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Argh...free time is dangerous


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I'm just feeling wonky.

I've been dying for free time all semester, and now that I am not being productive, I feel worthless and just like everything is meaningless.  Possible things that could be leading me to how I feel:

-Sleeping in alot, around 12 hours....this is not normal for me

-Smoking a lot more pot than normal...

-Spending a week plus with my family...and I feel like the COMPLETE black sheep, for some reason when I'm around my family my communication skills regress completely, and I can't verbalize anything to them except surface level conversations about the weather.

-Ruminating on things I don't like about my life (I know I should stop, but don't feel like believing positive hoopla right now)

I'm still exercising. I'm still making an effort to hang out with people...but I just feel SOOOOOOOOOO negative right now... not hopeless, but what is the point of doing anything if we are all just going to die.  I feel like I'll never be satisfied with what I have, which is so much, but it just doesn't seem good enough. 

I know this is depressive thinking.  I'm doing things to counter act.  But I guess I've realized that maybe this is how I'll always be deep down inside, pessimistic, cynical, judgemental.  I'm beginning to think this is at the core of me....and that just sucks.

no matter how much fucking therapy, different styles, I try....I'm still me.  And I wish so much that I could be happy with Christianity like my family is, and that it would do the trick for me, but it just doesn't mesh with my thinking.  It doesnt click. It seems like the answer to all my problems according to them. 

even writing this sounds so trite.  it's like I can't express the darkness I feel without judging myself and thinking I have alot to be thankful for.  bollucks.

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So true about the difference between free time and idle time...but if you are in a funk and stuck in idle, how do you get out?

For me it is a snowball effect. Just a little idling and I'm bored, apathetic, frozen. Then I get frustrated with myself which eggs on the gloomy feelings that started the whole damn thing.

If I have things that I need to be doing (like now) and I am avoidant, then I get anxiety symptoms. I hate this.

Are you guys in school? I remember having this same issue back then, but the cycle of semesters was what got (forced) me out of it, if only for a brief while. Now that I'm out of school it is a far worse problem as there really isn't anything forcing me to get going. I dunno if that is any inspiration for you to spend some time working on this issue, or if it is just depressing.

I'm planning to go back to my tdoc to work on this very issue which has dogged me for too damn long. I hope my frustration is the tipping point that gets me to really work on this.

--Weasel

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Oh!  Oh!  Me me me! 

I've been told several times over the past couple of weeks that a post-semester crash is normal for everyone, though it could be deeper for people with mood disorders.  Great.  Okay.  I'll buy that.  Now what do I DO about it so my life will feel less crappy?  This is where I run into problems. 

Oversleeping for an average of 12 hours per day... I did that.  I did that today, actually.  In between, there are weird wild card days where I just don't bother sleeping -- perhaps one a week.  They just throw me further off. 

Spending time with family... ordinarily this totally fucks me up. I go home and am shortly gibbering softly in the corner with tears running down my face, looking fearsome anytime someone tries to touch me.  This time, amazingly enough, I got the gibbering freak thing out of the way before visiting, which resulted in getting sent home from work, but I was okay there.  Tacklehugs?  No problem.  I actually talked to people and stayed social and didn't hide in any closets in the middle of Christmas dinner, despite awkwardness.  My small victory. 

I used to tell my therapist that I hang myself in my free time.  If I have a schedule, covering nearly every hour of my life, I flourish.  As soon as I have extended periods of emptiness, though, the emptiness migrates inward and I have no clue what to do.  Then I'm on edge.  Then I'm employing maladaptive coping strategies.  Then I'm thoroughly convinced that I'm a complete fuck-up who will never be able to fix herself. 

I've never been Miss Perky Social in the three-dimensional world.  I have a hard time figuring out how to relate to people, especially when they usually come in groups.  I have never understood group dynamics and doubt I ever will.  I didn't even recognize their existence until Orson Scott Card.  I just knew that things might suddenly cease to be comprehensible at any moment, and I'd be the pariah again.  Consequently, I've spent the better part of twenty years trying to figure out what's wrong with me, because the problem was either with me or with everyone else, and I was the only constant.  I still haven't figured it out. 

I desperately wish I could be content with the Christianity embraced by my family.  They're such wonderful people.  It really does bring depth to their lives and characters.  They say "relationship with Jesus" as a vibrant descriptive phrase, rather than a tired churchy epithet.  I am terribly jealous and terribly sad.  I don't get it.  I don't see it.  I don't believe it.  I just wish I did. 

"How difficult it is to entirely divest oneself of the human being," said Pyrrho.  I wonder if it is possible to be a happy cynic, capitalized or not. 

I've been trying to keep myself to a steady schedule of waking before noon, showering, eating at least two balanced, healthy meals, going for a walk, and going to bed around midnight.  It hasn't been happening, but my inner critic says it will make me feel better. 

Good luck with your own idle time.  Perhaps read a book?  "When I was your age, [the internet] was called 'books.'"  If you're feeling disgusted with yourself over excessive online time, it might be an incremental step up. 

