TLQ: Battling the Black Hole

The “black hole” is the best way to describe how my depression feels.  I get this feeling in the middle of my chest that feels like a hole everything gets sucked into – hope, energy, joy, fun, happiness, willpower.  It feels as though it is a literal black hole – you now, the ones that exist in our universe.  And it’s just as hard to fight against, especially when you’re feeling so lethargic that you can barely get out of bed.

I’ve been fighting another episode of this sporadic black hole appearing for the last month or so.  This is the reason why there hasn’t been any activity on the site.  My life, for about three weeks, consisted of me getting out of bed, moving to sit on my computer chair and play games or sit and blankly watch TV from the same chair.  I ate one proper meal a day (maybe two if I felt up to it), was awake all night and slept for about 12 hours during the day.  My only saving grace and the reason why I didn’t fall completely into despair and bad thoughts (although they decided to present themselves a few times) was that the room I was living in, I shared with my partner.  I was only awake when he was there, even if he was sleeping.  In my younger days, this would have continued on for months at a time.

But I’ve since learned how to return from beyond the event horizon.  Explanation for use of these astronomical terms: I’ve been watching too much of ‘The Universe’ lately.  It’s still quite relevant though, and it makes me feel empowered that I can return from something that nothing, according to the whole of our collective knowledge, cannot.

Firstly, I understand my triggers. At least from a logical perspective. I know what sends me into a depressive spiral. Family issues and pressure from certain sources such as my own expectations or others – those are the biggest two.  My current situation is terrible and I know it is the biggest contributor to my stress.  But I’ve made progress in that respect.  My partner and I are working towards saving enough to buy our own place (him more than me as he actually has a job that earns money while I’m technically unemployed).

Secondly, I understand what makes me feel better.  Certain songs or parts of anime that give me this massive rush of empowerment help, but the biggest kick-start back on track is progress.  Being overwhelmed by workload is a big stressor and then I avoid it, which in turn builds, and ends up as a vicious cycle.  As soon as I start on one piece and finish it, I feel relieved.  And I end up getting back on track.  I always seem to be catching up but I think that’s a matter of perception.  Sometimes I truly wonder if I expect too much of myself and what I am actually capable of doing.  Mustering the energy to actually do something takes time to gather.  It can take me weeks to feel good enough to attempt.

This website is both a stressor and a reliever for me.  The pressure of making posts gets on top of me.  I probably put too much pressure on myself to post.  But I want to do it.  Argh, it gets so complicated.

So this is what I’m working on internally at the moment.  I’m about halfway out of the event horizon currently.  That surge of energy and frenzy of excitement when I see my game coming into reality is a wave I’m riding.  Keep you all posted!

There are 3 comments

  1. TLQ: The Reality of Goals | Retridemption

    […] Then there’s this tug-of-war in my head about whether or not setting goals really works for me.  On one hand, setting a date with the task does kick me along.  On the other hand, the guilt and pressure associated with it can make me implode and send me down into a depressive spell if I feel overwhelmed or life gets in the way.  It’s a very delicate balancing act between the two and I’m constantly toeing the line. (Although recently, I’ve fallen to the way side, see my post about battling the black hole.) […]

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  2. snellopy

    I am very glad to hear that things are picking up for you mate. I intended to write to you but all my spare time has just evaporated, and I am treading water yet the waves are above my head in regards to paperwork.

    Knowing (and hopefully recognising) your triggers is a good thing, and more progress than a lot of people make. Having simple go-tos that can pick you up is great as well. Do you find as you use them frequently they become more powerful or less? I’ve had mates in both camps, the latter obviously being more difficult. In regards to progress, I have been reading a lot lately about forming habits and doing the least little bit, especially at the start, rather than setting out for huge aims. One example that made me think hey that might be worth trying was a guy who was trying to start going to the gym. He started out with a goal of spending 5 minutes MAXIMUM at the gym each trip. Something small and piddly, laughably so. And then get the hell out. Once he had that down pat, ratchet up the time slightly. I’ve had a Daily off and on which has been to write something for my long term project. Generally in the past, it has had a word count associated with it, usually <500, and either been a daily Daily, or a fairly regular Daily (depending on my weekly timetable). Generally what happens is I start well for about a week or so, and then miss one or two due to surprise paperwork, then game over. It gradually gets redder and redder as I ignore it, until either we're about to start a quest and I remove it so you lot don't take damage, or I do a big overhaul of Habit, whichever comes first. At any rate, after reading that 5 minute gym thing, I have a new checklisted Daily of the minimum effort required: Open Google Docs (writing at school) and Remove Stylus (writing at home) and enter a few paltry words. It can even just be a quick mental note. As long as one of the boxes is ticked, then the Daily can be checked off. Admittedly I haven't been running it for very long yet, but it is working so far. I'll report back after a period and let you know how it's going.

    Liked by 1 person

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