I am now retired, but I did not know what to do with my free time when I worked. I would say to myself things like, "Nothing interests me", "I'm too tired."
I'm not working since the end of 2005. For the first few years, I would do nothing, and roughly, I divided my time between visits to doctors, TV ... and bed! Except for the night’s sleep, I would do long and exaggerated “lunch breaks”. All this led me to despair, depression, and boredom. I would say to my psychologist, "I do not intend to commit suicide, but I am now passively waiting for death to come one day."
Today, my situation has improved a lot: I have friends, a club, a choir class, philosophy classes, and writing this blog. But it took me years to find myself.
So how did I get out of depression, and how did I move from a person who does nothing to a person who has activity?
First of all, what did not help:
I have come to the conclusion that medication does not help, neither for depression nor for anxiety. (I note here that I have no medical training, I am only talking based on my experience). I tried, and it did not help.
Why did it not help?
Because my depression then stemmed from a series of problems: I was shy and unacceptable in society, lacked self-confidence, lived far from the family left in the country while I decided to go to France, was fired, family tragedy: my beloved cousin committed suicide, I was without friends, and worst of all - without the ability to make friends for myself. So, tell me: what will the drug treatment help here?!
Medication can only eliminate the symptoms of depression (sadness, fatigue, anxiety, desire to commit suicide), but it does not solve the problems. Rather, the wrong dosage medication puts you in a euphoria, which causes you to behave abnormally: some make expenses without an account. I did not do that, but I did talk endlessly with people on the street, and I would offer my bosses "reforms" at work that seemed genius to me, but to my co-workers, I seemed crazy. And how did the psychiatrist react to that, in your opinion? By admitting that he was wrong? No! He claimed the dosage was not right! That I went from depression to mania. (By the way, you pay the psychiatrist as long as the treatment continues, if you understand the hint ...).
In the end, I said enough with these drugs! In retrospect, when I think about the problems I had: all those who could come to a solution were solved, and today I am no longer depressed because of them! Again, I am not a professional, but my opinion is that medications can alleviate a response to a specific problem, such as the death of a loved one, or a cold season (known for seasonal depression in Scandinavian countries), but cannot solve the problems of the chronically depressed. On the contrary, it's harmful to the patient!
So, what did help me?
1) First of all, myself.
The religious guys say that the Lord can help, but He will not do it if you do not do it yourself. God helps those who help themselves.
I analyzed the causes of my depression, which were a little different from the causes of 30 years ago, if only because then I was 30, while today I am 63. I thought about how I could solve them, and if it was impossible, learn to live with them. I did not accept the verdict that I was mentally ill, and that's it!
- I struggled: Many contenders, as they call us in gentle language, do not actually contend very much ... They think that mental illness cannot be cured (or even be improved), and are content with repeating over and over again reasons for their condition (of course, that too, I did). Or worse, opt for "solutions" like alcohol and drugs or… suicide (I did not).
- I dared to talk to those close to me and, first and foremost, with my family about my problems. Note here: Speaking does not mean harassing them by constantly crying and telling them the same things. It does say:
- Talk once about a certain problem.
- Do it with different people and compare the answers.
- Accept or reject what they say.
- Draw the conclusions.
You should isolate a specific problem and set aside the set of problems that befall you. Example: I asked myself if I was crazy because when I was alone with myself (in 99% of my time). I came to the conclusion it was nonsense. So, I went and asked those close to me: "What do you think about when you are alone with yourself?" (I asked questions like this rather than saying general complaints like I'm sad, I'm depressed, I'm tired of life").
2) Help from others
As mentioned, my relatives also helped me. And my psychologist also helped me a lot: she broke the myths I had and restored my lost self-confidence. For example, with regard to my social problems, the paradox is that on the one hand, I was not aware of situations where I would unintentionally hurt the sensitivity of others. And on the other hand, out of shyness, I would not defend myself against others' attacks and give them back when it was perfectly legitimate on my part to do so.
Finally, what helped me was to write this blog! And here's how it happened: Occasionally, I used to write things down for myself on WhatsApp in preparation for my meeting with the psychologist. I began to notice that formulating problems instead of leaving them confused in my mind helps a lot.
One day, my beloved psychologist said to me: Why don't you write a diary? The truth is I tried to do it when I was 20, and very quickly stopped, because I was ashamed of what I wrote.
But now I have realized that the mistake I made then was to write only for myself. The solution was simply to share what I wrote with my relatives: my caregivers and family. Because when you know you are writing your diary under the examining eye of the other, you are writing completely differently than when you are writing for yourself, and you are also getting their response. Among my family members was my niece Michal, who takes care of people in her profession and writes blogs, and she offered to help me write my blog. By the way, I highly recommend you read her site.
So how do we fill our lives with content?
I do not know! Otherwise, I would have done it a long time ago! I'm just telling my story: how I filled my life with content, where I did not know in advance what I was going for, so it is possible that I even made mistakes.
So as mentioned today, my life is full of content. But I still have sad thoughts in my head, such as the site will not succeed, I will be as tired and lazy as I used to be, etc.
So, I would be happy for you to share with me your experience and the answer to the question: "How do we fill our lives with content?"
You can write in the comments below or send me a personal message on WhatsApp or in the form at the bottom of the page.