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Struggling a little :/

Hi guys, 


I wanted to start a new thread because I have been struggling a lot lately to get through the day. I'm currently at uni, but I have a very strong feeling of wanting to go home and just not do anything today. My motivation is completely lacking. I am supposed to meet up with a friend for lunch today, and as much as I love her dearly, I just can't be bothered to be around anybody. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to do anything (which is very unlike me because I love to study and I'm a very proactive person). I am also supposed to go to a piano lesson this afternoon but I just don't want to either. 


I have been depressed for a few months now, and I am trying my very best to continue getting up and doing the normal activities that I need to get through the day, but I'm finding it especially difficult today for some reason. I know that these are the things I need to do to eventually feel better, but it's so tough when you feel completely blue. It's like I'm experiencing life from underwater, and everything feels distant. I can't connect to anyone or anything, which isn't a very nice feeling. 


What do you guys normally do when you're feeling low to help yourself re-engage with your life and persevere through tough days? 


Re: Struggling a little :/

hey @queenP I'm sorry to hear your feeling pretty down at the moment. Proud of you for coming to get support though. 

Has anything changed for you recently that sparked the change in your motivation? 


For me personally when I'm feel really eh and unmotivated I will write down the 3 most important/time urgent things I need to get done and tick those off for the day. Even if I only did those 3 things, it helps me to feel like I'm still on track with my normal life/responsibilities. I think it's referred to as 'eating your frogs' or something weird and even just ticking a few things off tends increase motivation. 


With regards to seeing your friends, do you think continuing to see them will support you through your hard days? I think it is 100% ok to cancel plans and take time out if you're not feeling it but we also know how important a support network can be so I think you would need to ask yourself 'is this an obligation or is this going to help me'. 


Don't spread yourself too thin trying to rebuild all of it at once because it's exhausting and eventually demotivating. Are you able to speak with a GP or someone about how you are feeling with regards to your depression as well?


Hope this helps Heart sending you big hugs




Re: Struggling a little :/

Hi @queenP 

Thank you for making this thread- one thing that is so valuable about peer support is that it is a two way street: you can seek support as well as offer support! Thank you for having the courage to reach out Heart


It sounds like motivation has been a big challenge at the moment. It's a tough one! Like you said, doing things in your routine is helpful in recovery, but is also really hard to find the motivation for somedays Heart It can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill- it hurts to move and get started, but once you get to the peak of the hill and push the boulder over, it gains momentum!


One thing that I really resonate with is when you mentioned: "It's like I'm experiencing life from underwater, and everything feels distant. I can't connect to anyone or anything". That is such a tough experience, to be in an environment and feel really disconnected. I know that there are days where I feel this way too- I hope you are able to find some tools that work for you to reconnect Heart


When I was working in inpatient mental health, a lot of young people I worked with had that feeling of disconnection from their body, the environment and others, and we used a lot of stimming, grounding techniques and tactile strategies to help bring a sense of connection back.


We had different tools that each connected with the five senses such as holding cold ice cubes, playdough/or tough slime, fidget toys, spicy foods, weighted blankets, massage chairs, squishes, incense, and expressive activities like painting, drawing, music, drumming and writing. Reconnecting with the senses helped to bring awareness back to the body- the more disconnected someone felt the more we used the strategies that really shocked the nervous system such as the cold ice or spicy foods. Getting reconnection to the body and environment  then helped the young people I worked with engage in the activities they needed to do to support their wellbeing Smiley Happy


Have you found anything that helps you to reconnect with your body and environment?


Re: Struggling a little :/

Thanks so much @Jess1-RO and @lennycat2017 for your kind and thoughtful responses. I really appreciate your support and empathy. 


@lennycat2017 I sent the friend that I cancelled on a message to explain why I was cancelling and she completely understood (she even suspected that that might be why I was cancelling anyway). I think connecting with my friends is something I really need to make time for and strive to do - I know that once I see them, I always enjoy our time together and it doesn't feel like such a struggle. 


I have a good working relationship with my GP, so I have been seeing him weekly to discuss my mental health. I have also been seeing a psychiatrist once every 3 weeks to sort out some medication to help me. Likewise, I just started back with my psychologist. He has been away for 5 weeks on leave, which was very tough for me, but I am hoping that reconnecting with him and doing weekly sessions will help me out. I know that my OCD is the cause of my depressive symptoms, so in my eyes I feel as though the more help I get for that, the better my mood will be. 


