Minor edit: This instructable isn't about being a morbid bastard (I get to say that I am one lol) and if you'd rather know why I wrote the whole thing first then skip to the last step.
So having been through a pretty bad spell that still appears to be ongoing I thought I'd share some of the things I've learnt in the past year or so, the instructable is aimed more at younger people, simply because I am one of them and it means it'll make more sense to them, that and younger people have two disadvantages, less life experience and stronger emotional responses.
Im hoping to cover dealing with quite a few things, bereavement, stress, big mistakes/accidents...
Also the first few steps are devoted to simply making your life a little better by making you feel better.
Now for helping friends I've added A friend in need is a friend indeed hopefully that'll help people help... Also I've pretty much started to lump all of the serious stuff instructables under the life series as I call it...
Step 1: Have a Better Day.
There are alot of things you can do to make your day a little better, most of them are really simple things that can do a great deal for you.
Leaving yourself little treats about the place is a great way to cheer yourself up, you'll not really notice them day to day but when you need them you'll be very pleased... Things like chocolate bars and the like, little sweets or something that cheers you up. I once left a creme egg sitting on the counter by the kettle for two weeks, had a bad day at work followed by an even worse series of events on a night out, I came home, tripping over the little garden light drunkenly and getting electrocuted again (It had no bulb due to the first incident). I got in to the kitchen to get a coffee while on the phone to an ex (yeeech is the best word to describe the conversation) and in the middle of shouting and bawling down the phone at her stopped and said 'ooh creme egg' I felt better looking at it by the time I'd finished it I was happy.
Take a minimum of five minutes a day to yourself, go somewhere you're not disturbed with your headphones and music, put your favourite song on and relax with a cup of coffee or a cigarette or whatever. This really does help you when you're feeling rough about stuff, even when you're good it's a nice thing to do and is similar to sleep you tend to sort stuff out in your head and feel better aftwerwards, the key is to not give a s**t about anyone of anything around you for those five minutes.
Step 2: Making Your Day Betterer.
Yes betterer, thats way better than making your day more better as far as grammatic innaccuracies are concerned...
So you're bored, or just moping, you need to get out and do something, take a walk, jog, cycle or drive, the whole point is just to escape the house and stretch your muscles. Personally I tend to try and get a bike ride in every day, it helps that I cycle to work, generally I go fast and hard until I'm ready to die, part of it is just to know you pushed yourself today, I got a new bike and was in the mood for some fun on the way home from work and using google maps averaged 25mph... this kind of fun is great, breaking a little personal record feels good... Just anytime you can get up and do something.
Every day for a wee while try and do something that you enjoy or get satisfaction from (guys that doesn't count) anything at all like drawing, making food, building something or even flirting with the pretty shop attendant (both of us agree that it's childish but who cares...) Just anything that makes you a bit happier afterwards.
Step 3: A Little Bit About Depression/general Unhappiness
So now we're going to delve in to the heavier stuff I thought a little bit about depression and being unhappy with life is appropriate.
There are alot of ways someone can be unhappy, they could be unhappy with where they are in life or they could have just lost someone or they could just be having trouble finding their placement in life (not a theological/spiritual thing at all, an entirely different thing altogether)
Depression can take alot of forms, someone who's depressed isn't someone who is constantly moping or thinking about ending it all, some do feel this way but for many it is something else altogether. One of the most common ways that depression will affect a person is lethargy and interruption to their sleep cycles, this is an effect that almost everybody will feel when depressed, in later steps I will explain how to help with this. Another very common effect is general apathy towards forward movement in your life, thinking 'I don't feel like work today' or 'school's just too much effort', these feelings tend to send people into a downward spiral if they don't fight them and eventually things snowball to the point of a breakdown. Another classic problem with depression is mood swings, not just being 'normal' then sad all of a sudden, one minute they can be on top of the world and the next can be screaming and raging for almost no reason whatsoever, well there are reasons they're just not apparent at the time.
Depression is caused by alot of things, msotly though it can be said that either loss or dis-satisfaction are to blame, if someone close to a person dies they fell grief which is one of the most painful and convuluted emotions we can feel, the world is wrong, it's bloody painful, I know but it does other things to you, it makes you angry and not angry like when someone hits you, it runs deeper than that and when the anger hits your skin prickles and you explode in to what can be termed as mass destruction most of the time. More so it depresses you, nothing means as much when you're depressed every thing is a little greyer than it was and you feel pretty damn lost, not lost like wandering through a field drunk asking 'Were we supposed to be going to belfast or North, wait which way is belfast?' you feel way more lost than that and you need grounded pretty quick. It's different when you're being crushed by a dead end job and you're not getting what you want from life, that kind of depression makes you apathetic and lazy at first then you start to get more depressed as the problems continue on making you feel worthless.
