A leaf on the breeze: Hi everyone. I... - Mental Health Sup...

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A leaf on the breeze


Hi everyone.

I feel pretty low today. Partially this is because I'm bored. I'm working my notice period and I'm being given very little to do. I'm spending my days at work twiddling my thumbs, with the exception of my lunch breaks (like now....). I have no objection to being paid not to do much, but I get frustrated thinking about the more productive and confidence building things I could be doing outside work. I would take leave, but I don't have any to take...

More generally, it still takes such a monumental effort to do anything sometimes. My mind has become a thoroughly well-oiled positivity filter. It dispatches any achievements or positive thoughts about myself for six with ruthless efficiency, so it can get back to dwelling on screw-ups and failures. I know this is all included in the whole depression subscription package, and I know how to deal with it. It's just that....I wish I didn't have to. I know it's pointless to pine for normality, but I can't help it sometimes. I have to laugh morbidly to myself when I hear people talking about their aspirations for their lives. Mine is to one day not have to hold a mental fist fight with myself every time I have to or want to do something.

I don't really help myself either. I demand perfection of myself, constantly. I seem to want to be emotionally superhuman, in a way I would never expect of anyone else. I think I just want to make a difference, pretentious and pious as that sounds. People talk about dying with no regrets, dying with no regrets for me would be to know that I changed things, that I helped people, that they felt better about themselves because of me. I think that's probably an unrealistic expectation to have of myself, but I don't know what I would replace it with.

If anyone else said what I've just written, I would be heartened by it. Coming from myself, I suspect I sound like a self-righteous **** (insert swearword of your choice). It seems arrogant to think I have that much influence on others, or to think that I am anything other than a leaf on the breeze of life. It's like I've had so much exposure to people who have twisted everything about me into a negative, that I've actually started to do it myself.

Anyway, back to the thumb-twiddling. Just needed to let that go....


14 Replies

Hiya! How long until you finish? Do you get any days off before your next job starts?

I'm rather enjoying the first day of my two week break! Sorted some plumbing out under my sink this morning, now I'm having a toastie and watching the news. Bit of gardening this afternoon and may pop to see the oldies later.

I know what you mean about the need to feel super human. When you're depressed it's easy to forget that actually, it's fine to have a crap day! Hope the afternoon is not too painful for you! X

Photogeek in reply to Suzie40

Lucy enjoy your days, pottering about is great.



Hello you. I've got four weeks, minus bank holidays. So actually only 16 working days left. It's just going interminably slowly.

Glad you're having a good day. Aren't the kids full of manic energy?

Hi Themys just relax you are leaving that job soon. Yes I do think you

Put unrealistic expectations on yourself. I did that too, but through therapy I learned

That it's fine to be ok. When I start comparing myself to others , I pull myself

Up and say " you are ok" .

Themys this may sound trite but hoping to change the world is a it unrealistic . So

Just be you, don't put pressure on yourself,


I was thinking this afternoon that maybe something more realistic would be to try and be...how do I put this...A positive presence in the lives of people around me? You know, the sort of person who brightens the day a bit. I'd like to be that sort of person.

How are you at the moment Hannah?

Hey u r that sort of person already!

On here how many people would have felt a little better or a little lighter after one of ur messages!?

I know I have!

Big bear hug x

I second what Nikki (Ms Sad) just wrote. You are exactly that kind of person already Will. You DO brighten my life, you ARE a positive presence. I think you do need to work at getting a balance though Will as it is great to brighten other people's days but really I'm not happy with such a lovely person as you being so hard on themselves. I have tendencies to being like that myself and I think it could come from our backgrounds and the expectations that we put on ourselves.

Lots of hugs ((((((())))))))) gemmalouise X

Thank you. I know I need a better balance...I think it's so ingrained that it won't change overnight. I'm already better at knowing when I need to draw back than I used to be :)

Themys you are a positive presence in the world. You

Always brighten up my day Themys . You are so pragmatic and

Kind at the same time, don't ever change. It will be a lucky

Woman's who meets you.

I'm ok Themys, not perfect but doing a few things and pottering



Aw thank you Hannah. The same goes for you as well. I always see you replying to other people's posts.

Replying about pottering around reminds me of a Lennon quote: "Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted."


Hi Themys

Oh that is awful isn't it, hanging around doing nothing for long periods of time yet having to still be there - I spent far too much of my own life doing that in mind destroying jobs. How much longer do you have to go before you can leave? I wonder whether there is anything you can do - read discreetly, draw up a plan of what you want to do in future, dream about what you might be doing if you did not have to stay there and write about that, write your life story - anything that gets you involved in something that takes your mind out of having to be there would help.

Oh yes, I know that feeling about constantly putting myself down and so easily dropping into negative comments about myself! I think that pattern stems from anger - it is a kind of refusal, as if you are saying 'I won't feel better' and is a learned habit - based upon not having felt of sufficient value. It is interesting that you write about wanting to make a difference - there is nothing pretentious about that. You can do that here for a start, help people who write here, they will tell you when you have been of help and at least you will know that for a few moments you have made a difference. We all need to matter to others, it's a basic human need that so many of us who become depressed did not have met during our childhood and as a result we don't know how to feel good about ourselves or make ourselves feel good.

You don't sound self-righteous!! You sound honest, that's all. If you want to make a difference then you need to think about the kind of way you would want to do that - if you could - just in fantasy, after all it's not really going to happen, is it. ?? Then maybe you can begin to think about why it CAN'T happen. What stops you from training in some field that would enable you to help people. You don't have to be anything special, just an ordinary person who wants to make a difference, that's all.

Enjoy your thumb twiddling if that's what you prefer! Or you could begin to think about what your life might be like, at least you could fantasise and who knows you might evern find you have more to you than you seem to think!

Take care and write again soon.


ThemysciraDrive in reply to Hidden

Thank you Sue. I actually only have sixteen working days left once you take bank holidays out, so not much at all. I think it's more that the recruitment process has dragged on so long overall - the application closing date for the job I'm moving to was back in mid-January! It feels like it's been going on forever, so it feels all the more frustrating waiting, especially with nothing to do.

I have to be careful where I am, as I'm sat next to the office printer/copier/scanner, so people using it will notice if I'm reading or such like! But I do have some creative writing on the go, I might email that to myself and work on it if I can.

I looked into counselling training in my spare time a while ago. The problem was cost - but the new job should fix that as it pays better and has less travel costs. I've planned a way I can save up to start later in the year. I'm a little bit apprehensive - I'd really like to be a counsellor, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea for someone with co-dependent traits...though the advantage of the training path is I can do the initial certificate courses and see how I feel after those before committing to a diploma/postgrad course.

I really like the idea of thinking from the angle of why can't something happen. One of the biggest problems I have with major things like retraining or changing jobs is that my mind makes it feel unachievable. Says "you'll never be able to do that, it's too big, you don't have the time etc."

Oh Sue that's such a great reply.

Hannah x

Hidden in reply to Photogeek

Thank you Hannah! x

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