New Year, Old Beginnings

How many new beginnings is a person allotted? One for each new year? New month? New day?

A good story has a beginning, middle, and end, not infinite beginnings. I intend mine to be a good story. I shall not endlessly rewrite the first chapter, seeking its perfection. I shall progress and grow, regress and change.

The new year hands us a blank page, inviting us, daring us, to write our future; and we reach out with eager, childlike hands and giddy minds racing with ideas of all the scribbles we will put on it. But it need not be a new story, merely, greatly, a new chapter. The Old You may be permitted to live in the pages pressed against the new, her ink occasionally bleeding through to touch and taint the crisp new pages.

Old experiences and effigies of character need not be thrown aside to make way for the new. They may be carried along, regarded with equal importance, for their assemblage acts as a pedestal, hoisting you ever higher.

I will hope for this chapter to be a better one, but will not regard it as useless if it is worse.

After many long, dull chapters, I have grown disinterested in my own story. I long to restart, with a fresh page. But a fresh page does not bring with it a fresh heroine. Therefore, I must simply make this one grow.

Simply.

How does one rise to meet a challenge, when the challenge shrinks horizons rather than expanding them? This is my question for this new chapter. If I can find the answer, I am sure I will find with it a greater appreciation for my heroine.

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8 New Year’s Resolutions For People With Depression

1. Aim to accomplish one thing a day.

It can be big or small, depending on how you’re feeling; anything from adding an extra mile to your run to taking a shower and putting on real clothes. No accomplishment is better or worse than another. On bad days, getting dressed and feeding yourself can take just as much effort as your biggest accomplishment on a good day. Your depression may not go away entirely, but you will have good days where you feel like you again, and until then you just need to keep moving.

At the end of the day, write down what you’ve done.

2. Listen to yourself and your body.

If your muscles feel so weak you can barely hold a glass of water, but you have no explanation for it, cancel anyway. It’s good to push through things sometimes, but there are also times when pushing through just makes it worse. Stop pushing through everything just to say you did, and save your energy for the things you can’t cancel. Just because you don’t have an explanation doesn’t mean what you’re going through isn’t real.

3. Get outside.

I don’t care if you go stand outside the front door for ten minutes and then come right back in. Get outside every day.

4. Nourish your body.

Your body is doing its best to be healthy and functional for you. Help it out  —  give it water and feed it good things, even if they take a little longer to make.

5. Stop trying to fight your emotions.

Stop clinging to happiness, stop fighting sadness, stop trying to convince yourself that your heart doesn’t feel like it’s beating out of your chest. Keep reminding yourself to let yourself feel what you’re feeling. (Note: if you don’t have practice doing this, it can be hard! A couple of good mindfulness apps to get you started are Calm and Headspace.)

6. Read more, and read whatever you want.

If “grown-up” novels bring the weight of the world crashing down on you, that’s fine. Go read Winnie-the-Pooh.

7. Exercise often.

It can be three squats or an hour long run. Whatever you can do, do it. This is especially important on days where you almost feel good, but not quite. Exercising might give you that extra boost you need to get going, even if it’s just for a couple minutes.

Aim for 5–6 days a week.

8. Ask for help.

A trick of depression is making you feel like you can’t ask for help. Fight this. Fight it and fight it again. Even if you feel too tired, or you feel like you’re bothering them, or asking for help just doesn’t seem worth it, ask anyway. Ask for help over and over again until you get it. Your health and happiness are worth it.

I was starting to think about my New Years resolutions for 2017 and I realized quite a few of them related to depression. Most of these are all things I’ve been doing off and on in 2016 and have found to be helpful, so I’m resolving to make them a habit in 2017. I thought I’d share them in case they could help anyone else, too. ❤