Ok I may have been a bit poetic about it but depression makes your emotions run alot deeper and sure as hell messes up your head.
Step 4: How to Deal With Anger
I guess I'm going to deal with anger first as it's easily the most destructive emotion felt, it makes your friends scared of you and alienates family.
Basically I can't tell you what the problem is here, you need to figure it out but until then you need to control your anger, this takes more willpower than you can believe in alot of cases. You need to take out your frustration on something, it can be anything within reason, my friend used to take his frustration out on cigarettes, he quite and two weeks later he got a broken nose and I got a fractured elbow, because he had no outlet, however he has found the joys of hard excercise. One of the best ways and an obvious way is to get a punching bag, I made friends with my little brother punchbag during the worst of it and it has ended up ripped, torn and put the garage roof through but it saved me breaking other stuff. Anger is a hard emotion to control but the old technique of cooling off helps alot, when your body is surging with the adrenaline rush of rage it's actually not that hard to walk away, just turn round and walk out the door, you will probably end up slamming it but hey better the door than a person, walk out of the house and go as far as you need, sit down and just chill, it really helps.
Sometimes dealing with your anger can be done simply by talking about the problem, I generally call my best friend in dire straits, I've known him since he and I were 6 months old so we're pretty close, also his dad's a minister so he does have some idea about helping people, he's really helpful because he simply sits there and listens, you just need someone that can listen and take you seriously but can bring a smile to your face at the same time.
A last word on anger:
If you're really having serious anger problem then I do suggest counselling or psychiatry, depsite me hating counselling for some unknown reason I eventually became friendly with my counsellor and we never have counselling sessions anymore (partly because I was forced into them) but when needed I can phone and get help, also I got involved in some great projects through her and the Marie Curie.
Step 5: You're Lazy and Apathetic!
If you're feeling tired all the time but can't sleep right due to depression the problem is suprisngly based in your body more than your brain (well the body side of your brain anyway) most of the time you're tired and lethargic due to the fact that you're depressed, you can't sleep at night for a whole other reason, you have unexpended energies, you have to excercise them away. This is really helpful and infinitely more healthy than sleeping pills. If you're having real trouble sleeping then a stint at the gym when you wake up then another stint of excercise just before bed will find you falling back into a more normal routine. Aswell as helping with sleep excercise will improve your mood and leave you feeling alot better than before you started, it's a good feeling to drip with sweat, feel every muscle burn, breathe deeply and smile.
To help deal with the apathy and lethargy side of things one of best things to do is to every day feel like you achieved something, nothing too big just simple things like figuring out how to get the cat to stop wasting food or the like will really help, doing something is better than doing nothing, even something destructive is better than nothing so If you getting rid of furniture or some such make sure it's flatter packed than when you got it (only twice have I achieved the ultimate flat pack, one involved jumping out of a second story window and the other involved a front loader).
There are other things that definitely help both of these problems at once, tidying your room helps immensely, apparently if you sleep in an untidy and disorganised room your mind can't get organised and also tidying your room feels good at the end of it, you'll feel proud of it. Another strange but helpful thing is ironing, it works on similar principles to the room tidying and as my mother put it 'ironing out the creases of your life', partly due to the ridiculous ironing pile. Yeah yeah a dude that irons, but someone's got to do my uniform and I noone in my life can put a proper crease in to parade uniform...
Ha! that image note works for everything...
Step 6: Feeling Blue?
So what the hell do you do when you're just feeling blue, this one is actually the easiest and quickest to help, but will come back if you don't get to the root of the problem.
Basically the easiest way to help with being unhappy is to get some endorphins on the go. So you know the way you get comfort food, well there's alot in that name, anything sweet or sugary will make you feel alot better, unless you're diabetic, then again the unless bit doesn't apply if you're low on sugar...
Having something like a sweet milky coffee is good, I remember a friend of mine after he got mugged, I got him home after meeting him and his mum said 'how about two sweet coffees' and through the tears he agreed after a few sips of coffee and a few jokes from his dad and I he was feeling much better just for some sugar and a laugh.
