Hello Dear Reader,
It’s been a little while, and I have much to share. First, I’ll start with some positives of the past few weeks.
1. I began a CBT program to step-up my healing from depression.
2. I created a network of people who will be my mental health support team.
3. I’ve spent less days in bed.
In the last post, I mentioned that I’ve started taking medicine and it seems to be a good decision thus far. I’ve noticed recently that I’ve had an increase in overall energy. I’m able to get out of bed more often. In addition to that, my therapist Caroline suggested a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program-which I began last week-to help me learn necessary skills to manage my depression.
So far it’s been challenging but in a good way. I’m starting to learn that there isn’t a ‘quick-fix’ to depression and in fact you have to put in work. The work is challenging because in order to learn to manage depression, I have to explore some very painful parts of myself. I’ve felt a little down the last two days because I’ve been working on these painful things. I’m trying not to avoid it though, because in avoiding my deeper problems, I make my depression worse. I’m still hopeful that going through this program will help me so I will do whatever it takes to heal.
One thing that I’ve learned and that might be helpful is using G.R.A.P.E.S. each day (or at least I try to). For those of you who might not know what it is, G.R.A.P.E.S. is a tool used to practice healthy behaviors. You’re supposed to plan out the activities you want to do and it’s supposed to help you feel better in the long run. Apparently, people who aren’t depressed do these things so regularly in their day-to-day lives that they don’t have to think about them. People like myself, however, have to work on them.
Gentle with self: Do something that is kind and gentle for yourself. Meditate, read a book, etc.
Relaxation: Something relaxing for you. Take a hot bath, read a book, watch a funny video.
Accomplishment: What do you need to accomplish? It can be as small as ‘get out of bed’ or as big as ‘pick up friend from airport’.
Pleasure: What is pleasurable to you? (Writing my blog is pleasurable to me)
Exercise: Get up and move. Even if it is to check your mail, or walk your dog. Movement is good for the body.
Social: How will you be social today? Have coffee with a friend, call a family member, have a snack with your kind. Connection is important to recovery.
I don’t know if anyone really reads this, but it’s therapeutic for me to write it. If anyone does read, I hope it’s helpful to you.
Well, I will post soon Dear Reader and I hope you have a pleasant evening 🙂