Get out of rut
December 18, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Stop feeling sorry for myself and lighten up.

Help me stop feeling sorry for myself and be able to see beauty and feel peaceful again. It's been 9 years now, with a year inbetween when I felt fine. Suffice to say that at that time I had to make a decision, which I did in an informed way. However I then proceeded to wallow in it quite a bit, probably because (excuses, excuses) at the same time I was getting off my 2nd job post-university and maybe my dad's illness was a contributing factor. He has since passed, about 2 years ago. Anyway I did myself no favours at tha time, rather than getting my butt in gear, I freaked myself out, getting a little housebound, and going to a shrink who I can assume as going by training, but I used his words to freak myself out more. (Rather than reassure me and put things in perspective, he suggested that perhaps I was x,y,z horrible thing, and I really internalised it, as well as all the wacky things my friends said to me. I know it's not their fault, they were only reacting to the wacky way I was acting) It was a pretty nasty spiral, and I've lost touch with my old friends (most of whom moved away anyway), and didn't effectively make closure with my ex, who was at a partner in the decision I made which precipatated the "breakdown". I feel all right now when I take a mild tranquilizer, but it just makes me feel ok in the moment and doesn't spur me on to better places. I think it's not prescriptive, the solution, but rather something within me. Please help me get out of this rut.
posted by Penelope to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry you're feeling badly Penelope. I think you will have to give us a little more to go on though for really helpful answers.

Are you still seeing this therapist? If you feel he was not helping you, it's ok to try someone totally different. Some therapy techniques don't click with some people. They are all different people. Just try and find someone who is qualified who you feel comfortable with.

Are you taking anything besides tranquilizers? They won't help you in the long run. I understand you aren't looking for anything prescriptive, but keep an open mind. Sometimes if you are depressed medication can help you get out of the rut.

You have had a lot of stress in the last 9 years, but you seem really clever, so I think you need to look into treatments for depression. You could read a book, even if it's 'Depression for Dummies' or you could look at information online. Hopefully you'll get some more answers that can clear things up. Best of luck.
posted by CoralAmber at 8:27 AM on December 18, 2008


1. Get more exercise. Try to spend more time walking, or cycling, or swimming, preferably something you enjoy doing or at least don't hate. Do this regularly even if it doesn't seem like it's helping. Make it a habit.

2. Join an evening class for something. Maybe something you always wanted to do; maybe something off the wall. Keep going even if it's tough to make yourself go.

3. If you have the time, volunteer somewhere.

4. Try and eat more healthily. Look after yourself and treat yourself well, even if you don't feel like you deserve it.
posted by emilyw at 8:42 AM on December 18, 2008


Seconding the suggestion to take a class in something. Since I enrolled myself in a class last summer, my life really turned around. I had been in a years-long rut and desperately needed some structure and variety in my life; I just had no idea how to make it happen. The class got me out of the house and gave me something to focus on, when previously I had so much unstructured, uninterrupted time that everything felt a little dull. Suddenly being too busy to do nothing of import all the time really made me eager to fill my schedule and enjoy life again. The subject of the class was helpful too, of course, but it got my life moving in a way that was more helpful than I ever could have predicted.

YMMV, but at the very least you'll benefit from getting your mind moving and learning again. And there's a good chance it'll give you the jumpstart you need.
posted by phatkitten at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2008


Reflecting on this idea may help:

"Creation is something that is most holy, that's the most sacred thing in life, and if you have made a mess of your life, change it. Change it today, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain, find out why and be certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically. Unless all that is prepared, all that is settled, you can't enter into this world, into the world of creation."
-- Jiddu Krishnamurti

If you are feeling sorry for yourself, then set things right. What would it take to make you feel at peace? If you don't know, find out. If it can be done, do it.

And do it today, not tomorrow.
posted by Theloupgarou at 9:25 AM on December 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm also going to suggest the book "Wishcraft" to help you figure out what you want in life and/or the book "One Small Step can Change Your Life" to help you get there. Setting goals, even tiny ones, and working towards them can help you feel better.
posted by CoralAmber at 9:35 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You might find the collected wisdom on depression in the Metafilter Wiki useful, as distilled from the "best posts on depression" thread a while ago.
posted by mendel at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2008


I've been in a remarkably similar position as what you're describing, and the one thing I try to remember, a mantra if you will, is that the past is the past. Let bygones be bygones, especially if The Decision is not something that follows you on a daily basis by any mechanism but your own memory.
posted by rhizome at 10:45 AM on December 18, 2008


this might seem overly simple, but i put a sign on the back of my bedroom door (it's a place i look often, as it's near the clock) that says, "self-pity is lame"

the little reminder actually helps me a lot. i kick my own ass for having a pity party, and get back to feeling fine.
posted by gursky at 1:50 PM on December 18, 2008


Learn and live the serenity prayer. It's not easy at first, but it's the key to happiness.

Also, teach yourself to not externalize your happiness. Meaning, do not depend on others to make you happy or to not make you sad. Which is not to say that you can't enjoy people and feel empathy for people, of course, but just to not have expectations for other people. It's not fair to either party...
posted by gjc at 5:37 PM on December 18, 2008


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