Fighting My Depression Using Predictive Maintenance | How to Survive

Yesterday I was tricked/coerced into doing something I wasn’t comfortable with, verbally attacked in my own house, and ended up crying in a ball on my closet floor in the dark.

If this sounds like a really fucking bad day, I assure you it was.

I was informed that I have ‘changed’ (not for the better evidently), and that in essence, I’m much more difficult to get along with now. Things were thrown in my face, and many adjectives were used to describe me. I tried to secretly and quietly have what was only my third anxiety attack in my entire life on the floor of my closet in private, the darkness wrapping itself around my shoulders and comforting me. But soon I was discovered and told we will not be having a ‘pity party’ for me today either.

crying

 

My husband saved me; upon returning from work to this shit show, he demanded answers as to why his wife is hysterical on the closet floor. From that point on, he was there to referee any unfair attacks on me, and soon they just decided to leave. My husband did his best to support me and keep me calm afterward, but I felt pretty worthless.

I was accused of many things, but nothing they brought up came with any examples for justification. If someone is expected to modify their behavior in order to stop offending those they love, they would need to understand what it is they’re doing to offend, right? Without being able to provide a single instance of when I’ve displeased them, what argument do they really have?

I’m very in tune with psychology and I understand situations on a deeper level. They are somewhat correct in that they’ve seen a ‘change’ in me, but turns out it’s impossible to explain to people who think you’ve become ‘difficult’ that you’ve really just begun protecting yourself from them. My husband agrees with me 100% not because it’s ‘his job,’ but because he’s a third party with an outside perspective. He’s one of the most intelligent and educated people I know personally and lives with me every day, so I feel his opinion of my ‘personality’ is rather valid. Therefore I’ve been trying to convince myself that negative opinions of me shouldn’t matter to me – they clearly don’t know me at all. depression

I felt the spindly fingers of depression reach up and coil around my ankles getting ready to pull me down, but I refused and kicked them off. I know that besides the chemical interactions of the brain, depression simply is a state of mind. Give or take, you can choose to do something about it as opposed to letting it swallow you alive. So I chose to try to counteract it.

Nature and animals always make me happy, so we decided to go visit our preferred farm to check out the llamas (my favorite) and pick up fresh eggs. That was helpful but we had to go back home eventually. So we bought me a ‘Happy Birthday’ cupcake on the way home because, fuck it, I opened up one of our nicer bottles of Moscato d’Asti when we got there, and he put on Orange is the New Black for me.

Cupcake

I was pretty distracted for the most part, but my brain doesn’t allow that for very long. The whole situation was still prominently on my mind despite doing other things, so I must have looked like a crazy person when suddenly I would exclaim some justification or new parallel I had just thought of regarding the earlier events. When it came time to sleep, weed is my salvation because it is the only thing that stops my brain from going over every moment of the day for hours.

I fell asleep pretty quickly, but I dreaded waking up. Sleep is my only true reprieve. The fingers of depression were grasping at me again and I knew I’d have a hard time getting going today. Today happens to also be a deadline for some serious things I need to take care of (that I wanted to do yesterday) that have been maxing out my anxiety lately, so I’m struggling. I keep procrastinating and making little ‘deals’ in my head with myself about rewards I may have if I do what I need to do.

I’m behind on just about everything, just about all the time, but I recognize that today is a stressor and I need to be careful. I am in control of my mental health, and I have to refuse to let it pull me down. I can’t afford to be there. No one can.

So I’m telling you it’s perfectly possible to be in control of your own mental health to some degree. I’m calling it Mental Health Predictive Maintenance. Predictive Maintenance is used in manufacturing when you watch a machine during normal operation to try to predict failure before it actually happens. Consider that instead of replacing your engine oil specifically every 10,000 miles, you’d take periodic oil samples to monitor the degradation and replace it only when necessary. It saves you and manufacturing companies money by not having to replace parts unnecessarily, and you also avoid the huge cost of the machine completely breaking down. I think the same works for depression.

control

With a little foresight and a little planning, mild depression can be alleviated, if not avoided altogether. You know how you are normally; what interests you, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – so it’s up to you to monitor if you begin losing interests, and to identify what triggers it. And if you’re already in that hole, it’s important to figure out what triggered it and is still perpetuating it. Then it’s up to you to fight it with everyfuckingthing you have. Between what happened to me yesterday and the stress I’ve faced today, I should be hiding in bed with the doors locked. But I decided that would be too easy. I want to feel better. And I know I’m the only one in control of making me feel better.

When I give in to my brain and watch 6 straight hours of Netflix drinking 2 bottles of wine, I feel like shit after. Not only did I waste my day being depressed and avoiding my real issues, I then feel ashamed and guilty afterward. It’s the beginning of an endless cycle of depression. However, you cannot have a cycle if you choose to not enter it.

