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WAKE ME UP!
August 12, 2010 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Everyone has it harder than me. So I should be taking advantage of that, right?

i'm 24 and got about as ideal a situation as i could ask for. my parents don't pressure me to make money or get a job (i've been alloted a year to make two albums i want to tour), i've got a lot of good and good for me friends around me.

i had a nervous breakdown about 6 months ago and have been attributing my lack of motivation for life to it. before that, i was extremely enthusiastic about everything and was very grateful and just plain happy. i did have the best girlfriend i could ask for at the time, if that makes a difference.

today, my best friend called me and told me that his girlfriend left him for another man without any warning. my friend had attempted suicide three times but still sounded like he was pretty much with it. it was tough for me to console him cause i'd been spending the last 6 months mostly in self loathing depression and was struggling to stay optimistic for him. i believe that this was god's wake up call for me to "fucking go for it" and stop second guessing myself.

when i get these surges of inspiration, i am often fueled by angry energy to "get my life back". i am often afraid, however of doing things fueled by anger because it put me in jail before and is often rooted in pride more than anything.

so, what do you think is the best way for someone who has no problems other than depression to "get over it" and start living without being driven by anger, pride and competativeness? Or better yet, what is the best way to jumpstart a life built on love?


thanks everyone

p.s. i have been seeing a therapist since my breakdown and have been taking meds as well

p.p.s. no matter what, i am not going to give up my music projects so i've ruled out joining the military and salvation army. i will be going to Landmark College (a sort of academic boot camp) but that won't be until the winter.
posted by defmute to Human Relations (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
what do you think is the best way for someone who has no problems other than depression to "get over it"

Antidepressants.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:56 PM on August 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


Stop comparing your life to other people's lives.

Have a fall back plan in case music doesn't go well.

Start doing something, anything but just music and sitting around wallowing.

DO
posted by lakerk at 9:57 PM on August 12, 2010


Be useful. Are you useful?

Do good quality things with and for other people. Become a person who is needed and appreciated by other people. Give yourself some responsibilities and live up to them. There is no other good life.
posted by argybarg at 10:00 PM on August 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


If you have no need to get money soon (not sure how much your future school will cost, what grants/loans you can get, and what your parents will do for you in that situation), you could volunteer. Get involved in something where your anger, pride and competitiveness can't be valued by others ("best retirement home volunteer" doesn't really hold the sway that "best office worker" does, at least in my mind). Give back, and realize where other people are in their lives, or simply put something before yourself. I'm not saying you're negatively self-centered, but your anger, pride, and competition might come from thinking more about yourself than the world at large.

Also, spend time with friends, especially those who need moral support. Be there for them, and focus on how to help them (or just hang out and have fun, and help them focus on things other than their shitty situations).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 PM on August 12, 2010


You need a structured day. At the very least, volunteer. Have a reason to get up at a certain time in the morning.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:12 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with the structured day. When one is working all they can think about is playing music. Suddenly free time opens up and you stall. This happens constantly to me and everyone I know. I have a secret though. I know that you have to keep working, make music 'work' but without the bad. Academically or professionally you should be doing research, which involves lots of live shows, finding new music, analyzing said music and learning how it works and reading GOOD interviews of musicians you respect (a good interviewer asks good questions to get them to open about their art, not who they are dating). Then you must do the usual work phase of creating your music. Then you must compare and critique what you have and then revise. Sounds very academic but with music there is a nice part -the research is awesome!

The way to jump start your work ethic is to work on the research part and get out and see music. Go to shows you wouldn't normally go to and watch. The energy you get from this will make it so you cannot wait to get home and play. Read about writing music, read about songs that you like and find out how or in what context they were written. Make it exciting to write music.

So prescription is (reorder to fit your lifestyle)

1 Wake up, get going, exercise, etc.
2 Read about music
3 listen to music
4 practice or write
5 write
6 go to shows or other "creative" gatherings to reenergize
7 read about music before bed
8 sleep well and dream, write dreams down

Something along these lines....
posted by occidental at 10:42 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Or better yet, what is the best way to jumpstart a life built on love?"

What does this mean? "A life built on love"?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:47 PM on August 12, 2010


Do good things to help people. Get out of your own head and into something positive for or with others, no matter how small. Listen to them and try to understand them, not out of a sense of obligation but because learning about other people's lives is a great way to stimulate your curiosity and find out what makes you tick.

