Sunday Pep Talk | Cures For Bad Days

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Bad days suck. From the minute you wake up, the energy just feels different. Everyone seems distant. Communication is distorted. I thoroughly dislike bad days, but unfortunately everyone has them from time to time. Maybe more frequently than they’d like.

This winter has finally caught up to me. Even though the days are getting longer, it has been harder than normal to stay optimistic. Everything just ends up piling up on top of you until you are smothered under the weight of all the shit that needs done. And the worst thing of all is when you try your best to remain neutral in social settings and people end up being rude or unkind to you anyways. Like, can’t you see I’m trying here? Can’t you see that everyone is having a difficult time with things today?

I’ve been having trouble writing this week. All of my story plots suddenly looked transparent to me, like paper houses easily blown down by the smallest long winded criticism. I have started feeling like a fraud in my own life, like I shouldn’t even try to be a published author. I could keep this to myself and wait until I feel motivated again, but I want to share this with you all, because I know everyone has bad days, and maybe this will comfort you just a little bit. You are not alone! And it’s ok to have bad days!

So to combat these feelings of negativity, I have compiled a small list of activities that make me feel better. Just because the day starts out bad (or continues to be bad), doesn’t mean it will end bad, or that it will turn into a bad week. Sometimes the creativity just doesn’t flow, and the first step to fixing a bad day is realizing that this is ok!

“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.” – Karen Salmansohn


Here’s what I like to do when I’m feeling down:

  • Eat chocolate
  • Eat comfort food
  • Close your eyes and focus for one minute on your breathing
  • Think of your favorite person. It will make you smile. Trust me.
  • Journal it out
  • Share your thoughts with a friend
  • Call your mom
  • Watch The Office
  • Wear your favorite dress around the house
  • Take a nap
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Plan a vacation
  • Research something new
  • Pull some tarot cards
  • Watch funny vine videos
  • Make a to-do list
  • Avoid everyone. Sometimes this is good. Other times it only makes it worse.
  • Stop thinking about the stressor (for me, this week, it’s writing)
  • Do some yoga (intense stretch, much relax)

I plan on doing two or three of these tonight. What are some of your go-to’s when you are feeling down? We’d love to hear new suggestions!

For more inspiration, check out:

How to Make A Motivation Board
Winter Blues
SAD
11 Things To Do On A Rainy Day

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, friends!

Kat

Sunday Pep Talk |Pick Up The Slack When You Can

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Happy Sunday! How are you doing? I hope your week has gone well. Mine has been so very busy. I forget what it feels like to have a day off, but I’m also thankful for being busy, because I am spending time with friends and family. One of my keywords for 2019 was balance, so I’ve taken this weekend off from writing. I put my laptop away and didn’t open it. Instead I focused on other things that needed attention, such as cleaning and nurturing my social network.

Some of my friends are going through rough patches in their lives during these winter months. I wish there was something I could do to help them, but Taurus reminded me that it’s not my job to solve everyone’s problems. All I can do is be supportive and let them know I’m there for them. However, there are little ways in which you can help your loved ones and friends!

If you are at a point in life where you are feeling ok, consider looking around you at those who may be struggling.

Help them out.

If they are loved ones or friends, check in with them. See if they’re ok. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Sometimes a quick text or voicemail can make someone’s whole day. And for someone who might be struggling with their own depressions or anxiety attacks, it might mean a lot more to them.

You can help others by picking up the slack, by assisting them more in the workplace or offering to make dinner on the nights where you feel up to performing these tasks. And when they are feeling ok, they may return the courtesy and help you too when you need it.

Just remember that you can’t solve their problems for them, but you can be there to support them and love them.

Stay safe out there, friends!

Kat

When Are You Finished With Therapy?

In January 2018, I had just been dumped (seven days after New Years), I was working a job I hated, I was still living at home, and I was so depressed that the only options I saw for my future were to start therapy or suffer a nervous breakdown. I could feel the breakdown looming just outside the edge of my emotions. I was holding on by a thread; a thread that was frayed and about to snap. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own anymore. I needed help.

I sat in the therapists office on the verge of tears, ringing my shaking hands like I was washing them in soapy water, as I began to explain my situation. This was only going to work if I talked, I knew. I hated talking to people, especially strangers. But I knew I had to talk or it would have been a wasted trip and a waste of money. So I talked. And more came out than I ever expected from myself.

In my first hour session of therapy, I unloaded all of my deepest baggage in the hopes that she would be able to guide me away from the hypothetical ledge of my nervous breakdown.

It was this or the bridge.

One year ago yesterday (as I am writing this), I stepped into the therapists office for the first time. Yesterday, I walked out after having been put on “maintenance”, which meant I was done until I felt I needed to come back in again.

