how much (self-help) is too much?

It drives me crazy that no matter what I try, no matter what I do or how hard I work, the heaviness and numbness and overall feeling of meaninglessness that is part of depression just keeps sneaking back into my life. I really think I’m doing all I can:
I’ve seen therapists, psychiatrists, healers, bodyworkers; I meditate, I do yoga and aerial yoga, I run, I got all kinds of addictive and self-harming behaviours under control, I own a whole library of self-help books (and actually worked through most of them)… and the list goes on.
And still, here I am, again, knowing exactly that there are so many beautiful things in and about life and that I have so much to be grateful for, but all I can feel is a seemingly endless amount of heaviness in my heart and the fear that I might actually never feel good without any underlying negative emotion. And all I want is just one day, or even just a few hours of pure happiness, something to remind me of the existence of happiness, and of what it feels like. That it doesn’t always have to be mixed with a subtle yet undeniable feeling of „I don’t deserve this“ or „something’s missing“ or „something’s off“, or some other kind of undefined heavyness. Just a couple of moments to remember, something to keep me going.
Believe me, I know that giving up is not an option, but I’m just so exhausted from trying everything and getting nowhere. They say depression can be treated, that if you treat depression, success rates are actually pretty high, but why do I feel like for me, this will just go on forever?
Am I doing enough? Or is it more like, maybe, I am doing too much? Am I trying too hard? But if that is the case, how do I figure out which of all these things I’m doing are the ones I should drop (for a while) and which of them are essential? Neither my head nor my heart are of any help, both of them feel like nothing helps.

On a side note: Like I said, I know that I have a whole lot of things to be grateful for. My life – when you look at it from the outside – is far from bad.
But depression is a funny thing that doesn’t follow any kind of logic. Knowing that I have a lot to be grateful for actually makes me feel even worse because I’m beating myself up for not being able to FEEL happy/good about anything. It’s an endless circle of blaming myself for not doing better, for not trying harder and at the same time knowing that I have been working on myself for a long time and nothing seems to really work.

Btw… decluttering my apartment (one of the many strategies I’m trying) feels kind of liberating, I love the tidiness and the space and all, but I’m still waiting for a real shift to happen. It’s actually more the result than the process that feels good. Clutter makes me nervous. It makes my mind feel claustrophobic.
More details about the decluttering process will follow when I can focus a little better, which I hope will be soon. For now I’ll leave you with a handful of first „after“ impressions.

IMG_0596declutterIMG_0595declutter IMG_0601declutter IMG_0602declutter

And the struggle of „not enough, or too much?“ continues.
After reading my initial post about the decluttering experiment, the lovely Kathleen recommended another book:
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, which, according to its description, is supposed to help you decide what is absolutely essential and what is not, and then how to get rid of everything that is not so you can totally focus on the things that matter.
When I read the description, I felt like „okay, this is EXACTLY what I need to read right now“. Because maybe this book will help me decide which of all of my tools and techniques are essential and which of them I should let go of (at least for the time being)?
BUT: It’s another book to read, another thing to try. It might be exactly what I’ve been looking for, but it might as well be one more thing that keeps me in my overwhelmed state, because I remember this feeling of „THIS is the book/technique/thing/whatever that will make all the difference“, and up until now, this expectation has then never been met.
So, to order that book or not to order it, that’s the question…?!

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6 Comments

  1. interessanter blog, denn auch ich habe viele erfahrungen mit depressionen machen müssen in meinem privaten umfeld. super, dass du das thema hier so intensiv verarbeitest!

    liebst, lena von http://zwei-sachen.blogspot.de

  2. Ich finde es super, dass du hier so offen schreibst :) Ich habe mit diesem Thema zum Glück noch keine Erfahrungen machen müssen :)
    <3 Anna
    http://www.whenanna.wordpress.com

  3. Ich glaube auch das ein weiterer Punkt den du zu deiner Liste zufügen kannst der ist, das du hier so offen deine Gedanken teilst. Toll das du das kannst, das würde vielen bestimmt schwer fallen.
    Liebe Grüße, Mona von Belle Melange

  4. Ich liebe so offene Posts!
    Es ist schön das du deine Gedanken mit den Menschen teilst, die deinen Blog lesen.

    Liebe Grüße
    Justine

  5. Solche Postings braucht die Welt. Ich habe vor einiger Zeit auch über meine psychische Erkrankung geschrieben. Ich persönlich finde es tut einfach gut manchmal sein herz so offen auszuschütten und diese Beiträge können anderen einfach auch helfen sich zu öffnen. Daher Daumen hoch und weiter so!!
    Aber ich kenne das was du beschreibst. Dinge die man liebt, machen nur noch halb soviel Spaß – wenn überhaupt. Man ist müde, aber nicht „ich will ins Bett“-Müde, sondern des „lebensüberdrüssig“-müde. Mir hilft es auch aufzuräumen, aber auch sport treiben funktioniert bei mir. Ich muss beschäftigt sein um auf andere gedanken zu kommen. Aber wenn ich abends im bett liege kann es immer wieder zusammenbrechen.
    Aber wie heißt es immer: niemals aufgeben!

    Liebe grüße
    http://hydrogenperoxid.net

    • melanie

      hi anni,
      magst du vielleicht mir vielleicht den link zu deinem erwähnten beitrag geben? ich konnte ihn auf deinem blog irgendwie nicht finden und würde ihn echt gerne lesen! und danke für deine lieben worte :)

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