What To Do?

It’s been a while since I’ve last written on the BPW blog…at least it feels like it’s been a while. Memory is still pretty bad, but cognative function is slowly returning. I’m not excited that it’s returning, because not only did I get used to having no memory, it was actually comforting to have forgotten all the bad without trying. Lately, I feel like I’ve been in a slump. I’ve got a full time job now, so I’m back to work. It isn’t rewarding, but it’s a paycheck, which I desperately needed. I know that “normal” life is a lot of feeling whatever, then short bursts of happiness or sadness. It’s just weird for me, because I felt like I was at the top of the world during my treatment, or rather when the depression finally lifted. Now though, I’m getting used to the feeling of “normal” which isn’t a good or a bad, it’s just kinda blasé. It feels eerily familiar to the numbness of depression, but fundamentally different. It is a little worrisome, obviously, as I never want to go back to being depressed.

The question now is what the hell do I do with my life? I mean, I work 40 hours a week, like almost everyone else in America. But like, my hobbies have suspiciously vanished, my friends are, well, there, but living their own lives too. And I don’t want to cut in on that. I don’t want them to feel like I’m forcing them to make time for me. Y’know? I guess it’s just a part of getting older…people focus more on their careers and romantic relationships, and friendships kinda just sink to the wayside. I know it sounds like my friends are terrible friends, or maybe that I’m a terrible friend, but two of my dear friends, we have an understanding. We can not see eachother for months, then pick it right back up when we do see eachother, like there was no time in between. It’s actually a great style of relationship to me, because it’s very low maintenance, but offers all the benefits of a close friendship. Back to the point, I just don’t know what to do with my life now that I’m not depressed. I mean I can clean, and do chores and such, but my physical pain (slipped disk in my back) still limits me severely. I also want to do something I enjoy, y’know, something that brings me joy. It’s funny, because I’ve never thought of things like that before. Everything I did during my depression, was simply to get my mind away from the suicidal thoughts. Now that I actually want to live life, and bring myself joy and fulfillment, I’m at a loss. I enjoy writing, as you can probably imagine, but I can’t just lay in bed and write my time away. Writing is therapeutic for me, but also can be a source of stress, so it’s a fine balancing act. So I don’t really know what to do? I mean, I want to date again, but my social anxiety is still out of control, especially in romantic situations. I’m on many, if not all, the dating apps, but I don’t really just fire off messages, because not only could that be annoying to the girl, but the effort I put in to messages, and then to receive no response is saddening to say the least. So I don’t really spend too much time on dating apps, plus I may be old fashioned, but I like to meet people in person, develop a platonic relationship, before moving on to romance. So, what do I do with my free time? I am actually looking for answers, so if you have recommendations, let me know. Also, is this sort of weird middle area of emotions just life? Or what? I don’t know…maybe I’m just over analyzing. Let me know, please?

Advertisements

12 Replies to “What To Do?”

  1. I wrote about this in response to one of your other posts, but it looks to have disappeared (thanks, WP). I suggest joining things you have a slight interest in, like a book club, DND group, car club, soccer team, etc. Usually they have FB pages.

    Try something new each Saturday. Learn to knit, yodel, draw, play the piano, speak Chinese.

    Above all, realize that every single person goes along doing his thing and YES you need to be the initiator if you want a social life. -though I’d add that others need to set things up occasionally, too. Maybe hint at that if you’re really close friends and that won’t rock the boat.

  2. It’s interesting to read about your journey of struggling from suicidal thoughts to now being free of depression. That must be challenging to have your world turned upside down even though it’s for the best. Give yourself some time to adjust, find your passion and go for it!

    Romance wise, there’s no hurt in sending a message to some of the people you match with. You never know who you might connect with. During my time on Tinder in 2015 and 2016, I got to meet some interesting people I never would have met without the app. All of them were first generation immigrants to America so I got to hear about their lives in different countries. I didn’t end up dating them but it was cool to learn about places I didn’t know anything about.

    1. Yes, that’s exactly what I tried to illustrate in this article. My life was turned completely upside down! But for the better. Thank you for understanding, and offering assistance. Much love🤗

  3. Write your memoir? You are a fantastic writer, I’ve read your things for well over a year now I think. If not a nonfiction consider fiction. Short, micro, or longer pieces. It’s helped me work through a lot. I have these horrible ideas in my head that I think will happen to me. I take them to paper and write (okay, I’m typing then) the entire story out from start to finish. It’s a way of working through things on fictional people. Not sure if this is helpful but didn’t want to standby silent.

