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Giving up during simple tasks

So... my task for the evening is: vacuum my new bedroom and put fresh sheets on the bed. Both are tasks I dislike and I can feel my brain going into avoidance mode before I've even begun them. I think setting some very firm boundaries on these tasks might be helpful. Also, I'm going to put music on that I can listen to as a distraction. I may need to change the bag in the vacuum cleaner, so I'm going to set a time limit of 15 minutes for vaccuming and 10 minutes for changing sheets...

ETA: Got both tasks done. Zero enjoyment/ sastisfaction throughout tho. Didn't do a very good job of cheerleading myself either. But I guess at least setting very firm boundaries for both tasks made them "manageable" enough for me to grit my teeth and just power through them. Going to try and do some positive self-talk now about having done a good job...
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So, maybe this is just hallmark depression and it just is what it is, but one thing that's driving me nuts with this episode of major depression is my absolute tendency to just "give up" in the middle of even seemingly simple tasks.

Like doing the dishes... only 2 or 3 dishes in, I'll be flooded with feelings of hopelessness, pointlessness, uselessness and I'll just give up, close to tears.
Exact same thing happens to me with Stress Cup stuff. But rather than depression being the root cause, I’m getting spiking symptoms (emotional dysreg, inability to perform simple tasks, can’t “understand” the purpose because I’m in survival mode and who the hell does laundry when the house is on fire -see below-, etc.) because my cup runneth over. And helloooooo symptom earth shattering kaBOOM.

But whether implode & collapse -or- explode & collapse?

Not even thinking about doing anything before I’ve blown off stress first? Helps.

The catch22 being if blowing off stress = any thinking or measured action on my part? It’s ALSO too much. >.< Which is why Inhave to build up routines that blow off stress in my life, even when I don’t “need” it, so that they just happen without my needing to think. Because sometimes? Boiling water to then add to ramen? Putting on my shoes before going running? Are just too many steps.

When I stop doing the things that I enjoy? Am even struggling to do the things I need? It’s a reeeeally bad sign that I am either deep in survival mode or depression.

Survival mode, for me, is comparatively easy. It’s mostly stress cup stuff. Lower my stress & I tend to back off from living in the moment, and can actually start living my life, again. I use the example fairly often of explaining survival mode like a house on fire. Do you stop to put another load of wash in the machine and sit and match socks when your house is on fire? Of course not. That would be terminally stupid. Instead you grab your loved ones and get the f*ck out of the burning house. The problem with survival mode? All my everything is reacting like the house is on fire... when it’s a perfectly lovely day. Not a spark in sight. Just TRY telling my brain that :banghead: So it’s a constant battle to stop during the house fire lovely day to do a load of laundry. Or take a shower. Or cook dinner. An exhausting battle. That isn’t even worth fighting for needed things, much less “fun” things.

Depression I’m pretty damn clueless on. I’m sure there’s some kind of way to deal with it. I haven’t found one, yet.
It’s vexing as hell. Try folding the laundry when every instinct is screaming at you with the same intensity that the house is on fire. Do you reach for the next shirt and casually fold it when your house is actually of fire? f*ck that noise. That’s a whole ‘nother brand of crazy (that at least I can be grateful for not having). You grab the people you love best, and maybe even a few you love least ;) and exit at speed. You don’t just stand your happy ass in front of the stupid clean clothes and look for matching socks.

((As an aside, this is why ALL my socks match. Same brand, same color, just dumped by the armload into the same drawer. No matching required. Open a drawer, grab 2. When 1 wears out? Toss it. Buy new ones? Add ‘em to the drawer. I refuse to spend even 1 iota of self control -or second of time in my life wasted- matching socks. Nope. Huh-uh. Ain’t gonna happen. Not when I’m doing well, and no way in hell if every alarm in my head is screaming at me.))
I'm having a bad day today. I've not even started any tasks yet. Giving up before I've even begun.
Another 24 hours has passed, your animals are alive, your house didn't fall down.
You had a good "spoonless" kind of day.

and this whole giving up before you got started bs- pretty normal for major depression so, you had a normal kind of day.

