This month has been a struggle for me. With the winter blues spiraling my depression into a complete catastrophe, I felt crippled. Why Bother. Where to start.
I am an avid list writer and I sat down to write.
Looking at my stack of filled notebooks I’ve accumulated over the years of lists I’ve written, I felt the weight. “I am useless. Why can’t I finish these things. What’s standing in the way. Why can’t I just complete one task at a time. Why can’t I get my shit together. I keep writing the same things over and over.”
I’ve got tonnes of patterns tucked away on Pinterest, and a friend of mine had asked me to make her a few hats. Lately with things like this I can’t even complete these simple tasks. I looked at the pattern I had showed her for one of the hats. The pattern was well thought out and had lots of stitches to count (to rest my ocd). “I can’t make this hat. I’ll get 6-7 rows in and give up in tears. I can’t do this right now. The house is dirty. I need to finish the house. Help my chickens. Take care of my dogs. Split firewood. Figure out how to start building myself up.”
On the blank page of the list I had attempted, I wrote something I never write.
It sounds like a pessimistic approach, but surprisingly it felt really good to actually write these things down. #1: Money
After writing this list I felt like I had a more ordered way of looking at my problems rather than looking at all of them all at once and reviewing them constantly.
I was able to make connections (why I couldn’t do this before is beyond me..).
Start small. For the manic depressed. Start super fucking small.
For me, unless I’m working in the bush, I’ve been struggling with a depression so heavy I feel as if I can’t function. I don’t want to get out of bed. What’s the point.
Here’s where a bit of discipline came in.
Cassandra, find the crochet hook in the right size for the pattern.
(This is literally how hard it has been to do anything)
I’ve been starting to worry about my loft collapsing with the amount of weight I’ve stored up there including fabric and yarn – which isn’t a bad thing. Unless it does collapse.
I found the hook. (I did something!)
reward: take the dogs outside, get 5 minutes of fresh air.. stoke the stove.
Next, okay. Find a foxy color. *looks at Mt. Everest of yarn, spying a damn foxy color*
Holy crap look at me go. Two things.
Alright bigger steps now. At this point I’d built up a tiny dust particle of confidence.
I made it to six. Ok, it’s ok. Get a glass of water, listen to the wind-up radio for five minutes..
If I make it to row 13, I’m going to change my bedding upstairs, bag up the garbage that’s been mounting upstairs, and make a cup of tea. – I’m willing to bet anyone with severe depression knows about the bed pile up. The sheets you don’t change because why bother, the pile of papers, lists, books you try and read to help yourself, clothes. you name it.
Well kick me in the shins and call me Frank. I made it to row 13. Jumping off the bed frantically I whipped all the piled up shit of my bed and searched frantically for the clean bedding pile in the loft. Found it. Fresh clean sheets. On. Pile of shit. Gone. Tea, in hand I felt the snowball rolling.
“If I sew foxy eyes and nose onto the hat and crochet the ears, I can clean off the window I use as a shelf and grab a snack from downstairs.”
Done. I kept using this technique until the late hours of the night.
Fast forward to this morning.
“If I start making a second hat, I can split five logs of wood, water the chickens, and light a fire downstairs. ”
Fast forward to tonight.
“If I can keep this up for the month of February, I can sign up for the small business 1 year course I’ve been looking into.”
24 silly little hours.
Lastly, I moved my stack of old notebooks next to my wood-stove and I’ve started using them as fire-starter. I can’t explain how good it feels to rip out a few pages, and burn them. The goals are still there, but the stack of physical weight looking at me saying that I can’t do anything, is slowly being burnt away.
Folks, let’s get shit done.