in that mindset, my desire to do things is severely diminished. When my desire to do things is diminished, I’ll leave so much unfinished that I get more anxious and go further down the depression slide.
It’s sometimes difficult to snap out of that mood. It’s even more difficult to sustain a good mood when I’ve recently been that far down. None of this is new to me. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember, even though nobody, not even myself, saw the patterns.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen some improvements. I’ve developed some habits that (I believe) are healthy for me. I’ve made a lot of steps in a positive direction.
And yet, even as I hear from people about the positive things in my life, I’ve had a hard time believing them. I’ve been down for so long that it’s never been possible to be too optimistic about things to come.
However, recently, things have started to change.
In many of the recent posts when I’ve talked about how good things are going, there was always a black cloud over my head. It’s dissipated a bit. There’s some rays of sunshine there now, but hopefully not too much since I burn so easily in sunlight, but I digress.
The biggest source of stress and anxiety in my life has usually been my finances, or lack of. That’s been less of a burden over the past few years, but there’s often been the fear that something will happen that will to cause me to NEED to spend a lot of money. And while that fear is still there, there’s also now a sense of relief since there’s things in the works for me with my job that should see my situation improve.
The potential of the financial improvements have really helped me clear out some other worries and help keep me on a mostly positive path lately. Money isn’t the only thing that’s been good for me though.
Late last year I decided that I just needed to be healthier. Not just physically or financially, but mentally too. I’ve taken steps to improve all of those needs. I can also say that I’ve made progress. From the middle of October until now, I’ve lost 20 pounds. I’m sort of stuck at my current weight, but since I’ve also started regularly exercising again, I expect that I can make more progress there. I’ve also signed up for two 5k races that will be happening in a few months, so I have time to prepare for them. I’ve enjoyed my workouts, my weight loss, and the progress. But, there’s more than that.
The enjoyment isn’t just due to finishing something, it’s also from starting it. Over the past few years, my desire to workout wasn’t there. I don’t know if it was to not having anything to strive for, a lack of interest, or just being in depression that I didn’t even realize that I was in, but I’m not there now. I enjoy the effort that I’m putting into it.
I also recently removed some unnecessary items from my life and by doing so, I felt another sense of accomplishment. And this one was so very simple. I had a desktop computer that had barely functioned for a while. Even after I bought a nice new laptop for myself, I kept using the desktop for some stuff, regardless of how annoying and frustrating that old machine became. The desk in my room had its space taken up by the monitor, keyboard, and other related items. I didn’t use the desk for anything. By removing the computer and being able to utilize the space on the desk, I felt accomplished. Yes, something that simple made such a difference for me.
In addition to the minor changes that I just described, I’ve replaced other items throughout the house. And the small changes make things seem more practical for me. Simple things can make a big difference.
Another source of non-stressful energy is the phone call that I received from my doctor a week or so ago. I just had my annual physical and any items that were a concern last year were not a concern this year. It made me see that all of the efforts to be healthier have paid off.
I’ve been sleeping somewhat better recently. Although, I still often wake up in the middle of the night. The time that I wake up is pretty consistent and would be very convenient if I still worked early morning retail hours, but I don’t, so it isn’t. However, whether I wake up early or not, the most difficult thing that I do every day seems to be getting out of bed. I’ve been forcing myself to get up at sometime between my first alarm and when I NEED TO. I’ve been getting some stuff done in the morning too, and even if I’m a little bit tired during the day, I have the sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t had for a while.
I like that feeling of accomplishment. It’s so much better than the literal and figurative piles of things that I’ve put off. The weight of my burdens has been lessened and I feel inspired to keep going.
There’s more potential good things for me soon. And the combination of progress, effort, hope, and the ability to put those things together has me not just thinking that things are going in a good direction, but I’m actually believing that things are going in a good direction. There’s a difference between thinking something and believing something. Right now, at this very moment, and for the first time in a very long time, I believe that good things are happening. It’s a nice feeling.
And I’m not going to end this entry doubting myself…
No, that doesn’t count as doubt.