sometimes i like to mess around in the kitchen. sometimes my recipes will come out of a cookbook like the joy of cooking;other times they will come out of my head. sometimes the results are pleasurable and tasty, other times not so much. all of the recipes have something in common, the list of ingredients that get used in making the creation.
similarly, depression has a list of ingredients that goes into making depression. i believe that many of the ingredients in any depression are similar. sometimes someone will use a pinch of guilt, other times a dash and still other times, someone will use a full teaspoon. ingredients may even vary within someone’s cycles; maybe one time grief drives the depression and in another one, life’s pressure becomes the catalyst.
these are some of the ingredients that go into my depression. i left off amounts because sometimes my depression likes to “season to taste”.
i lack self value
poor self care
something/someone doesn’t want me happy
chemical imbalance in my brain
pressures of the world
pressures from within
sometimes the ingredients get mixed together and create an even bigger mess. as the ingredients rise, sometimes a narrower thought process begins to form. the circle of friends begins to shrink, the ability and desire to reach out begins to decrease, the thought processes become more and more one dimensional. if this blob is left to rise too long, such life disasters, like isolation and suicidal ideations will begin to fester.
unfortunately, once the ingredients are mixed, there isn’t much that can be done to stop the blob. left on it’s own, the blob will continue to grow and grow and grow. but, just like a baker who beats down the rising dough at just the right time, there are things that can be down to beat back depression. some examples are exercise, getting the thoughts out of the head, do something fun, change things up a bit, anything to beat back the one-dimensional thoughts that tend to rule depression.
but remember, you are the cook in your kitchen of life. try to control the ingredients that go into the pot and even the ingredients that get kept in the kitchen. try not to do things like store the vinegar in the same container as the baking soda; it will just create a big mess.
what are your ingredients of depression? what are some things to keep out of your pot? your kitchen? what are some things you can do to be like the baker and beat down the blob of depression once it has started to grow?
My main ingredient is any disapproval from my spouse or father.
Yah, now that i think of it, disapproval/ judging ends up in my stew pot, too.
This reminds me of what my therapist calls the “block effect”. You have one block (guilt) and you’re okay. Add another (poor body image), you’re still kind of okay but less stable. But at some point you add too many blocks and they fall over. Boom. My biggest boom blocks, or key ingredients in my depression soup, are loneliness and anger triggers. Whenever I become angry, it turns into embarrassment, and then sadness. I very much wish I could avoid those triggers more often!
thanks tearlines for your comment. i tried to make my list of ingredients comprehensive, but as other people comment, i realize other stuff goes in my depression soup. someone with a unknown gluten intolerance has horrible reactions to wheat flour and may not even recognize it. Perhaps a similar thing happens with the ingredients in the depression soup; we add ingredients not even recognizing the effect they have on us.
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