Depression Toolkit #19: Lists

This one sounded almost too easy when my neighbour suggested it to me a few weeks back. ‘Make a list’ she said. ‘Keep it simple’. I had not been making lists as I didn’t want to disappoint myself at how little I was doing, or make a list that included Make List.

In fact, the first day or two (and it wasn’t even every day), I just wrote the absolute basics:

  • Get kids up and fed
  • Lunch
  • Collect Lily from school

That sort of thing. I could manage all that, even if I didn’t eat all the right things at lunchtime.

So now things must be improving (yay!) because today I’m up to here:


and this is huge progress for me, even though it isn’t as much as I’d like to be achieving. And yes, my handwriting is usually about that bad (especially when it’s only for me to read).

Every time I get most of a list achieved it is a big deal, where in the past it was a failure. I am already aware of quite a number of things which didn’t make the cut for today’s list, but I am plodding through the most important details of the coming weeks a step at a time. There is a lot to look forward to. Also I am very grateful that my energy is returning, having been knocked out by a tiring cold over the weekend – this reminds me that my mind, like my body, will go through a ‘getting better’ process and to try and see it happening and be pleased, even when the steps are tiny.

In time I am hoping to create a Bucket List:


There are some great ideas and a way to make a list digitally here. I think I am not in a place where I can dream dreams just yet. Most of my dreams involve things like running away to the Arctic Circle. But I will get better… and when I do some ideas will be realistic and and some crazy.

The corollary of making future lists is to mentally block past lists. At the moment all past lists until I am strong enough to sort them. So, no regret lists, no angry lists, no pity lists, no what-if lists, nothing. That is for God to deal with and in time I will work on areas I need to.

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll –
    are they not in your record?

…By this I will know that God is for me.

…in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?

you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

Psalm 56:8-13


2 responses to “Depression Toolkit #19: Lists

  1. catwomanisrael

    And why shouldn’t you run away to the Arctic Circle? It’s not MY idea of fun (I hate the cold), but hey, why not? Enjoying your encouraging posts (my daughter suffers from depression, after the sudden loss of her husband and only son 7 years ago in a plane crash) and praying for your continued healing!

  2. The way I deal with lists is to make two – one of time-critical tasks that need to be done at certain o’clock (for instance, collect children from school, or attend GP appointment) and all the others are a general “when I get round to it” list. Important things can have a dot or a star or something so that I can quickly find them, but I’ve discovered that trying to schedule my non-essential tasks makes me less likely to do them, and more likely to feel guilty for failing. Having a list of Whenever Jobs means every time I do one, I’ve had a bonus success. I am glad you’ve managed to increase what you’re doing – step by step you will get there and suddenly realise that you’re well again. It creeps up on you gradually and you don’t even notice it happening (which is why it feels like it isn’t).

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