Wednesday, 4 January 2012

"These Are a Few of My Favorite Things"

"When the dog bites. When the bee stings. When I'm feeling sad. I simply remember a few of my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad."

I have always loved these song lyrics. These words comforted me even before I began suffering from depression.

In the early days after I was first diagnosed, I simply didn't know how to cope. I was in my early twenties and I was still figuring out how to be an adult. Throw a major illness into the mix, one that was very misunderstood, one that I certainly didn't understand, and I was a bit all over the map.

If I was suffering I would decide to go out with my friends after work and have "the best time ever!" That usually involved alcohol. Although I wasn't an alcoholic, I did come to realize after a time that drinking too much wasn't helping the situation. In fact, drinking always made it worse. So I just stopped - I didn't have a single drop of alcohol for a year. And I didn't really miss it. I certainly didn't miss the awful hangover with a side serving of extra sadness.

My doctor prescribed an antidepressant around this time and that helped me. But drugs are only one part of treatment. I had to begin to learn how I could positively influence my mood. I read lots of books about wellness and one suggested a comfort box. Now I can't remember if that was the actual name but the concept was one of self comfort. Find a box or even a drawer in your home and simply fill it with things that make you happy and give you comfort. I decided to give it a try and my mom helped me fill it. I can't recall the exact contents but I am pretty sure that it contained a design magazine and chocolate at the very least - these have always been my go-to items.

I no longer have my comfort box because over the years I have consciously incorporated things that I love and that make me happy to both my home and work environments: photos of my loved ones, inspirational sayings, and music. My walls at home are colours that make me smile and my bed has layers of cozy blankets and a heavenly duvet. At work I listen to classical music and subscribe to the dailygood.org - I receive daily inspirational quotes and stories via email.

If I'm somewhere outside of my environment and I feel sad or stressed out, I think about things that mean something to me. I think about holding my niece's mittened hand as we walk down the street or having an afternoon nap with my nephew, staring at his rosy red cheeks as he sleeps. I think about my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches and smile. Nine times out of ten it takes the edge off. And if I am having a particularly down day and I need to put on my game face, there is nothing like a little Spice Girls' "Wannabe" to get me going. Try not to smile or dance to this song - I defy you!

Now when I hear the lyrics to "Favorite Things" they mean something different to me. They remind me that everyone feels sad or blue now and again. And they also remind me that sometimes a smile is just a favorite thing or memory away.

KB xo

www.dailygood.org

A Few More of My Favorite Things:
* taking a nap on a sunny afternoon
* a delicious hot cup of coffee in my favourite mug
* a hug from my mom
* going to a movie with my dad
* really fresh red Twizzlers
* reading a really good book that I can't put down
* the entire Bon Jovi musical catalogue
* watching Survivor with my best friend
* my hot pink suede high heels
* my craft room
* my family & friends!

NOTE: Alcohol is a depressant and should not be mixed with antidepressant medication. If you or someone you love develops a problem with alcohol please encourage them to seek help.

2 comments:

  1. You are simply amazing & a true inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  2. love the favourite things - and the comfort box idea is great!

    ReplyDelete

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