Should probably not measure your days at all really. i know T's are all "keep track and you'll see your good days are more than bad" and blah blah blah garbage but depression means it really doesn't matter what you do, its gonna feel like a shit day.

major depression (and ptsd) means simple small tasks are huge and complicated.
so, you aren't giving up on small tasks- you're trying and attempting to accomplish crazy difficult tasks.

find a positive- daily. Even if all you got doesn't feel good enough, the habit starts to rewire your brain.

rewards after each task.
i also use the "it's actually only a 5 minutes task"
and my P-doc once said just do it so it stops causing you so much anxiety.

sometimes they work, sometimes not, one day one works, the next day it doesn't.

also, did you ever enjoy vacuuming? like 1% of the population, probably less, actually ever enjoys this crap!
I'm still struggling with the giving up during simple household tasks thing. Depression symptoms are still really bad.

I'm thinking of radically simplifying my household. Ever since my depression got this bad, I've basically not been using 95% of the things in my house. My days are so limited that I just keep up a routine of the bare basics and only interact with 5% of the things in my house.

So, I'm thinking of putting those 95% of things that are currently useless to me and that are only a burden that I need to keep tidy but am failing to... in boxes and just storing them out of the way so that I don't have to deal with them.

This depression has been going for 7 years now (with the last three years being the worst) and I think I need to accept that this depression is here to stay for a while. I keep trying to cling to my "old life" and somehow get rid of the depression so I can go back to my old life, but it's not working. I think I need to accept that for the immediate future, depression is part of my life and I need to adjust to this new normal.

I think I also need to radically start adjusting my yardstick of how I judge my situation. I keep comparing myself to my old life and of course, the comparison sucks. Compared to before, I'm getting "nothing" done. I need to start applying depression standards that are more realistic. If I eat food, brush my teeth, have a shower, etc, then I'm getting stuff done and that's not "nothing".
Flip things to positive from negative. It's not what you didn't get done - its what you did get done.

Plan a treat or celebration for completing a task, not just looking at all that still needs doing.
So, my new T gave me homework to help specifically with depression, which I'm going to start trying out today. Basically the aim is to split each hour into 3 lots of 20 minutes and spend one third of the hour doing "physical" things, one third resting (but really resting, not checking my phone or going online or watching TV) and one third doing "mental" activities.

He said, of course you can't always do that - for example if you're at work, or if you have a task to do like grocery shopping that's going to take a full hour, say. But to just do my best to apply this 3 x 20 minutes approach wherever I can and to do my best at alternating between these three aspects, in situations where I can't stick to the 20 minute thing.

So, my first 20 minutes of "physical" stuff have been - doing some dishes, vacuuming one room, tidying a bit, putting a load of washing on. T's point about limiting each task to 20 minutes is that he says doing more will feed back into the cycle of exhaustion with depression. And even resting more than 20 minutes feeds back into that negative cycle cos you either get sluggish or get stressed cos you end up ruminating about negative thoughts.

Not sure what writing about this counts as - I'm assuming it's a "mental" activitiy. So I guess I should go and get actual rest now for 20 minutes...
Hmm... this new 3 x 20 minute thing is going quite well. There's a few hiccups, but I think I can iron those out over time.

I'm just finishing my 2nd hour of it and one thing I'm noticing tho is... where is the time where I get to dissociate...??

That's such a big part of every day for me that it feels very unsettling to be spending large chunks of time with basically no "down-time" for my brain in terms of dissociation... Sigh... I guess dissociation is a maladaptive coping strategy...? It feels like a very integral coping strategy to me, tho. Not really sure I can adjust to a life where dissociation is basically cancelled out... Ugh...
That's such a big part of every day for me that it feels very unsettling to be spending large chunks of time with basically no "down-time" for my brain in terms of dissociation... Sigh... I guess dissociation is a maladaptive coping strategy...? It feels like a very integral coping strategy to me, tho. Not really sure I can adjust to a life where dissociation is basically cancelled out... Ugh...
That's the point! Because PTSD at its base......is yesterdays trauma seeming like its still happening today.

Healing is like pulling the Velcro of yesterday and today apart, and you need a sense of today to start that process.
So, I'm doing a bit better on this... Got my meds sorted out and depression is more manageable now.

One thing I've really been struggling with is motivation - the "why" of why should I do any given task like the dishes or taking the trash out or paying a bill or whatever.

Today I realised a really important reason: If "adult" me completes a chore or and errand, then it makes life for "inner child" me so much easier, safer and more comfortable.

I'm not sure why that wasn't obvious to me before...?

Helping my inner kid to feel safe and happy is a great motivation for me to get any number of cruddy and unpleasant tasks done asap with minimal fuss.


(Image is my own)