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self discipline as antidote for depression


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Old 21st October 2017, 7:02 AM   #1
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self discipline as antidote for depression

I have always had it relatively easy in life comparatively speaking. I don't have much self discipline because I never needed it. I didn't study & made A's in school. My job inherently made sense to me & I was blessed with an almost photographic memory.

I have also always suffered from depression ranging from low level to completely debilitating. Over the past several years it's been pretty bad & one of the things that has suffered was my memory & my weight.

Intellectually I understand that hard work is the best way to achieve any goal. At this point thought I'm pretty aimless in everything. My weight is up. My house is a mess. I'm behind at work. I'm tired all the time but not sleepy -- just fatigued, lazy, unmotivated etc.

My therapist keeps talking about "doing the work", choosing to be happy (like it's that easy ), and putting effort into getting & staying well rather than using my depression as an excuse to check out.

But how do I do that? At mid-life I now need to learn self discipline. This is stuff I should have learned as a child: clean your room before you go out to play. My parents never instilled that in me. There was no "do your homework." They asked if I did it. I lied & said yes. They didn't check. I threw something together in the morning on my bus ride. I got an A. Nobody checked.

So now where do I begin? I have a life long pattern of picking pleasure over work & taking the easy way out. Something has to change.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 21st October 2017, 1:13 PM   #2
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It really starts with small steps. Just wash the dishes or vacuum. That's a small tangible step. Cut out a beer or soda every day. Commit to being on time for every appointment for a week. Set small achievable goals every day and commit to following through. OP does your therapist give you homework? Hold you accountable? I've read alot of your posts over time and you seem to have alot of wisdom and insight. Alot of times we have the fuel. We just need help starting the engine and keeping our foot on the gas
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Old 21st October 2017, 1:17 PM   #3
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In the beginning she gave me home work but she hasn't in a while. I know some of what I need to do but it's overwhelming because there are so many aspects of my life that need attention / improvement.
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Old 21st October 2017, 1:27 PM   #4
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Over the years, when feeling challenged, I've gone back to the tool our MC shared with me prior to getting divorced when I was working on coping skills. His suggestion was pick one thing each day to succeed at and own that as the day's success. What I found was that, by keeping things simple, that success could energize interest in other success processes, maybe two that day instead of one. Etc, etc.

If you died today, would you want your epitaph to read "she kept a clean house"?

I used to deal with that stuff because of old parental messages that if I weren't perfect, I'd failed. The messages are still there, burned into the old brain matter, but I just process them differently now. That and getting old and 'whatever'...... life is too short to be a slave to others expectations or societal messages.
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Old 21st October 2017, 1:28 PM   #5
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That's why it starts in small steps. Even if you just improve 1 percent everyday. That builds little by little. May want to think about a new therapist who will really get into the nitty gritty of your issues. Hang in there OP. You give great advice on here. You know what needs to happen. It's just a matter of taking action
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Old 21st October 2017, 2:50 PM   #6
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I had similar experiences during my childhood / youth and I also struggle with the fact that I don't do a lot of things I want to do, or only much later.

I've found this book to be helpful: The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. That being said, it's a book. It can't do the work for you, but it shed some light on what's going on.

Now I'm looking at the program explained in this video, to take a more active approach.

Good luck
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Old 21st October 2017, 11:37 PM   #7
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I say setting a schedule for yourself is the best way to go. I use my phone to set a timer for one hour every day; that's all I'm allowed to spend on home entertainment (TV, video games, internet), two on days off. My other time has to be spent doing something to better myself or my situation. This could be anything like a creative hobby, cleaning, reading, exercising, friends, doing renovations, stuff that maintains my life and adds benefit to me.

Goals, goals, goals. You need to set them, because it feels amazing to accomplish something for yourself, and will further motivate you.
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Old 21st October 2017, 11:55 PM   #8
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how to be happy is what your asking? happiness is different for everyone

lobouspo finds happiness in daily tasks, accomplishing basic tasks to ease anxiety and give a sense of control(I would imagine)

Carhill, who I am more in line with finds happiness in confidence. find something your good at and nail for that day, week or month.

the only real input I can contribute is acceptance. to me the core thing I always have to remind myself of is that I am where I am in life by the choices I have made. I accept that I have what have, know who I know, and do what I do, by choice and I have to live my way.

I like everyone else have inner conflict, but if I own it, don't hide it, show authenticity and live by a code of honesty and believe what I do is right, fair, and sincere, I will weed out those who are bad(who effect me), and find those who are good for me, which will help me grow and become better.

Check out Maslow's 8 steps to self actualization.
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