Humour is really helpful, it can't be that annoying kind of humour where they throw jokes you might go 'hmmphh' at if you were in a good mood, it needs to be something either really dumb or something you find really truly funny, as the laughter takes over you slowly feel better until you're lying on the floor breathless, clutching your stomach due to the laughing fit you just had. Failing that tickling them will help too. Being in the middle of attempting an instructable on humour with goodhart I found out that laughing has some interesting and very positive effects on the brain.
Another great thing to do to pick yourself up is to get some good fast music on and get hyped up to it then either go somewhere really fast or destroy something that needs destroyed...
Step 7: Ways to Help.
What could you do to repair your psyche to some degree?
Well if you've been feeling down about where you're going or not going in life as the case may be it's probably time to think about a new job, something you'll enjoy or at least get a big paycheck from...
If the world is boring you to tears then maybe you need to see something awe inspiring here's a list of amazing things to see:
- An active volcano
- Aurora Borealis (I really want to see that it's suppose to be great)
- A steam purge at a power station (well feel not see, it's like the world has come to an end)
- The engine room of a great ship (It's like nothing you can believe to see an engine twice the size of your house)
- Maybe see something blown up (It always amuses just don't get blown up, less amusing by far)
- Seeing half a country upside down in a plane you're flying is pretty sweet
- The edge of the abyss (you may need connections with either the holy spirit or lucifer or my cat)
That's just a start of some stuff that might wow you, you know what you'll want to see.
Step 8: Some Extra Little Tips
A few things to remember or try:
- Remember that you have skill and qualities others don't remind yourself of the fact that you have friends, they're worth more than Bill Gates.
- Try to achieve as much as possible every day and remember that the quicker you do something the more time you'll have for you, just don't waste time doing things badly or you'll not feel a sense of achievement.
- Expect the worst aim for the best, just remember when the s**t hits the fan things will look up again.
- Never ever think that you're not worth it or life's not worth, read the next step on all the crap I've learnt from without ever having had a suicidal thought, you're much better off being alive than dead, it's disturbing to think that people would do something so stupid, wasteful and futile.
- Try to establish a routine for the week, a loose routine, not anything too rigid as that would be called monotany, which is bad. Just have a general idea of your week, I for example know that on a wednesday night I'll be working, on a saturday night I will be out somewhere drinking most likely and on a friday I'll have a couple of beers with my brother after work. There's alot of comfort in routine.
Step 9: A Word From Our Sponsor Please...
So I'm just going to explain why I wrote this instructable which is kinda of importance to me. See my whole life went truly downhill just more than a year ago, on my dad's birthday he was told he had cancer, terminally so. I spent almost seven weeks out of school, he died seven weeks later, the next day I had to go in to school to get stuff (I wanted my art stuff) only to find the principal had totally disregarded the information given to her and screwed me for coursework and exams, weeks later I manged to get B, E, D in my As levels I am still very proud of being close to an A grade in media studies. The summer was complicated and messed up due to my long term gf who had turned in to a psychotic manipulative bitch.During a mini breakup she called to tell me a freind of mine had died, then asked if I missed her. I missed working with my dad and got drunk most days of the week, not good. On coming back in to school I had some trouble getting in to the swing of things and then we had a great trip, I basically broke up with the psycho before I left and that set the tone for the trip, which was freedom, six days in italy with cheap booze and being surrounded by beautiful dutch and german girls is very very bad for your school life. On the last day of the trip some of went out and got truly blootered, to the point where we were drunk on the plane ride home. A teacher told some lies about me, she said I threw my bag at her because she'd been wretched to us the whole trip, I turned round, dropped my bag and her a 'f*****g c**t who should go f**k herself considering not one single human being can stand five minutes with her' the other teacher agreed. After that I was suspended for a week and when I got back I had some trouble with the new art teacher who at first didn't get on with me, I had a meeting with my mum and the principal and vice principal, in which I nearly hit the V.P. and will some day I bump in to him. They said ' I had been taking advantage of my situation' referring to my dad... Not long after that I took a few days off to do art coursework, a teacher that's friendly with me phoned to ask where I was and the V.P. heard this somehow and I got flasel kicked out of school, the school put down that I left of my own accord and my signature was falsified, that's messed up. I did have a job but only 14hrs a week, I had alot of fights with my family aswell, the only thing that saved me from absolute lunacy was the fact that I went flying the day after I got kicked out, aerobatics clears one's head like nothing else...
basically I know what it's like to lose people, have sucky options on the horizon but hell I'm making the best of it all, I make alot of things go out alot and I'm going to tech in september.