But it's also really important for building compassion. I've found that when I'm struggling, knowing that other people have gone through the same thing is a great help. Mind you, this is distinct from thinking that you have it better than others. Sometimes I'm very hard on myself for my perceived failings. When that happens, it helps to remember that even the most seemingly well-adjusted person out there has faced adversity and may be doing so now without revealing it to others. When you see someone having a bad day or being rude, remember that they may have just received devastating news or be on the 548th day of caring for someone without getting a break or even the thanks that they deserve.

STAY AWAY FROM DRAMA. You may think that you don't contribute to it, but you might not even recognize it. Even putting up with it keeps it moving. Remember that the people who talk about it most, even as they decry how horrible it is, are usually the people who are in the middle of the vortex.

Nthing structure.
posted by Madamina at 11:22 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


What everyone else said. I'll even go a step further - your nervous breakdown is not an excuse for you to drop out of life. If anything, it is a reason for you to get more into your life than you ever have before.

Your friend is having an awful time, having just been dumped, and it was "tough" for you to console him? I suggest you start by taking that friend out for coffee, dinner, and/or beers, and listening to what he's going through. Maybe you'll find that you don't have it that bad after all. But you know what? even if you DO have it that bad, I mean, even if you have the most terrible life in the world, that guy could use a friend now. Maybe you should put yourself on the back burner for a night and be there for him.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 1:25 AM on August 13, 2010


I would suggest moving out of your folks house, getting a job, and taking responsibility for your life. Right now you're dependent, have no focus, have no sense of being responsible, are not contributing to your life, or your parents', and you're not contributing to the overall good of your community. If you're not acknowledging this on a conscience level, subconsciously you're aware of it.

It's not surprising that you're depressed and unable to be creative..
posted by HuronBob at 4:32 AM on August 13, 2010


Nthing structure. Your situation as described is not ideal. Having a year of no responsibility wherein nothing you do has any consequence is a recipe for severe difficulty. A series of concrete goals, preferably involving interacting with other people, would be a great start.
posted by robself at 5:59 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


[few comments removed - find a nicer way to reply to the OPs question or keep it to yourself]
posted by jessamyn at 7:32 AM on August 13, 2010


I don't think it matters what emotion motivates your "let's get out of bed and make something with my life" drive. If it's anger, that's fine. "Grrrr, life is so unfair! I'm gonna apply for 3 jobs today!"

It sounds like you hesitate, because your motivation (anger) has gotten you in trouble before. I submit that it's not the motivating emotion, but the actions it motivates you to.

Take a few minutes with pen and paper, and write out a list of 20 things you know you should do to get your life back on track. Give the list a quick once-over to make sure it doesn't contain items like "punch the wall" or "get drunk and drive over the neighbor's lawn." Then use that motivating emotion to do them!
posted by ErikaB at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2010


Perhaps combine some of these suggestions: structure, love of music, helping others. Why not volunteer to help a kid learn how to play an instrument? Doesn't have to be a kid I suppose, but if you spent 1 hour, three days a week teaching someone, this could definitely boost your morale.
posted by jeremias at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2010


Work on being a good person.

That alone takes us a lifetime.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 11:18 AM on August 13, 2010


I would suggest moving out of your folks house, getting a job, and taking responsibility for your life. Right now you're dependent, have no focus, have no sense of being responsible, are not contributing to your life, or your parents', and you're not contributing to the overall good of your community. If you're not acknowledging this on a conscience level, subconsciously you're aware of it.

Couldn't agree with this more. You're an adult living like a 15-year-old, and your subconscious realizes that that is an unacceptable situation.

Leave. Experience things ON YOUR OWN, without a safety net, the way adults do. Not only will you be happier actually DOING something, but it can only improve you artistically.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2010


thanks everyone for the support. i had been living on my own for a few years and continued to do so after coming back to my home state without looking for a job. i guess having a job and supporting myself seemed silly cause i didn't need to and figured that it was more of challenge to ask for my parents help and have to deal with having sex/drugs/rock n roll around my parents. more than anything, i felt like being in the city was an excuse to make myself feel like i was more of an adult. but yeah, fuckit, i'm going back to chicago and i'm going to get a job and work and live and be merry. thanks everyone for the advice and god bless.
posted by defmute at 2:50 PM on August 13, 2010


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