So if you struggle with depression whether mild or severe – someday when you’re in a good frame of mind, think about a handful of things that make you happy. On days when you can’t shake the depression from clutching your leg, do your best to force yourself into doing one of the things from your list – you may be surprised at how easily your mood can change. Depression is all about distraction, you just have to find the one that works for you.

What are some things that help you out of it?

15 thoughts on “Fighting My Depression Using Predictive Maintenance | How to Survive

  1. I found your blog because you started following me on twitter. “What are some things that help you to get out of depression” is exactely what I keep asking myself, slowly realizing that in spite of what I thought I’m not out of it once and for all. I guess an important part is “wanting” – like you said in this post, I want to feel better. Sometimes this works, often it doesn’t. It doesn’t on those days when I feel like I can’t want anything because I’m stuck in a sea of black fog. Then the fog is stronger than anything I can want. When it’s not that bad, meditation helps, slowing down my breath combined with visualization of warmth and sunlight flowing through my body. But apart from that, I’m somewhat clueless. Thanks a lot for following me on twitter and introducing me to this great blog. I’m sure it will provide me with ideas and answers 🙂

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  2. I’m so sorry this negative verbal attack happened to you.

    Words can crush the spirit so badly. I am happy that your husband supports you 100%.

    You are worth more than ten million dollars and no matter what anyone thinks, their opinions are plain evil.

    Who are they to shower you with such destructive words when they themselves are no more perfect than you?!

    Look in the mirror and smile because I am sure thousands of people on here will tell you the truth. That you do not deserve such a tirade of anger and that you are special – definately NOT a mistake. Embrace your weaknesses and know that you are not mad, not stupid and not a failure.

    It’s insecurity, unforgiveness and probably jealousy that made that person attack you in such a way.

    You have done well not to retaliate – you are bigger than that. I hope you can find a way to avoid this person in the future or if you can’t, to at least tune out as soon as their poison tongue starts wagging. x

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  3. I’m really glad I read this post, this is exactly the kind of inspiration I was looking for. I’m really gonna try doing things I love if I feel negative thoughts creeping in. Maybe if I’m distracted I won’t dwell on things so much. I like the idea of writing a list of things and picking something off it. When I’m down I can’t always decide what to do as I feel so empty. Thanks x

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  4. I’m really glad I have come across this blog as I’m suffering depression/anxiety quite bad at the minute. My mind feels like a blur and my sleeping is terrible but I find excersing helps a bit and cannabis definitely helps me to drift off to sleep without any side effects as to a lot of prescribed drugs from my doctor but trying to talk to them about cannabis and how it helps me is like banging my head against the wall. I will keep trying to rid these demons in my head and as u said, Ophelia, it’s the way u think that keeps that depression/anxiety there so from now on I will try my upmost to think more positive about certain situations that arise. Thank you x

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  5. Your post is very moving to me, I tend to shut down personally. Painting and writing usually help me keep me going when I go into depression. I can tell you have a beautiful soul, stay positive 🙂

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  6. Great post. I absolutely agree. I call it “falling down the rabbit hole”. If I can cling to something – anything – during my fall, there’s a better chance of being able to pull out of it before hitting rock bottom.

    My one thing is exercise. Art to a degree, but running, mostly. There’s something hypnotic about the combination of my cadence, my own heartbeat, and the noise of civilization (or nature) that lulls me into a sense of calm and contentment.

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  7. You have excellent taste – Moscato and OITNB!!! I wish I was there with you. Which season and which episode did you leave off on?

    I like your observations about depression. Distraction is a huge bridge between unwell and well (some never really feel well). Distract yourself until there’s a shift. The thing is, many of us are dealing with childhood trauma and depression is really the mind’s way of self-preservation, shutting everything down, turning everything off.
    When there’s any kind of PTSD, and history of triggers, the BEST medicine is self-awareness – knowing oneself, the triggers, the patterns and seeking out the healthiest distractions – nature, artistic endeavours, writing, physical exercise etc.

    I think it’s extremely difficult to change one’s habits and routines and keeping depression at bay often means engaging in some kind of change. And it’s so important to be kind to oneself. So what! you didn’t get much done today (for example), tomorrow is a new day, try your best…

    Sorry about the longass comment. Depression has been a constant companion of mine since childhood, comes and goes and is mostly a very unwelcome guest. Thank you for sharing your experiences and observations.

    Be well 🙂

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  8. Negative poop has a way of getting on you and not really washing off, so easily. There is something distinctly powerful when negativity comes from a source that we have been connected to for a long time. It almost feels like a betrayal, of sorts, to let go of things like that.

    Thankfully, you have gotten through it and now it comes down to making a choice to allow that negativity or not, huh?

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  9. Getting out in nature helps me. I tend to recluse and hide in bed, it just makes things worse. As soon as I get out in the sun I start to notice change.
    I hope you get caught up and feel better soon. I like to use list to help me organize when I get behind. I can start checking things off my list and feel accomplishment.

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