There are so many more things I could be doing right now.
How can I decide? That is what I am working on currently. It should make me happy, glad, excited to be wanted by others.
To have people I admire say “you could be a big help and contributor to the success of our non-profit, our company, our group.” This is very flattering.
But at the same time, I am still figuring out what my life looks like now that I am acknowledging depression, saying its name out loud and facing it for the first time in my entire adult life. This is a lot to take in and digest.
I need more time to figure all this out.
It has been about six months since I walked into the emergency room, seeking professional help for what turned out to be Major Depressive Disorder. Six months out of 64 years on this earth.
Yet here I am thinking I have all the tools I need, all the strategies I need to face my life with depression. It turns out I am nowhere close to having the answers for myself.
I understand that everyone who has this disease, is constantly working to keep it at bay, I’m not the only one.
Even those who seem to have it licked, will tell you that it is because they work at it, not because depression has gone away. Some people benefit from exercise, others from medication, talk therapy, SMART Recovery, WRAP, DBT skills, acupuncture. There are many things that people find to help their individual situations.
For me, I have broken my life going forward into six-month chunks.
The first is ending at the end of December. I am reviewing my progress towards living a balanced life and looking ahead to what the next six months look like. Instead of a 5 year or 10-year plan, my horizons have gotten much closer.
READ: How can you be in control and have depression?
It is important for me to remain closer to the present, and not time travel off into the future. This has already helped me be much more in the moment, appreciating who is around me, and the quality of life I am forging for myself.
Yes, I could be doing a lot more.
But I am doing a lot, right now. Adding more to my plate is not in my best interest. Currently, there are three non-profits that would love to have me on their Board of Directors.
This warms my heart, knowing I could make a difference. But I am still learning to take care of myself, as an adult with depression. Thinking about adding on anther role, right now, is overwhelming.
And that is just one area that is competing for my attention.
As I take the SMART Courses, I am learning more about the tools available to help me keep depression out in the open. To keep it where I can see it. Depression does not like that.
But with the completion of the courses, I am feeling the urge to give back, to help facilitate the very meetings that have been crucial to my recovery. And then there is my day job and future opportunities within the company.
How do I decide what to add to my days?
One of the tools from the SMART Toolbox is a Decision-Making Worksheet or CBT (cost-benefit analysis). I have used this tool several times in the past six months and find it helpful when making choices about some future activity.
LINK To SMART Decision-Making Worksheet
To keep myself on track, I will come back and add my completed worksheet to this post, once I have finished it. I am using one to weight the advantages and disadvantages of different lifestyle adjustments for the next six months.
Each of these has benefits and costs. Understanding these, writing them out so I can clearly think about them, has been a wonderful tool.
These exercises have helped me to make better decisions.
I am not jumping in, I am standing on the riverbank, judging the current. Even if there is an engraved invitation, I am not ready to take it.
However, I have confidence in the process and know I will make the right decision for my personal recovery.
What are you waiting for?
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