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The Importance of Hobbies
mikew Friday, August 31, 2018
 
People can let you down. When you are struggling and need support, sometimes the people you need can't be reached or simply can't help you the way you need them to at that moment. That's why it's so important to have something that you know will always be there for you no matter what. That thing is a hobby.

It surprises and saddens me that so many people I come across at group don't have hobbies. This can be a real problem for someone because it means that they will always find themselves stuck with 'dead time' where they have nothing to do other than sit around and feel bad about themselves and their illness.

TV doesn't work. TV has a way of triggering all sorts of thoughts that we don't want to be thinking about. When I was going through periods of depression, I'd do pretty much nothing other than watch TV and it was torture, yet I kept doing it. I'd be watching shows and something on the show would trigger a memory of something I did or something I didn't want to be thinking about and I'd roll around miserable. I don't know why I did this to myself but I see people do it to themselves all the time at group and it doesn't do any good for someone's recovery.

The reason I don't know why I would lay around watching TV is because the solution to the problems I was having was the same every time. I needed to do something. TV is easy. You flip a switch and it takes you somewhere else for a while, except it can take you places you don't want to go. Sure, those moments pass and then you go back into the world of the show or movie, but when those moments happen they can be painful.

So I would go for two or three days watching TV and feeling depressed until I finally got up the willpower to get up and do something. I"m lucky enough to have many hobbies I can fall back on and the key is that they are all productive hobbies. I have my writing, my songs and my website. Getting up and getting to work on my projects fixed my problem every single time, and it's still a mystery to me why I bothered with all the TV when, time after time, the answer to my problems was to just get my ass in my chair and create something, be it some writing, a song or a website.

The bonus about the hobbies I have is that they are all hobbies where, when i'm done working on them, I have something to show for my time, effort and energy. IF you have a hobby like this, it can do wonders for you. When you're feeling depressed, there are few things more helpful than doing something productive with your time that you can look at and say "hey, I did that."

Doing something worth doing is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself. When we feel depressed, we feel hopeless. Like our lives our a waste. But when we create something--when we do something worth doing--we feel that hope because we feel like the time we are spending is worth something, and when we feel like our time is worth something, we feel like we are worth something.

So find a hobby. Or if you have one that you aren't drawing upon enough, use it. We all have things we like to do (or liked to do at one point). If we don't like ourselves, then the best thing we can do with our time is something we like to do, because that will make you like yourself more. It will pass the time you spend feeling down about your life in a productive way and make you feel better about yourself. The best thing is, your hobby--unlike a person--can always be there for you, no matter what time it is or what is going on in your life, it's there waiting for you to use it.


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