Stress, and handling things on your own

This is my first post here,

A couple years ago i had depression and it got so bad to the point where i started self harm and suicidal thoughts, but i got through it and worked it out. But fast forward to nowadays and i realized I’m living in filth, I’ve stopped going to the gym, and i have stopped eating. I felt like i blamed all these things on being busy but now I’m realizing that i have plenty of time in the day and i spend all of it doing useless things. It’s honestly really hard to put all of my thoughts down into a concise sentence, i feel like i have so many responsibilities and i’ve neglected all of them. I think i’m depressed again, but what i was doing before to help won’t help now. How do i begin the process of self improvement again without it feeling like such a burden or so stressful?

Thank you for a place to share


Hey @Adamdrums,

Welcome to HeartSupport. I’m glad you’re here. This was already your first step. Writing down our issues and seeing them outside of our minds can be a great first step.

May I ask you about the steps that you took that helped you get out of depression and self harm a couple of years ago? Did you have professional help by your side?

My impression - and please let me know if I’m wrong with that - is that it feels like everything is too much right now? You mentioned that it is hard to write the post and to bring some structure to your thoughts.

I can only speak for myself, but maybe this resonates a bit with you. In my experience, this feels like my entire system doesn’t want anymore. It is always good to have a long-term goal, but right now the focus should be what really is possible. In the beginning these steps can be very small - it is crucial they are very small. Every staircase you ever walked up in your life started by taking the first stair.
Something I found useful is starting to notice what is good, for example, that you manage to brush your teeth every day, that you have a place to live. Even if it sounds like the most basic things, it recalibrates your brain when you start to focus on the good things.
On a more practical side, could you make a list of things that you need to get done and prioritize them? Then you could address one item on that list at a time and when you got that done, acknowledge it. This is really important.

While depression tends to be demonized in our society, depressive feelings are a valuable indicator that something is off and that it is time for a change. Our body tells us that we need to look closer, dare to face the darkness. Usually, there’s something wrong on a more fundamental level. There is something in your life that is not aligned with your true self (anymore). When you check all the areas of your life (job, relationships/friendships, family, fun, …), does anything feel off? Depression is also a sign of suppressed feelings, oftentimes anger, but this could also be sadness. To figure these things out, professional support could be a good call, if that’s available to you so that you don’t feel like you have to get through this by yourself.

I am sure you will find your way out of this a second time. Be proud of you for reaching out here. I believe in you.


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Welcome to Heartsupprt and Thank you so much for posting. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way but its awesome that you have recognised these feelings and that you want to do something to make it better. A lot of people here will be able to relate to what you have said, I certainly can, feeling low and looking around seeing mess and more mess and knowing it needs to be done but the energy and will just isnt there makes it so hard so how do we do it? I do it just a little bit at a time and make a big old deal of myself for ever bit I do. I love coffee, I really love coffee so If I do a little bit of cleaning I have a big old coffee and the next time I do some I have another big old coffee and thats what i do, if I do exceptionally well i have cake too. lol. Its hard to find the momentum but with ever step you get closer to the end. You’ve got this and you have our support all the way. Much Love Lisalovesfeathers x


Hey friendo! first of all, no feeling like you’re a burden! you’re not. I know you probably won’t believe me, but you’re not a burden to anyone or to yourself…! There is nothing wrong or broken about you…you are awesome and deserve to be happy and healthy and less stressed.

I myself fought and climbed out of a really cruddy place over the last like, 2 years…and I just want to say that tiny steps are huge steps, and sometimes you have to give yourself that grace. There were days that I applauded myself for just sitting up in bed because that was the best I could do. Taking a shower, eating something yummy, seeing a random bunny outside in the grass, they were all things I had to champion as a win for the day…so maybe that’s where you need to start! it almost seems silly till you realize that it does really help bring your mind up to speed with more positive thinking.

You posting here means you want to feel better and make the changes, so we’ll try to help you work your way back up the mountain! Don’t beat yourself up for not getting to the top of the mountain instantaneously, you’ll make it there with a little bit of perseverance :hrtlegolove:



Hello Friend, welcome to the forum and thank you for trusting us. I have major depression, so I deal with a lot of what you’ve written about. One thing I’ll suggest is to seek professional help. If you get a depression diagnosis then you can receive the correct treatment. Sometimes medication is needed. You can also set up a routine. That’s what I’ve done. I try to get one house cleaning thing done each day no matter how small. It feels good to know I’ve done something. There are days, tho where I don’t do anything and I try not to judge myself too much, so just know that you’re not lazy. Depression isn’t something you can just turn off when you want to be productive. Those are the days we should try to treat ourselves with compassion. Take care ~Mystrose