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I went hiking yesterday to combat my idleness spiral (And to prove that I am stronger than nature -- *cough*). One thing I've always liked about hiking is that once you get on the trail, even for a minute, you can't easily change your mind -- you're going to be hiking. A book you can put down. The gym you can leave now as easily as an hour from now. But the trail insists you get some real anergy flowing, and it has a way of sucking all that negative energy out of you, presumably to accumulate in the soil and plants.

That's not an answer to anything. But when idle, do something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welllll....here we go.

I feel like I could be slipping into depression.  But HOW?  I'm doing what I should be, at least I think I am.  It's like I don't want to admit that this could be happening.  But some signs are there.....

-feeling extremely guilty, worthlessness

-having some crying spells (and not sure what I'm crying about, just this deep dark pain feels like it needs to be released)

-not feeling like talking

-negative attitude

But I cannot for the life of me pinpoint if this is situational (being out of school, having more free time, working on "issues" in therapy) or if my current AD, Zoloft is stopping working....

Part of me doesn't even believe in the Zoloft.  I'm leaning more and more towards Jemini's point of view on medication.  But the 2 times I've tried to stop taking the AD, I've fallen into a DEEP, DEEP depression that lasts for months....and I just can't afford to do that right now. 

How do I know for sure what is happening? 

Going to see tdoc AND pdoc tomorrow...so we'll see, but I wanted more of a personal opinion from you guys.....

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If you go off anti-depressants without understanding the effects of adjustment to AD withdrawal, expect to be suddenly depressed. Makes little difference who you are.

The last time I publicly challenged the logic of the studies Cerberus is describing, I was both completely not understood and subsequently banned from the boards for two weeks, so I'll skip that. But not knowing the details at all, I'd have to say that the holidays represent a major psychological turning point for most people, and can stir up a lot of things that are otherwise held in check throughout the year, often in such subtle ways that you can't easily pinpoint any actual event that should have you so stirred up. Also, the holidays are a pretty generically bad time to go off ADs.

PM me if you like. Otherwise, I'd recommend just generally trying to take care of yourself, get extra rest, and connect to positive things as much as possible. These things will always help and are more essential during depressive turns. Anyone who misinterprets me as saying these things cure depression is a moron. Just to nip that in the bud.

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Otherwise, I'd recommend just generally trying to take care of yourself, get extra rest, and connect to positive things as much as possible. These things will always help and are more essential during depressive turns. Anyone who misinterprets me as saying these things cure depression is a moron. Just to nip that in the bud.

No misunderstanding - all good, sound advice.  I especially like your suggestion about the in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound aspect of hiking; though in my past experience as a park ranger, I've found that whenever humans say things like "I want to prove I'm stronger than Nature", Nature replies "BWAHAHAHAHA" and squashes us like bugs.  I'm a squashee, myself.

Mind: Don't overlook the benefits of exercise of any kind.  Exercise moves your blood, thereby giving your body a decent chance of distributing biochemicals wherever they're needed in the system, and causes the release of endorphins, which make you feel good.  Healthy body, healthy mind.

Cerberus (who loathes exercise in all its forms, but does it anyway.  grr.)

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right on. I need to get back into yoga myself. And meditation as a regular thing. I kinda treat my hiking and the days at work when I get to spend a few hours on one task as meditation. I'm sooooo glad I don't have to sit in front of an internet connection all day and think really hard for stupid pointy haired bosses anymore.

Hey also if you want to help with a secret project, PM me.

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Third time's the charm - not.  Two experiences may not equal proof, but if it were me, I would think long and hard before I tried to go off my meds a third time.  It sounds too much like causality to me.  Now, it may well be that your Zoloft is pooping out, and it's time to try something else.  If you're experiencing poop-out, the effect will probably be the same as if you had again attempted to discontinue it.  Have this discussion with your pdoc, and make sure you explain all your symptoms, just as you have with us here, and you may be able to shift to another SSRI or even an MRI before you sink too low into the Abyss.  Please do - what with the after-holiday gloom, the Abyssal Inn is busting at the seams, and I'm having to bunk people up three to a room down here.

Cerberus,

I am happy to report that at this time I am giving my notice to vacate the Abyss. Thanks for the kind and tender treatment, but I'm ready to feel the sun shining on my face so I'm heading outside.

Thank you for taking such good care of the place. I feel like I'm getting out of rehab.  Stable would be premature, but I can claim ownership to becoming stable. My pdoc/tdocs are truly the dynamic duo. And doing what they say, taking meds as prescribed, following tdocs suggestions/directions doesn't hurt either.  ;)

Not that I for a second am unaware of the most important term in my dx MDD-recurring, as you expand upon above, but I'm going to try to squeeze some life out of this remission, if that is indeed what it is. I wanna have some fun! <plus I'm tired of my bunkmate always hogging the covers...>

Just wanted to report a little ray of light in the dark room. I never would have dreamed in June, locked down, on suicide watch, I would be this much better. It's kind of sad to be rejoicing over garden variety dysthymia (I can never spell that word!), but after what I've seen (and ya'll too) this is a cake walk. Something that might actually respond to diet and exercise along with my meds. Whoo Hoo!

I'm not usually Pollyanna-ish, so forgive me. But I want to feed this, and starve the other.

Suze

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