@Jess1-RO Thank you so much for those practical tips. I gave the ice cubes a try yesterday as per my psychologist's suggestion. I bought some putty back when I was struggling with some skin-picking OCD a while ago, so I might pull it out again and see if that's helpful while I am at uni. I don't go much on spicy food, but I love sour food, do you think that intensity might have the same effect? 


Also, I am struggling at the moment with self-harm, which is not something I have ever engaged in before in my life and it is not a habit I want to sustain. Does stimming help as an alternative to this? 


Re: Struggling a little :/

Hey @queenP 


How are you feeling today? I just caught up with this thread and it sounds like you've been lacking motivation and feeling a little sad recently, yes? It seems like you have received great support from @Jess1-RO and @lennycat2017. I really like @Jess1-RO's analogy about pushing a boulder up a hill, which gets much easier once you reach the peak. Even though its hard, you just need to keep "pushing," pushing through the hard feelings and thoughts, and pushing to achieve contentment and do the things you'd usually do. Of course, it's good to take a break, listen to your body and mind, but then pick yourself back up tomorrow and keep pushing. You will get there eventually. Honestly though, It seems like you are already pushing. You are doing all of the right things. You are posting on here for peer support, you have been seeing your GP weekly, have started seeing a psychiatrist, and you have booked in with your psychologist now that they're back. You are pushing and you probably don't even know it. You should be very proud of yourself, that takes a lot of courage. So, well done to you!


In terms of self-harm, I'm personally not sure if stimming will help, but it is worth trying. We have another thread here about self-harm alternatives. Have a read Smiley Happy. I also found this link which I think might be useful for you (note no. 144 and 145 aren't relevant for Australians). I think "the butterfly project" and "the hug theory" are great ideas. What do you think? Do they seem like good ideas to you too?


Also, I'm not sure if you've considered calling a helpline when you feel tempted to SH? They might be able to distract you, help you, and provide you with alternatives. See here for some helpline options. 


Thinking of you tonight. Heart


Re: Struggling a little :/

Hi @Maddy-RO, thank you for checking in. I was feeling a little bit rough this morning, but I had a great check in with my Mum and talked to her at length about some of my feelings and that made me feel a lot more connected to her. 


I had some sh urges today, but I tested out some alternative strategies and they worked pretty well! I have been using cold ice-cubes when I am at home, and squeezing putty when I am at uni or travelling on public transport. It has been very helpful. I haven't tried a helpline for these specific feelings, but I have organised a safety plan with my Mum for when I am feeling unsafe, and will definitely incorporate helplines into this as an added layer of support when I can't reach my family. 


I bought a whole heap of putty and fidget toys today to help me feel a bit more connected to my body, and I am feeling a little more hopeful today than I have been at the start of this week.


I find that Tuesdays are always difficult for me, as this is the day after I go to see my psychologist and do a lot of emotional and mental heavy lifting. I'm going to try and put some more effective strategies in place to make the come-down from this a little easier. 


Thank you for all of your support, I really appreciate it Heart


Re: Struggling a little :/

Hi @queenP !
I think it's amazing that you were able to have a good check in like that with your mum and that you felt connected in the end. I'm really glad to hear that.

I've heard that cold ice-cubes can really help! They kind of 'shock' you into just focusing on the coldness in your hand. Is that how you feel?

It sounds like you are being very proactive with your self-care and safety. I'm really glad to hear that as well. You mentioned putty, do you like slime as well? I love slime but it's so expensive to get the really nice ones shipped out here to Aus!

Here for you Heart

Re: Struggling a little :/

Hi @missep, thanks for your support.


Yes, that's exactly how it feels! I've made a pact with myself that I'm not allowed to do something else until the whole icecube is gone, and by that time I'm normally feeling a lot better. 


I'm not exactly sure, what is the difference between slime and putty? hahaha 




Re: Struggling a little :/

Wow @queenP you're being so effective by using the ice-cubes, it's awesome!! Smiley Very Happy


I have a feeling that slime is more..watery than putty, but I might be wrong, haha

// Spiral outward, keep going. //

Re: Struggling a little :/

@letitgo ahhh I see. In that case, I prefer putty, I like to be able to dig my fingernails into it and really go to town Cat LOL


I bought this weird poly dough yesterday, its quite firm but the little bubbles of polystyrene make it very textured which is great.