From: Mamadien

Welcome to the HS community Adamdrums. I’m glad you’re here, it’s a great place to share. So many here will resonate with what you have said and what you are feeling because we’ve been there ourselves. It sounds like you have done the work of self improvement before. May I ask if you have a therapist or counselor you have worked with? That might be a good place to start. May I also suggest that you think about all of this in small steps and small wins? Take this one day, one hour, one activity at a time and plan in how you would reward yourself for those small wins. I know it sounds corny, but one can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, no faster. So please give yourself grace as you begin the work of improving your self. It took time to get where you are and it takes time to get back to where you want to be. And all through this we’ll be here to support you. It’s good to meet you my friend.


From: twixremix

hi adamdrums,

welcome into the heartsupport community! thank you for being here and posting on your stress and handling things on your own. i hope you feel the love, warmth, and support of this community behind you.

as someone who has gone through tough periods of depression and found myself at square 1 just like you, the best technique i use to dive back into self-improvement without it scaring me off because of the stress is to take things one-at-a-time. do little tasks and rest in between… hang up that laundry you’ve been neglecting and then watch an episode of a baking show. put up clean dishes and then do a puzzle. so doing chores and self-improvement in small steps and rewarding yourself in between will keep your motivation trending upwards. i hope my own method can help inspire your own since different things work with different people. all in all, i send you all the best, all my love, and all my strength as you continue through this depression and finding your own balance moving forward.



Hello crea,

Thank you for the kind response :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if this is a place to talk about something like this but I started using porn as a coping mechanism, I also started drinking way too much caffeine. I honestly don’t know how I thought any of it really worked but somewhere along the way i was happy again so it worked to some extent (I thought) I also did not have any professional help.

Yeah this is pretty much it, everything feeling like too much. I feel like i can’t even rest anymore without thinking of something i should be doing instead or worrying about the next day. I always feel like I have to be productive 24 hours of the day for some reason. I read an article on here about thinking business is equal to responsibility and that really resonated with me.

Reading your response made me realize that i have many long term goals but no short term goals, i need to just pull myself back and take it one step at a time like you said. I am going to try to be more optimistic. I will also make a list of things to get done because this sounds like a really helpful solution and a good way to sort my brain out.

I am not sure what if off in my life, but suppressed feelings sound more like it, that’s something I’ve naturally done all my life and i think it (like my depression) has come back to bite me. I want to find a better way to deal with things rather than suppress it down.

Thank you again for your help


Hello lisa, thank you for the response, i think the coffee system would work really well for me, i love soda probably like you love coffee, i am going to try to use it as a reward system instead of instant gratification, there was another person who recommended i make a list of things to do to help deal with the stress and put everything in my brain on paper, maybe i could reward myself with a soda if i mark something off the list that day. I believe i can do it, thank you :slight_smile:


Hi mamadien, thank you for the welcoming and response. I have done the work of self improvement before, although it has been tough to stay consistent, i struggle a lot with being super motivated to do something and losing that motivation within a week, i know i need some discipline but it’s a mystery where i’m going to get it from right now. Although i won’t be concerned with it, like you recomended i’m going to take it one step at a time, one day one hour. I also have not worked with a therapist before, i have always been weary of it and i’m not sure why. I’m not sure where to even look for something like that. It’s good to meet you as well friend, thank you :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for being so open and sharing more about your story.

What basically happened is that you changed one maladaptive coping mechanism (depression/suicidal thoughts) for others (porn/caffeine). The catch about any sort of addictions is that they appear very tempting because they promise you a short-term relief. You can numb out feelings and don’t have to get stressed out about all the things you should have done already. In the long-term, however, these mechanisms have negative consequences on your mental and/or physical health, your social life, whatever it may be.

I’m not a therapist and I’m only speaking from my own experiences with restlessness, suppressed feelings, and addictive behaviors. The restlessness drives you to addictive behaviors, and the restlessness is there to avoid facing those suppressed feelings. Speaking for myself, I found to be true that the more I face my emotions, the less urges I have. Again, not a therapist, but I assume there’s no way around digging into this topic of suppressed feelings, exploring what happened in the past so that you had to suppress them (that usually goes back to childhood), and eventually, going through all these emotions. Emotions are an essential part of our experience. You’ll unleash the difficult ones, but this will allow the pleasant ones back in, too.

