My plan for the week is to break my thoughts into chunks.
There will be a chunk for the depression. Then there is a chunk for self-care. I wish I could report that I am doing a wonderful job with the self-care piece of my recovery, but it hasn’t been as simple as I thought it would be.
Getting out of my own head for a few minutes has been a challenge. The thoughts just roll and can easily take over my thinking. Then if I don’t stand my mental ground, my mind can head straight to Whirling Dervish. Not good.
I know that my depression is altering the way my mind thinks things through. When I am in control of the depression (like that is possible), my ability to calm my mind is much greater. I can focus on one task, one idea, and make progress towards it.
Things that are not associated with that thought are set aside so I can finish the task at hand. Then I move on to the next idea, issue, challenge. My professional career has been built on my ability to do that, to solve the most important problem first, then move on to the next.
My success over the years at hiding my depression was really about pride. How can I be this positive, problem-solving guy to the world, and have this internal problem? It must be a mistake. So many people count on me, I cannot let them see that I am human, that I have what I decided (unhealthy thinking style) is an internal flaw.
Well, I think the last few paragraphs belong to the depression chunk. It’s only been 20 minutes and depression has consumed my thoughts. In fairness to the self-care chunk, I am on the front porch, with my laptop and my coffee, watching a bluebird catch insects on the lawn and take them to the nesting box I put up last year.
I have a project due next week. This will be a big chunk for each day. Clearing my mind so I can concentrate on preparing the material is very important to me. As I lay in bed this morning, I visualized separating my thoughts into chunks. I saw myself pushing the depression to the side for chunks of time today.
I will count this as a success if I can get a few hours of clear focus on my project today. I will remind myself that there are only 24 hours in a day, and I can spend them any way I choose. I am choosing to divide my time into chunks, to set aside the depression for a little bit each day so I can get back to living a full life.
“I have depression, depression doesn’t have me.”
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