Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hobbies better than therapy, better than drugs.

As I've struggled with stress related mental and physical health problems over the last several years, I've been told repeatedly and known at least intellectually that there was more to life than work. The problem was I didn't know what else to do with myself. I liked to read and walk and watch television but was not passionate about anything (here antidepressants may have been responsible, lifesaving though they often are). I'd look around and see other people engaged in activities they loved, kayaking, playing music, making stained glass, cooking, and I didn't know what I was interested in, so I'd escape into books, or tv, or endless hours on the internet.

Several months ago, disillusioned with our world, our culture, etc., I googled something to the effect of "living in another era" and became introduced to the world of vintage collecting, dressing, decorating, even living as if in another decade.

Well, this has become a hobby of mine. Perhaps I spend a little too much time on the internet trolling ebay for bargains in vintage clothing and accessories or looking at vintage decor, but at least it's done with some sort of focus.

Unfortunately, I can't indulge the new hobby too much since most of my spare time now has to go toward getting my house on the market. But once we find a new place, I can start figuring out how to decorate it in vintage style.

But the new hobby together with the task of getting the house ready have given me something to do other than to obsess about work and to actually begin to enjoy it for a change. Because of some side effects that I found most intolerable--the inability to make ideas come out of my mouth in an intelligible fashion--I've cut back significantly on my dosage, and so far I'm doing ok with it. I'm getting better at articulating ideas--the inability to do so is incredibly frustrating to this holder of a Masters in English language and literature.

I've also entered a fitness challenge that will not only challenge me physically, but will challenge my social anxieties--I will be on television with the other participants and be in other promotional materials. So I guess as my life outside of work expands, the hyper focus and anxiety related to work, diminishes. I hope anyway.

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