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depression, sadness, constant funk, the blues ...

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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I am not qualified to talk about this.  And yet some people ask.  My impression is that they think I have something that will help them.  So I try.

...  this is easier with one person.  With one person I can try to understand the roots of that one person and say stuff that might give traction to get above the funk.  But with something general, my mind reels with 300 different possible things to say.  

I don't think I've ever had this problem.  It is true that I've had times when I'm bummed or unproductive.  But that doesn't seem to come close to what we are talking about here.

Start here:  spoon theory.  A way to measure how you are doing.  

Allie Brosh tries to explain (in her silly way) about depression: part 1 part 2. In the thousands of comments there is one from me where I make two suggestions (because I am such a guy and guy's try to fix things): go a few weeks without dairy and see if that helps.  Get your B12 levels tested.

While I don't think it is a depression thing, I found three things that seem to help me with productivity.  Maybe it can be counted as depression?  

   thing 1:  dairy makes me dopey and unproductive.  I eliminated all dairy for two weeks and a lot of productivity came back!

   thing 2:  i once was unproductive and my voodoo doctor tested me for b12.  She said it was the lowest she had ever seen.  So I spent years working on getting my B12 back up.  It helped a lot!

   thing 3:  For months I felt exhausted.  It turned out to be that my iron levels were too high.  I wrote about it here.

And somewhere I have a podcast where I watched a documentary about vitamins. Apparently, somebody spent their days curled up in a ball n the corner, weeping.  A bit of niacin and they were right as rain.  Of course, there is a lot more to the story, but I can't seem to find that podcast (or the documentary).

Speaking of curled up in a ball, weeping:  that's what splenda does.  And aspartame isn't your mental health friend either.

It took a half hour for me to find this ...   somebody asked

How do you stop comparing your life to others and stop the cycle of envious, bitterness, and jealousy?

I said:

Be the most magnificent person in the world - according to your standards. Those standards will start off kinda twisted. As you put in the work to come up with better standards, you won't have time to watch what the dumbfucks are doing.

Which leads into the stuff I came here to write today ...

Who are you?

According to you.  Who do you see yourself as?  

When people turn to me about depression funk stuff, I think this is what they really want to talk about.  They can turn to friends to hear "there there" and "you're amazing!" and stuff like that.  Universal support and kindness.   But if a person is asking me, they don't want support.  They want something to give them traction out of where they are.

The person who asks sees themselves as a bit of a zero.  Living a gray life, doing normal things. Work, eat, sleep, shop and root for the home team.  The question "what do you do?" or "what is your thing?" - terrifying.

Let's get started.  

What do they think is cool? (almost always "I dunno")  If they are asking me, then there must be something I do that seems kinda cool.   So let's go fishing in my pool to find one thing.  Suppose we  just pick gardening.

Grow a fucking tomato plant and harvest one tomato.  Congratulations, you are now a gardener.  That's all it took.  

Now grow a bit more.  Can you grow 20 pounds of food?  100 pounds of food?  If you grow 100 pounds of food - are you impressed with you?  Do you value you far more now than before?  Are you now non-zero?  

In time, can you grow the most food on your block?  In the neighborhood?  Can you teach this?  Can you write about this?  Can you become the leading authority in your town on your style of gardening?  The state?  The world?

Maybe gardening isn't your thing.  Maybe it's something else.  Maybe you have no idea what your thing is.  

Have you looked at SKIP?  That will get you to try a hundred different things.  Or maybe the permaculture bootcamp.

This is a giant space.  I could probably fill a dozen books with my gibberish about it, but I am unqualified to talk about it.  

If you are approached by somebody looking to get out of "the pit" - what are your words to help?
Posts: 10441
Location: South Central Kansas
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I really love making recording studios and venues that sound great, look great, aren't toxic, don't hurt the planet, and don't require you to take out a loan.  People always come to me for advice about some mix of these things.

There are better acoustical engineers.
There are better natural builders.
There are better holistic health space-makers.
There are better ecological development consultants.

But, as far as I know, I am the best person in the world at acoustical engineering in an ecologically-sensible and health-conscious way on a budget.  That's quite a niche!  Look mom, I'm the best!!!

Thanks for this chat, Paul.
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Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
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One time after a breakup, I picked up a harmonica and blew. And I felt a little bit better. "What on earth?" So I did a blow, draw, blow, draw, blow. "Hey, this is kind of fun!" "What, all of those people who started to play the harmonica because their woman left them were on to something?"

What I have found is that the harmonica is a sadness extractor. It takes the sadness out of me and leaves... something better. It reminds me that there is more to life than whatever has disappointed me. And you don't even have to play the blues. I usually play hymn tunes or movie themes, because I know those songs. The harmonica hasn't solved all my sadness, but it has helped.

But if you want to work with the blues, you can harness the feelings to drive your art.

the struggle IS the education. Wise old tiny ad:
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