A couple of things that have already come out of my first counselling session are my neglect of looking after myself in that I will make the effort when others are involved and for others but allow things to slide when it's just for me. Things like cleaning, eating, sleeping, paying bills and even at times washing are all mundane chores that do not feed my soul so therefore mean little to me. What I'm doing is behaving as a child when in fact I am an adult. One change of focus then is to get the adult side of me to take better care of the child within me. It's not as if I am incapable of looking after myself better, nor that I don't believe in myself for when I'm upbeat all these chores are done without even thinking about them.
Why do they get reduced to 'unimportant' status when depressed then? Quite simply because they seem less vital to me than working through emotions and thoughts that are behind the depression. But such things can become habits that fuel depression itself. I'm reminded of caged birds that pull out their feathers because they are trapped, have no company or interest in life but like the bird, it's not a case of not having an interest, more a case of not having the outlet, the opportunity. And without company why should I bother is often my reasoning during the lows. The answer here is to remember that no one is likely to be interested in me if I am not interested enough to look after myself. It's one thing for them to be interested in what I do, quite another to be interested in me as a person.
As there is no way on this earth that I will ever want someone to come in to pamper me, take charge, set routines for me etc to sort these lapses of mine out, it follows that I must do it. It's still a chore but I have wit enough to turn it into a game to enjoy thereby uniting the adult self with the child.
The other thing that came out in that first session was my continual habit of devoting my time and energies to the wrong people. This is trickier to overcome for me and a bigger knot to unravel. It's not that they are nasty people, quite the reverse but they are not good for me. They do not reciprocate support, contact or interest. They are takers, not givers. The solution seems simple - ditch them, but I've included them in my life for a multitude of reasons including gleaning skills, information and studying behaviour. None of these things though rate as highly to me as emotional support which is what I don't get from them but is what they more often than not get from me.
It's therefore a question of setting my own boundaries better and a question of not having the exceptation of that support in the first place. To put it another way I haven't been heeding my own words in a previous blog as it's not as fair an exchange as I need. But I can be be in control of that to avoid the pitfall of disappointment; feeling let down and hurt.
By doing this I can free up my time to concentrate on things that are important to me, devoting more time to those who are close and do give me emotional support and reserving my energies to devote them to things that matter such as finding regular work, which again I'm going to attempt to turn into a fun game - how many jobs can I apply for in a week that would be fun to do.
I feel I ought to have learnt all these things by now and had them in place and am annoyed that I haven't, or rather haven't properly. I know the answers I need but struggle to adhere to the solutions I've found. Far easier to do so when working and socially 'out there'. All the more important to do when one isn't.
My new focus then is on me, not on others, not on helping others other than by steering them in the direction of sources of support. I hope I don't become uncaring or selfish to the point of ignoring or trampling over others, but for a time at least it needs to be on me to hopefully, once and for all, firmly establish the mindset and habits of a person who has a fullfilling and rewarding life instead of one that dips in and out of it.
I'm starting my listing all my likes and dislikes; all my wants and don't wants, all my dreams, all my good points, all my talents and skills. The rest of the world can focus on my faults if it likes, for myself I've spent more than enough time dwelling on them and besides I've discovered the faults they list are usually mirrors of their own. In short, my intention is to start to value and look after the one person who will always be there for me no matter what - me.