A Mental Exercise

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I struggle with depression. On a daily basis. On an hourly basis. By the second it feels sometimes.

I constantly grapple with issues of self worth. Am I good enough? Do I deserve the life I have? When will it all fall apart?

Do I suck?

I endeavor to build myself up even as I tear myself down. It’s unrelenting, this struggle between the productive and destructive parts of my personality. It never ends, just me circling round and round in my head. It pisses me off, to be honest. I am tired.

And it’s not just me. The world has descended into darkness. A disease has swept across the globe, while a societal disease has finally revealed itself amongst the populace. People are afraid. Depression and anxiety are more prevelant then ever before. Or perhaps, more people are opening up about their experiences with depression?

So, as a mental exercise to help me in my constant struggle, I am now writing down a list of things I have achieved in my life, as a way to quantify to myself my continuing existence. This strategy is a result of a solid conversation with my therapist, who uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and has thus far been so helpful in building my mental health.

So here is what I am and what I have accomplished:

  1. Indigenous
  2. Elementary school graduate
  3. Highschool graduate
  4. College graduate
  5. University attendant (maybe a story in there about those days)
  6. I have read thousands of comics
  7. I have read hundreds of novels (I read War & Peace! Not many can say they’ve done that in my circle)
  8. I grew up bathed in Rock & Roll, I was molded by it.
  9. I also enjoy other music, now that I have more exposure to different musical styles.
  10. I love Transformers (toys, er, action figures, cartoons and comics. Movies, not so much, but the animated movie of 1986 was the BOMB, Go Rodimus Prime!)
  11. I am a cat person. I have now one cat I prize above all others, named Wesley. He is my constant companion and cannot bear to be long parted from me, nor I him.
  12. I have grown up watching television (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, OG Battlestar Galactica + new series, the A-Team!, Night Rider, among others)
  13. I am a feminist
  14. I fully support LGBTQ+ (find yourself. be happy)
  15. I support issues of Indigenous sovereignty and self-government
  16. I am gainfully employed (15 years now)
  17. I was reluctantly dragged into the digital age by my S.O. (but now that I’m here, I kinda enjoy it)
  18. I am a Gamer (Gods, I love games! RPGs, boardgames, video games)
  19. I was Santa Claus once
  20. I was an advocate for my elderly mother, which lead me into guardianship and trusteeship (one of the most difficult periods of my life, but ultimately the most rewarding)
  21. At age 46, I wrote my first novel! (Humanity’s Best, buy it on Kindle and Amazon!)
  22. I am Caring
  23. I am Compassionate
  24. I am funny (at least, I think I’m funny)
  25. I am a tender lover (so I’ve been told)
  26. I am a survivor of mental abuse
  27. I am a survivor of physical abuse
  28. I have sought help when I was at my lowest
  29. More importantly, I have ACCEPTED the help that was offered. That is a big one
  30. I actively try to maintain my mental well being
  31. I love coffee
  32. I love my S.O. (you the best!)
  33. I am a geek (but not a nerd, not smart enough for that)
  34. I am Gen X (& proud!)
  35. I am a writer
  36. I am not spiritual (I am not sure if that is a good thing but it is what it is)
  37. I am a humanist pessimist (We are not special, merely one species of many that walk or crawl or fly on this planet)

Damn.

That is a lot more than I expected. I am sure that I could add more but I don’t want to come across as self-aggrandizing. I suppose I could add Humble to the list. Or Sarcastic.

I am sure that by tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, depression will find it’s way back into my mind. That is the way of depression. But for now, I am feeling better. I am happy.

To those that read this, try making a list about yourself, this has been a valuable tool to make one realise one’s self-worth.

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