It’s raining today – a steady soaking rain, so I haven’t ventured out. I’m having a difficult morning. Often my mood shifts if I go out, so it’s too bad it’s raining. Of course I could still go. I am waiting until after lunch when I have an appointment anyway.

I went back to bed this morning. I felt too sad to do the laundry.

Part of me wants to beat myself up about this. I should be productive. What do I have to do anyway that is so difficult?

I feel guilty about work. Guilty and rejected. They are not giving me anything to do. I keep checking my email in case someone wants something, but nothing. Checking the email is getting a bit obsessive – as if, if there was an email, my problems would be solved and I’d no longer feel this way.

I’m telling myself it’s not my fault about work. I’ve asked for more to do. If there is nothing, it is not my fault. I can get on with my day and please myself.

I’m not sure where this collapse has come from. I was OK yesterday. I dusted, I did laundry, I changed sheets, I went to the library, I went for a walk, I went for a latte.

Maybe I should have gone to a twelve step meeting? I’m torn about the meetings. I don’t really believe that much in the steps. Not for emotional problems anyway. I can see how they could help if you’re battling addiction. About half of a meeting is devoted to reading about the steps. The other half is for sharing. And this would be the part I’d go for. I like to hear people’s stories and concerns, and sharing helps me feel a little bit of connection. Just I feel like a hypocrite because I’d go but I’d be ignoring the steps.

I have been wanting to do something other than therapy to heal. Something like a group, or maybe yoga. It doesn’t have to be outright ‘therapy’ either – everything pretty much brings up my issues. I need something that brings up my issues but doesn’t overwhelm me, so I can work on things bit by bit. A yoga class for instance lands me in body memories, and it can take me days to recover. But maybe I could take half a class. And digest small amounts of trauma, without getting inundated.

  1. cardamone5 said:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I have days like that where I can’t motivate, and feel guilty as a result. Maybe you just need a down day. Might as well enjoy it, rather than swamp yourself with guilt. OR, if the guilt stays around, get up and get busy. But then you’ll probably have guilt about giving in to the guilt and reinforcing guilt-induced action. At least that’s what happens to me, and then I think I am thinking way too much, and I need to stop that, which incurs more guilt, and so it goes…

    • Ellen said:

      “But then you’ll probably have guilt about giving in to the guilt…” he he. I just can’t get busy when I feel like this – it doesn’t seem possible. If I try to do something, I stop every minute and stare into space – very painful. I really get mired down. Luckily, the feelings do lift eventually. Thanks for the comment cardamone.

  2. Cat said:

    Depression is difficult enough without beating ourselves up for not “achieving” enough… interesting that word comes up again.
    I didn’t get on with AA/NA either. The sharing is great but, like you, the 12 steps are maybe not what would keep me clean and sober anyway, more likely to drive me to drink and drugs!

    • Ellen said:

      Ouch, that’s right – achievement again. I think it’s natural to want to get something done with my time, but achievement does have those bad associations for me. Yes, the 12 steps are such a mixed bag of helpfulness and unhelpfulness. Thanks Cat

  3. Gel said:

    It sounds like you are honing in on what kind of group experience would really suit you at this time. Very excellent!!

    What kind of 12-Step meeting do you go to? I would like to share a bit about my experience at 12-Step meetings some time. I can relate to what you’ve shared here too. The quick thing I can say right now is that if there is an bit of a 12-Step meeting (or the program in general) that you resonate with, just grab onto that and let the rest go for now. It changes over time. If there is benefit, even just a bit, I’d say it’s good to be there. And the program is designed to be wide wide open to anyone and everyone, for any little bit of a crack of helpfulness that might be there.

    (I am both deeply loyal to 12-step program and constantly skeptical and rebellious about it)

    You wrote: “Part of me wants to beat myself up about this. I should be productive. What do I have to do anyway that is so difficult?”…..Gosh do I know that one. Bow to the thoughts and move on(?)


    • Ellen said:

      I have gone to Emotions Anonymous. I just don’t find the steps apply that well to mental distress. Like making a fearless moral inventory, and making amends to those we’ve hurt. I don’t feel that’s what I need to do actually. I can see as an addict, you’ve likely hurt people in the course of the addiction, but I don’t think that applies that well to mental distress.

      However. The group helped me a lot especially before I began therapy. I found the strong structure soothing. And I felt a lot of empathy for the others there, and the stories they shared. Most of the time.

      Your comment did make me think about going back. I’d be interested any time you want to share re your meetings. Thanks!

  4. sorry for not having any words, really. just want to let you know you’re in our thoughts.


  5. Sometimes I think life is just really difficult. I have a colleague here who says that every day.

    • Ellen said:

      I like your colleague. πŸ™‚

  6. Later, I was thinking that the moods that bring energy with them are happiness, anger, and anxiety. So maybe it makes sense that you are beating yourself up: increasing your anxiety (to a point) brings energy with it, and then you can get things done. But it’s not a very nice way to do it. When I am feeling mired down, sometimes I try to think about things that remind me of happy times or I’ll do something for a short while that feels fun for me and that seems to help me get moving again. I know it seems silly and obvious, but maybe that would help.

    • Ellen said:

      Those sound like good strategies, thank you. I guess in these moods, nothing feels fun though. Fun does help at other times for sure, and I don’t think it’s at all silly.

      • No, you’re right. But the kid has things she likes. I think doing those things would help. The tiniest lift in that black fog helps. There really is something physical about those low moods. It’s not just psychological. There is no energy in your body. Take care.

        • Ellen said:

          I think psychological is physical. Good suggestion, thx.

  7. would a mindfulness course be something you might like? there’s a good one at davenport-perth community centre, i can send you details. i like the weekly class because it gives me structure, and skills, but it isn’t a therapy group so i don’t get triggered in the ways i usually do (feeling like a space alien, reacting to others, fitting in). it’s about learning to observe emotions, without being emotional if that makes any kind of sense. πŸ™‚

    • Ellen said:

      Sounds like a good course. I’ve taken a mindfulness/stress reduction course. I know the theory. You could send me the info, thanks, I might look into it. Glad you’re enjoying.

  8. I was having a hard time getting things done and a lady I knew chastised me that it was just ‘mind over matter.’ I felt stupid and lazy. I decided I would do something. I started putting the clean dishes away out of the dishwasher. I lasted about 5 minutes when I slid to the floor in an exhausted heap. This is when I learned….”If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” You might not be able to accomplish more but attitude adjustment might help. If your friend was having this struggle, what would you advise them to do? We often treat others more kindly than we do ourselves. I hope you get some work coming in your email. Sometimes when you want to be doing one thing and can’t, it is hard to feel enthusiastic about doing something else.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it’s hard for outsiders to understand. Nor do they want to sometimes. Thanks for sharing Ruth

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