I think about the future a lot. Actually, I daydream about the future a lot, because achieving things requires hard work and commitment and I don’t have the energy for all of that. I think about a time two or three years from now, where I’m successful and happy and healthy. It’s a great daydream. It’s a great comfort.
It’s also a huge waste of time.
Spending hours every week thinking about an ideal future where somehow everything has worked out is detrimental to me and my journey. I’m definitely going to keep daydreaming about it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s important for me to remember that a happy future can only be reached by taking each step myself. There is no short cut past hard work. I have to do it.
I do have big goals, like maybe writing a book, and working in a creative field, and being able to support myself financially again. But I can’t take an express train there from where I am now, lying in bed for most of the day and unable to take care of myself past the basics. I have to build up to it, starting with things that I can actually achieve.
So, here are my realistic goals.
1. Eat a vegetable or fruit every day:
I won’t lie, I mostly eat carbs and dairy products — bread and cheese are my two main food groups. I’d love to jump right into healthy eating, but I forget to eat fairly often as it is, so I think if I start small and make sure I eat at least one healthy thing in a day, I can build from there.
2. Five minutes of exercise every day:
Listen, I’m really out of shape. Like a lot. The other day I was trying to catch my cat (she peed inside and then stood in it and was tracking pee all over the floor), and I was out of breathe and a little dizzy almost straight away. I get physically tired very easily. I used to enjoy running! I used to be strong and agile, and I had a lot of stamina. Now I get out of breath walking to the mailbox and back. Five minutes a day may sound minuscule but honestly, I think it’s all I’m capable of right now.
3. Showering regularly:
I’m really sorry for how much I’m over-sharing here, but I don’t shower enough. Personal hygiene is one of the first things to go when I’m sad. It seems like so much effort to get undressed and bathe and then dry off and get dressed again — that’s like four things. All at once. My hair is always dirty, and I had to cut a lot of it off because it would just get knotty and matted from not being brushed or washed. I want to shower at least every other day. I know it should be once a day but… I need to go at my own pace, and if that means being only slightly less disgusting than I am now, I’ll take it.
4. Stream once a week:
I like to stream on twitch. It’s really fun! I get to hang out and play games with my friends and the community is supportive and kind. The only problem with it is that it’s emotionally exhausting. You have to be ‘on’ the whole time you’re live, which for me is at least two hours. I used to stream a lot, but when I got Sad™ again, I just kept putting it off in favor of sleeping all day, or withdrawing from everyone into a shell of depression and isolation. Now I stream every six weeks if I’m lucky, and the audience that I cultivated is mostly gone. But I want to start again. It’s a good social activity and it builds up my tolerance for interaction with other people, and once a week seems doable.
5. Keep up with this blog:
When I started this blog, I wanted to post every day. But creating that much content is a quick way to burn out, especially when you’ve been doing nothing for months. So I’ve settled on twice a week — the day after my therapy sessions. This may drop down to once a week if I hit a rough patch, and I hope to eventually increase it to three or four times a week, but for now, two is a good challenge. This blog is really dear to me, as it’s a way to keep track of myself and my own head space, and the things that I experience and feel at this point in my life. I’m excited to keep going with it, and I’m so happy whenever anyone chooses to come along with me.
I do have a few more goals, just little ones. But I think five is a good start to try and stick to consistently, and posting them publicly helps me to keep myself honest (because I’ve said I’ll do something so if I don’t then I’ll look extra dumb).
Having realistic goals like these are important to me, as I know they’re stepping stones to the daydream-quality future I could have one day. They represent me trying, my own willingness to commit to recovery. It’s not just a bold statement like, “I’ll have a good job and be happy,” it’s laying out the things I need to achieve before I can focus on big, vague goals like that. I’m going to get it wrong some days, but I want to make sure that I keep going, that I keep getting up when I knock myself down.
I look forward to trying.
Sad Habits Girl