Why Do We Do What We Always Do?

I’ve been a little down lately.

For anyone who ever feels the effects of depression, that’s code for: crying sporadically, feeling worthless, and avoiding people in general.

On the plus side, I’ve been doing some thinking. How? A detached, more logical human often steps aside from the involved, emotional creature on the floor and studies her like an anthropologist.

Here are some of my observations:

  1. When feeling bad, I try to feel worse.
  2. I really just want someone to love me, so I hurt anyone who gets close enough to even talk.
  3. Although self-care and routine would help, I intentionally do not sleep and avoid cognitive behavioral therapy-like activities.
  4. I often think nothing will get better, though a hormone shift completely alters my perspective.
  5. Despite knowing to avoid vices, I dive right in.
  6. I tell myself mean, cutting, disparaging, rude, abusive, sarcastic, reproachful, cruel phrases that I also say are all true. They’re not.

In short, mein patient, I haf observed that I not only shoot myself in the foot; I also get the arm, gut, and a hopeful shot near something vital. Why?

Fear. Self-protection. Habit.

Fear? I fear change and the unknown so much that I sink back into habits and negative feelings because they are more familiar. I do not know the outside.

Self-protection? What I do know of the outside is painful. People are rude and hurt me, even by not paying attention –especially by not paying attention. Things I hope for will not come true, I will feel sad, and the world is full of disparity.

Habit? Besides those reasons, I do not have enough motivation to believe that the small steps others (including myself) recommend will make a positive change. I inch a toe out just a teensy bit toward a better habit, see little or no difference, and crawl back to my mud.

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So what’s a person to do?

In actual practice, I repeat my ingrained cycle over and over. I avoid self-motivation by constantly blocking ways that might help. I deny outside help, even shutting the door on physical interventions as simple as a hug. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for in doing this.

Yet, occasionally, the outside observer and the person on the floor become one. I blink, look around, and realize this isn’t such a great place to be. Others may have this happen the morning after a night of drinking or doping, the moment sedatives wear off, or at that terrible time of early morning when you still can’t sleep and know any effort to try will not be enough.

No wonder we’re depressed.

I believe what I’m waiting for is an outside intervention. I’m hoping that a knight in shining armor will show he cares enough for me always, perfectly, consistently. Motivation is his noble steed. His blade is The Real Truth, and his shield The Defender of All Who Might Hurt Me. He never gives up, never takes, “No,” for an answer, and is never distanced by the rude things my inner voice says.

And, until he charges up to little, fat, depressed, muddy me; I am determined to keep up the bad habits.

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This expectation is not reasonable.

So, what’s a person really to do?

*Sigh* I think I need to cut out the crap. In some cases, literally; like not giving into unhealthy vices. I also think I need to really commit to the cognitive behavioral therapy stuff. I talk about it, endorse it, and encourage others to do it. Then, I …don’t.

As a New Year’s resolution this November day, I am going to check out some free resources and get on it. If you might possibly relate to fear, self-protection, and habit-driven behaviors, I recommend coming along, too.

I am worth better than this, and so are you.

Let’s keep fighting.

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15 Replies to “Why Do We Do What We Always Do?”

  1. I really connected with this, especially since I, too, have experiencing the dulling hum of depression and have been avoiding anything and everything that could make me feel even a tad better. I’ve heard about CBT, but I’ve never really attempted it seriously even though it’s been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression. Sigh. I’m a glutton for punishment. I make things 100 times harder than they need to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and me, both!
      I have a hard time convincing myself I need change till things build up, so I intend to print out CBT worksheets and just make sure I do it each day. Hopefully I’ll have a habit built for when I DO need it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Never loose sight of your amazing qualities! Those are your life tools! No one can ever take them from you! Look at this important post you wrote! There is your worth right there… Helping others be apart of a subject that so many can relate to! ‘Let’s keep fighting’ very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is literally me. My counsellor would constantly asked me if I had been doing my CBT ‘exercises’ and I just never did! But to be honest I’ve found it’s more trying to find what I actually enjoy doing and use that instead of doing something I feel like I “have” to do, it’s more doing something I want to do. But I also understand when your very low, it’s so hard to pick yourself up and make yourself do those things. You’ll get there though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This cut straight to the core of what I’ve gone through so many times in the past. You worded it so well, and I also have the division between my overly emotional self crying on the floor, and the analytical version of myself that studies myself in these moments. Sometimes, the analytical side also criticizes my emotional side and gets confused when I know what to do to make myself feel better but still refuse to do it.

    I hope you find success with your new approach!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry you’re going through this. But don’t forget, it’s only something you’re going through. You’ll get through it. You’ll look back on it. This is not all there is to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Chelsea! I loved your post because it hit so close to home. I wish you the best of luck in your fight against depression, we are all fighting together. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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