Thursday, February 10, 2011
I have spent my entire life trying to figure things out by thinking them through. Makes sense right? My mantra used to be "I'm smart enough to figure this out". But maybe I've been over thinking this thinking business. Reasoning, logic, knowing how things "should be" hasn't gotten me anywhere. I have talked about my depression, read a stack of books about philosophy, relationships, how to build a better mousetrap and what the Dalai Lama would do. None of those things have in fact helped me manage my depression. Not one damn bit. I dare say that knowing all of the theories and logical things I should be doing only makes it worse. I end up beating myself up because "damn it I know better!"
The two things that have helped manage my depression are medication and daily exercise. Medication gets me to a point where I can function. Exercise gets me to the point of feeling fantastic. When I am upset or feeling down, no amount of thinking is going to make me feel better. I have found that intense exercise is the one activity that helps me work through whatever is bothering me and come out the other side feeling like I can deal with it and that everything will be alright. When I am exercising the negative self-talk disappears. When I am sweating my ass off I am not thinking about feeling sad or overwhelmed, I am thinking about pushing myself to get through the exercise without falling over. I am not judging myself for not being as strong or fast as others, I am giving myself a mental pat on the back and saying "hell yeah, you did it!" Funny that at the age of 35 I am just now figuring out what the dumb jocks knew back in grade six. Maybe they weren't so dumb after all.