I’ve spent time with my former post that listed my coping skills. I went through each one and looked with curiosity about what it actually was, asked if it was helpful, and how I felt during it and afterward.
I noticed there were several I don’t use often and several I don’t do well. But I practice them.
Most of the healthy lifestyle ones I feel better when I do them, experiencing an enhanced quality of life. Except exercising. No matter how long or hard I exercise I feel no endorphins, my depression doesn’t lessen long term, and I don’t lose weight. Why do it? Just cuz it’s healthy? Is that part of my values, or just worshipping at the god of wellness? Hmmm… Health is one of my values. And I like to feel and appear strong. At my weight appearing strong is impossible. So I’m left with feeling strong. Which hardly happens with my current strength training plan. Oh well?? I’m a companion to my mom as she spends time in the pool. Basically my only motivation. Should I continue exercising?
Most of my coping skills seem about lessening pain. A few, such as acceptance without judgement of thoughts and emotions, defusing from unhelpful thoughts, and riding the wave of emotion, send me through pain to the other side. So in a way they lessen pain, yet it’s through pain, not avoiding it. Only the daily breathing meditation seems unhelpful. I’m bad at it even after years of practicing. Most people are, a small comfort. It keeps me company as I fall asleep, which the tv could do… I could do a shorter regular meditation at another time. I find those helpful at church. I think I’ll try something else with that one.
So I guess I’ll keep going with all but one coping skill. I’ll tough out the exercise since it keeps my mom company, and a it’s a good time to talk if needed. Theoretically I enjoy the water. I’m not right now. Probably the depression’s anhedonia. And I’m bored easily by it. I’ll change the breathing meditation at bedtime to a regular meditation at another time, and I’ll use the tv as company while I fall asleep.
At least the others I can do more consciously now, knowing they help. On with it!