    1. Thank you, I mean I certainly enjoy writing, but I am trying, recently, to add more structure to my life. So writing will certainly be a part of that, but I have to develop my life basically from square one. Thank you again, for your kind words and advice. Much love 🤗

  4. This is going to be long again (sorry). I would definitely look into if there are any regular groups for things in the same strain as things you like – or used to like. For example, NaNoWriMo is coming up. You could see if there are any writing groups by you for it – you don’t always actually have to do NaNoWriMo. It would be an excellent place to make friends or get inspirations. If you enjoy arts and crafts, often Joann Fabrics and similar stores are good places to ask around for group activities like classes, knitting/sewing groups, etc. Sometimes they even have corkboards of local events for everyone to see; but, usually you will have to ask the more senior employees, who are pretty in the know. If you enjoy board games, often events are held at game stores or community centers.

    Community centers also often have short-term or even one-time classes that you can sign up for to explore new hobbies (like pottery, painting, martial arts, hiking, etc). Town websites aren’t ubiquitous, but usually large towns will have half-way decent ones with events and stuff listed. Sometimes Churches, post offices, and town halls sometimes have good local event lists, too (you’d be surprised). Also, going to things like local concerts and stuff can be an excellent place to find new bands or make new friends. Some volunteer events don’t require having hobbies, really. Basically, any semi-structured, semi-public event will be a good place to meet people or find new passions.

    Also, in terms of dating, you might want to explore the more event-focused dating sites (I don’t know any by name specifically, but I know they are out there). These sites focus on getting large groups together to do things like rock-climbing, hiking, dining, games, and even movie-going. Basically, rather than meeting people to date specifically, it’s more about finding people with similar interests – or even a similar lack thereof. This would be an excellent way to meet new people and even possibly find a romantic interest without there being a tremendous amount of pressure to do so. Many people go to these events and don’t end up “clicking” with people, so there’s no shame in not finding someone you like. When it comes to messages, I find thinking of an interesting but somewhat-dumb question (to use repeatedly) is an excellent, and memorable, way to start a conversation. You will be surprised how much you can tell about someone with a “dumb” question. My favorite is, “If you had any ONE superpower, what would it be and why?” People are also usually surprisingly honest as they don’t expect the question. (Another example I heard in a show was, “If you were in a hotel and could only get one thing from room service would it be strawberries, chocolate, or warm honey?”)

    Lastly, I need a platonic before a romantic relationship and I know it can be hard to find people who don’t want to rush into the more physical and romantic aspects. I recently discovered that it is actually not as uncommon as I thought. When sexual attraction is dependent upon an emotional connection, is referred to as demisexuality. Something you might want to consider is trying to date demisexual people or, if you are in an accepting area, identifying as demisexual on dating websites. That way, people know you want to move slow going in. Admittedly, I would prefer that you not adopt labels that you feel don’t describe you (though this one might, but that is something for you to look into and decide). But, I understand dating profiles are snapshots and focus on speed rather than accuracy of information.

    I hope any of this was helpful.

  5. I completely relate 100%! Although I’m on sick leave, and have been now for more than a year (still strange to me), so I have waaay more time to fill out. I have a boyfriend whom I’ve been with for more than 1½ years (we met on Tinder actually!), and I spend as much time as I possibly can with him. Of course, he has a full-time job, so I still have a lot of time to kill.
    I like a lot of the recommendations by july13bauquemare. But here are some of mine:
    I am doing an internship, going a few days a week for a few hours at a time. It’s to test how much I can work without triggering an episode (hypomanic/depression).
    But yeah, lots of time on my hands.
    I totally get the friend thing. Everyone’s busy except me, haha. But I do my best to schedule appointments with them, even if it means just hanging out for an hour or two.

    I like a lot of the recommendations by july13bauquemare. But here are some of mine:

    It’s a struggle for me to find hobbies, especially because my cognitive skills aren’t very good these days, due to my disorder, medication etc. I used to read a lot, write, and even draw and paint (many years ago). I’ve found myself reading more, mainly non-fiction, which is quite unusual for me – I used to swallow novels whole. I’ve just read Michelle Obama’s “Becoming,” great book, can recommend. Right now I’m reading Stephen Fry’s “More fool me,” also interesting.