We had reached a point where I had nothing left to talk about. Things were going well. I had started working another part time job, I was in a healthy relationship with a wonderful man, I had coping mechanisms to help me when I was feeling anxious, and I was finally medicated to help deal with my depression and anxiety which before had completely consumed my life.

There was nothing left to talk about.

But life always has its ups and downs. I know that there may come a day when I will need to go back to her. That may be the result of a death in the family, another break up, financial struggles, or something completely unexpected.

So to answer the question “When are you finished with therapy?” I think no one is ever really done. You just enter periods of your life that are easier to manage on your own. But don’t feel bad about going back, starting your sessions back up, or asking for more help. Therapists and life coaches are there to give you advice, help you through the hard times, and get you back on your feet. They are an anchor in the angry sea of life. Allow them to ground you and guide you.


To find a therapist near you, check Psychology Today.

For more posts regarding my mental health journey, check out: Dealing With A Life Plateau, Things Become Okay, and Sunday Pep Talk | Trust Yourself.

Thank you for reading! Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat

In Case You Missed It | 2018 Blog Post Recap

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As this year comes to a close, it is a perfect opportunity to look back at the progess we’ve all made and the things we have created. I have gone back through my blog and reread all of my posts. I am still in disbelief that I have been able to stick with it for so long! I’ve amassed over 62k words just in ten short months of blogging here at Antiquarius. Below is what I feel are some of my best posts. Some of the newer followers here may have missed some of these older posts.

Please give them a visit if they spark your interest!


The Benefits Of Daily Meditation

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I Am

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Loneliness In Adulthood

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Things Become Okay

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Productivity Tips

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Bullet Journaling For Beginners

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Forgive Yourself

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How To Make A Motivation Board

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If you have any posts you’d like to share from your own blog during the year of 2018, link them down below!

If you want to see more content from a twenty-something living her (moderately boring) life, be sure to follow or subscribe through email so that I can bug you at all hours of the day and night about stuff and things!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Paracosms | Playing Pretend As An Adult

For most of my life I thought that I was clinically crazy. I thought that by imagining a reality that was separate from my own reality, I was maladjusted. It wasn’t until I read an article online that I understood what I have been doing my whole life, and it was surprising. I didn’t know there was a term for it. To me, it was something that I couldn’t control. I entered into a paracosm when I was alone, every single time. And it reached a point that I soon began paracosming in public too. It was all in my head, I knew it, but it didn’t help to stop the delusions. I used it to cope with my depression, but it was a coping mechanism that I could not control.

Before I go any further, let me explain what paracosms are. According to Wikipedia, a paracosm is a:

“detailed imaginary world. Paracosms are thought generally to originate in childhood and to have one or numerous creators. The creator of a paracosm has a complex and deeply felt relationship with this subjective universe, which may incorporate real-world or imaginary characters and conventions.”

To my understanding, a paracosm is an alternate reality in which a person lives. It is also sometimes referred to as maladaptive daydreaming. After learning this definition, I began to think that maybe all creative people, or at least authors, had to paracosm in order to create worlds. Phew, maybe I wasn’t crazy after all! But the importance of my paracosm, and I think what separates it a bit from a creative paracosm, is that mine was linked to my depression.

On bad days when I was feeling particularly hopeless, lost, and overwhelmingly sad, I would often retreat to this alternate reality that I created in my head. There, I had developed characters, locations, and storylines. Sometimes the people I imagined were people I knew in real life, other times they would be characters from video games and tv shows. I would talk to these imaginary people through whispers or soundless movement of my mouth. When I paracosmed, the four walls of the room I was in disappeared, and instead I was in another world. I could have been sitting at a bar, or in a park, or a gun range. The locations always changed, and the characters did too. Sometimes I would dress up to fall deeper into the false reality.

Are paracosms a creative tool that artists and actors use to make their art? Or are they a splintering of the mind, linked with mental disorders, depression, and escapism? Maybe it is a little of both. Once I started taking antidepressants, I stopped paracosming, but before that I entered my paracosm well into my twenties. To me, it was a little more than “Playing pretend”. It was a way to cope with my depression and my discontent with my reality.

How does this differ from a schizophrenic delusion? I knew what I was experiencing wasn’t real. I was able to convince myself it was real, but I always knew I was the creator of this false reality. A schizophrenic, especially one who is not diagnosed professionally, often cannot tell the difference between reality and not. I do not claim to be an expert in schizophrenia, but I have gathered this understanding from research as well as the videos I have seen on youtube with people who have been clinically diagnosed.


How many of you think you have experienced a paracosm? Leave your stories in a comment.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Things Become Okay

 

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Things become okay. And by okay, I mean you will eventually reach a point where you can function on a normal human level, keep up with your work, and enjoy the weekends like any self respecting person.

