February 2, 2018
“Don’t go looking for happiness — build it.”
-The bumper sticker on the chocolate-brown Toyota Supra that cut me off in traffic earlier.
This might be a downer to some, so before I get started, I’ll include a bit of advice that WORKED for me even in the fiery loins of un-cry-able misery:
Turn the shower on. Get into the shower. Make it as hot as you can. Imagine you’re a lobster slowly boiling, or whatever. Singing to the radio is highly recommended, but not required. When your body has acclimated and a song comes on that you can’t remember the words to, turn the temperature down. Lalala, I’m not listening, just do it. The cold water shocks your system and suddenly, life isn’t all caves collapsing and saguaro cacti. You can trust me on that one, I wouldn’t lie about this shit.
This post is about how all the advice I had been given regarding my depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts and intrusive thoughts and insomnia and general self-hatred was entirely true, and entirely too early.
That advice was for future me. Here is some (most) of that advice, listed in all of its glory in my miniature memorized hall-o-fame:
- Drink some water. Water is delicious. Water is free. Indulge yourself.
- Take your medication.
- Smile, even when you don’t feel you can.
- FAKE IT. Doesn’t matter that you don’t even know what you’re supposed to be faking. Just blatantly lie to everyone who asks “how are you?” because they don’t want to know the real answer.
- Find a routine and hold it, although, perhaps not your routine of staying in bed until every muscle is sore, getting up to smoke, and then repeating. That one might not be in your best interest.
- Take up a hobby. Find a good book. You’ll gain the ability to read back as soon as you sober up….is that a beer? It’s 9AM!
- Exercise, even if it’s just a simple walk round the block. Try to squeeze this in between lying-down sessions.
- Recite daily affirmations in the mirror. Scowling is optional and mildly discouraged.
- Write about it. Journal it up. I’m sure you’d love to confront all of your thoughts in bold, unforgiving hard-copy format.
- Dress for success. Doesn’t matter that all your money’s been wasted on self-medicating with alcohol. Maybe take out a line of credit with your nonexistent credit score.
I admit that I’m writing this post at work, so I can’t really talk long. Basically, I’m facing a possible C-word diagnosis (grain of salt: hypochondriac), and I have been more positively introspective because of this. Everyone, everyone needs a small dose of life’s-too-short every now and again, or at least once.
TIME was my healer, my stepping stone, and my ladder out of the stupid muck.
After I turned 25, the clock began healing me in secret.
Then, all of the above-listed became entirely plausible, completely possible, insanely helpful, and even desirable to me.
Thanks for reading – stay hungry — or, whatever primal motivator gets you out of bed, do that.