    I’ve finally found something I can dive into: plants. Mainly succulents, as they have a higher survival rate. I’ve started propagating, and watching your baby plants grow is an amazing thing! A friend of mine gave me two tomato plants, and they have a few tomatoes on them now! It’s fun and satisfying. A hobby I’ve never had before, but now find joyful, as it doesn’t take a lot of concentration.

    And I watch a lot of Netflix. Like, a lot. And YouTube.

    I used to write a lot of letters and had tons of penpals, both people I was already friends with, but also a bunch from reddit, which was so fun. But then the price for stamps was raised by quite a bit here in Denmark, so it became too expensive for me, which was a huge bummer. I’d use my old sticker collection, as well as colored pens and cute stationary. It brought back some of my old creativity.

    Like you, I also have a blog, http://www.fightwtigmawithme.wordpress.com. Haven’t been super active lately, but I try.

    Oh, and Minecraft. It’s dangerous though – I get so caught up with it and play for hours and hours and forget to eat, which is not a good thing. Still, a great way to kill time!

    Dating is hard. I’ve tried Tinder twice, with a year-long break inbetween, mainly because I wasn’t in a healthy mental state. Not a good time to date during a hypomanic episode, I can tell you that. Had a lot more success the second time around, although I had almost given up until I met Nicholas. Stroke of luck, I guess.
    A few tips for your profile that I have given to many of my male friends:

    – Don’t add pictures of you at the gym, or with your shirt off (unless you’re at the beach), or lying down on a bed or a couch. Sends the wrong message.

    – Don’t wear sunglasses in your pictures. Can’t see your face, which is quite important.

    – Come up with an interesting profile text. This was the hardest part for me. However, I manged to put together a text with different things that could spark a conversation. For instance, I wrote something like: “Looking for someone who can appreciate a door stopper that prevents the door from slamming into the TV.” I think my final point in my text was: “And if you know what a Gamecube is, you earn extra points.”
    Please don’t write something like, “Girls write first ;-)”. Puts a lot of pressure on a girl, and is a bit off-putting, like you’re not ready to actually engage in a conversation right away.

    In this day and age, I find it extremely difficult to meet someone offline. But it’s worth trying out some of july13bauquemare’s ideas! I strongly recommend volunteer work. You meet a lot of cool people, and there’s no dating pressure.

    Okay… I think that’s all I had. Damn, this got long. Hope it’s helpful!

    1. Thank you for all the recommendations! Glad I got the thoughts churning in your head. I always love long comments for that reason. Sounds like you’re making decent progress in your life and I’m proud! Gives me something to shoot for. Glad you enjoyed reading!

  6. I have also come to a point where depression is the only ‘normal’ I know. Some days when I DO feel good, my own mind sabotages it in fear. I think the mind is torn apart between wanting out and the fear of what will happen when it comes out. Honestly speaking, sometimes I get a perverse happiness from being depressed all the time. Like you, my hobbies, my talents and my interest in things vanished only adding onto the depression No one had any answers. The only role they played was to infuriate me even more by their incompetency and lack of understanding.
    But now this cycle is breaking. I have tried to identify my sources of depression and strengthen my subconscious and conscious mind so that it overcomes its self-destructive tendencies. I have tried meditating concentrating and visualizing that the light is filling my heart and soul freeing me from the painful impressions of all the events that caused intense grief,fear and pain. I have understood some things about mind and brain in general as a result. Once it is hurt, it tries to avoid any similar situations even if it means depressing you even more. It takes quite a lot of will power and good help to overcome that stage. Even when we think we have left our depression behind, somewhere in the background they are still there, haunting our subconscious. This is where the meditation part comes in. But this is of course, just me. You can try whatever works for you
    Apart from this I have tried to make several changes in myself. Earlier I used to bottle up my anger in silent indignation but now I have started telling off people ( only when they are rude or try to humiliate me). This has made things better. It allows me to let off steam and let people know I am not a doormat just because I stay quiet most of the time. I left a very horrible job behind. The place where I work now isn’t the best but it’s not hell like before. And above all this, my family has been very supportive in all this even though a great part of my childhood was spent in their denial of my symptoms but I am slowly trying to let go of the anger I feel towards them.
    I have written all this with a hope that maybe it can be of help to someone. With mental illness, everyone is unique and we never know what works.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. I myself, as you’ve probably read, am dealing with the repercussions of finally leaving my depression behind. It is not easy, but then again life isn’t easy, so I suppose that I should have expected this. However, thank you for your input, it means a lot to me. I’m also glad that you’re working on the journey of recovery. May we both have the best of luck

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.