Things might not be okay right now. I get it. I’ve been there. Things might not be okay right now, but they will be.

When I was younger, I always assumed depression and anxiety were just things I’d have
to live with. They were a part of who I was as much as my flesh and hair. Until I sought help to deal with my mental health, I was not okay. I was very not okay. Until I started therapy and anti depressants, I was not a normal functioning human being, I wasn’t keeping up with my work, and I didn’t enjoy any days, let alone the weekends.

It always felt like the world was on Hyper. Any Final Fantasy fans will know what I mean by that. It felt like things were moving too fast and there was no way I was ever going to keep up. Even if I had a good day where I got a few things done, the next day would come and everything would build up again faster than I could manage it. Eventually I began to think what’s the point? 

On the bad days, I knew I needed help.

But then the good days came, and I would think, well, things are okay, so maybe it was just a bad day. I feel okay, so it seems stupid to start therapy. I feel okay.

But I wasn’t okay.

Just the fact that I was having bad days meant I wasn’t okay. And by bad days I don’t just mean I had a bad hair day, stepped in dog shit, and got the shits from eating a bad burrito. No. Bad days during depression are more like bad weeks. Long stretches of time
where things stop having meaning. A home stops being a home and instead is deconstructed to four walls slapped with some white paint. Friends stop being friends and instead just become people who tolerate you a little more than other people. And in your mind, everything sort of melts together like crayons in the sun. Instead of having a timeline of the future before you, where you tackle things one at a time, the line gets all jumbled up and suddenly you’re worrying about things that are thirty years down the line and not even guarantees yet. Yes, even time loses its meaning.

But things will become okay.

There are people in the world who are there to help. There are coping mechanisms for anxiety. And there are medications that will finally silence that voice in your head that is a constant reminder that you are somehow, spectacularly and miserably different from everyone else. The truth is, you aren’t. You are a human being just like everyone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if you feel that medications aren’t for you, there are ways to become okay. Find something that works for you. Reach out and ask for help, and things will become okay.


Take care, everyone, and don’t forget to take your medications.

Antidepressants Killed My Creativity

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I used to be very depressed, and very anxious. There was a voice in my head constantly berating me and degrading me, telling me I wasn’t enough and I shouldn’t even try. I projected that negativity onto everyone around me, but mostly I projected it onto myself. But that voice did something else too; it created incredibly complex scenarios in my head that fueled my creativity. After all, good art is complex, and often darkest before it begins to grow light.

The things that I produced were dark, flawed, and filled with emotion. Being on antidepressants has done wonders for my mental health, but since I started taking them six months ago, I haven’t been able to write on any of my fictional stories. The nonfiction seems to flow just fine. It’s part of the reason this blog is doing so well. I am able to put together coherent thoughts in the nonfiction realm, but when it comes to creating in that paracosmatic world that I so often lived, I find that my well of creativity has run dry. There is no desire in me anymore to work on those stories, because to get to that negative headspace again would be miserable. Oh sure, I created some interesting pieces of writing, but to do so I had to depress myself so entirely that I felt on the verge of mental collapse. I would isolate myself for months at a time, especially during the winter where most of my writing happened. I would research dark topics to fuel my ever growing imagination. I would let myself spiral down and down in order to create what I created.

It seems to be a difficult tossup. Be mentally stable, healthy, and produce orthodox blog posts, or let myself sink back into that tortured psyche and create vastly interesting fictional worlds. Some of the best writers in history were known to have suffered from excruciating mental problems. Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath. In one way or another, through drugs or simply lack of mental stability, these authors produced some of the most tortured works of fiction. After all, how can someone create such dark literature if they live in a world of light?

In some ways I feel like that darkness was a piece of who I was, and I owned it completely. By medicating myself to become more mentally and emotionally stable, I don’t quite feel like myself. Oh sure, I feel happy. Actually, I don’t really feel anything at all. The pills I take are quite enough to deaden all of my emotions, which has definitely helped me in the real world and dealing with my anxiety. But I don’t feel like myself. Because depression is something I identified myself with for so long that it became a part of who I was. Now without it, I look back at the life I lived and wonder if that was the truer life, the truer way to live, the reality which I was born into this world to suffer through. Am I learning the lessons I need to learn by dulling my emotions? Am I fulfilling my life purpose this way? What if my life purpose was to create beautifully dark fiction and then leave this world? Surely Edgar Allan Poe’s life purpose was not to become a successful accountant. No. His life purpose was to create great works of dark fiction. That was his gift that he was born into this world possessing.

Are we, in effect, disrupting the natural flow of destiny by making ourselves comfortably numb? Is it better to take the red pill and escape the matrix of our minds? To live with the pain and discomfort of mental instability in order to grow as humans and use our greatest gifts we as creators possess; our creativity and our imaginations?