Since this is a process to go through and given that you’ve come across different unhealthy ways to cope, I would highly recommend to try seeing a therapist for this. It is great that you want to be more optimistic and try out making lists and prioritizing things. However, this will limit your approach to the symptoms and you don’t really address the root cause, meaning that sooner or later depression might be resurfacing (because there are still so many unprocessed feelings).
[BUT: These are only my thoughts. Again, I’m not a professional and this is definitely no prediction of how things will turn out.]

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Continuing the discussion from Stress, and handling things on your own:

That was really strong, thank you for being honest with me about it resurfacing a third time and about emotions because things like that can be odd to bring up sometimes. I am going to try to find a counselor that suits me. I think I’ve known exactly what I need to deal with this entire time, even before, but I never dealt with it and I just have tried to ignore it for so long. Thank you for making me realize what I really need to do. I am going to find professional help.
Edit: I re-read what you said and I am now realizing I don’t even understand how to properly process emotions, do you have any insight as to how I can achieve that?

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Something that helped me to connect to my body and my emotions was meditation. That sounds way fancier than it actually is. You just sit down, focus on your breathing and direct your awareness to different parts of your body. This, at least for me, was very challenging at first because I hadn’t felt anything before and only lived in my head. Over time, this will become easier.

A good occasion to try to connect to your emotions is when the restlessness arises or when you feel pressured to work through your to-do list. These mechanisms have a purpose. For me, my restlessness tried to protect me from facing emotional pain by driving me to (unhealthy) distractions.

A good tip is to be curious about the emotions and not anxious. Allow them to be there, acknowledge them and welcome them. When they come up, don’t try to push them down even though they might be difficult to handle. Your body knows what it can deal with and will cut off automatically when it is too much.

It might also be that nothing comes up and that’s okay, too. If this was the case, you could ask yourself what you think about these emotions and if you felt them, what does it say about you? Do you judge yourself for having emotions? Do you think you’re weak when you’re expressing them? Has there ever been a time in your life when it wasn’t safe to express your emotions? Addressing these questions might then give you more insight on what is going on and make it easier to allow the emotions to be there.

Since you mentioned that you already know what this might be about, be there for that part of you that had to go through hardship and support it as best as you can. This is all about being self-compassionate and understanding with yourself. Be kind to yourself as if you spoke with a dear friend or a loved one.

Another suggestion I can make is to journal. Writing down how you’re feeling and what is on your mind can help processing issues, because when you see it written down it is not as vague, mysterious, or terrifying as when it’s floating around your mind.

Now, I can imagine that what I wrote, or parts of it, might sound odd. These are only suggestions based on what helped me face my emotions. Everyone has their individual preferences so it is totally fair that some things might not be a good fit. You’ll find the tools that will help you navigate these emotions.

This is absolutely fantastic and a very courageous step. It can be a substantial hurdle to overcome when you’re not used to talking about your issues. Your profile says that you just want to be happy. I hope this will be a step that brings you closer to finding your happiness. :hrtlegolove:

Meditation sounds really interesting, I’ve heard it described as a way to be inside your mind and find composure. One thing I’ve always struggled with is having too much happening inside my brain at once, or jumping straight from one thought to another, and just constantly thinking. Meditation might be a way to slow my brain down and be in the moment almost, I’m kind of excited to try it, i imagine it to be like the scenes from stranger things if you’ve seen that show lol. The part that is going to be hard is letting my emotions be there instead of push them back down, i am going to push myself to work on that. I will make a journal update in a couple days after using these methods.

i’ve never thought about being there for myself before, at least in this sense, this hit really deep. i am going to try to give myself more compassion, even for the little things.

Thank you for being so genuine, i really appreciate all the help you’ve given me. I’m starting school this week which i know might stress me out a little more, but i’m going to put everything we’ve talked about to use this week. I feel a lot less overwhelmed about everything, and i started searching for a counselor so i will be more prepared in the future as well. <3

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Absolutely, this is exactly what this is meant to do. I can relate a lot to what you’re describing. It involves work to resist getting sucked into your thoughts. Don’t try not to think, but to observe the thoughts.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything at once. Take only one step at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself. If I may reflect something back to you:

It seems like there is A LOT of pressure in your life. I have two questions:

  1. What does it say about you when you don’t succeed crossing off every single item on your to-do list? If you don’t do X, then, well X isn’t done, but what do you think about yourself as a consequence?
  2. Who do you think has the means to lift that pressure off your shoulders?

Replying is of course optional. If you’d like to reply, you are welcome to do so here or in your private journal or just think a bit about it – whatever feels good for you.

I’m so happy for you that you feel encouraged to take action in your mental health and I’ll be glad to read an update. However, keep in mind this is one step at a time. The purpose of all this is that you feel better and not more stressed out! So take as much time as you need.

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