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Importance of Hobbies
mikew
Friday, October 12, 2012
 
At group, I've met a lot of people who don't know what to do with their lives. And since our lives are made up of single days, many of these people don't know what to do with their days. I'm not going to use the cliche 'take it one day at a time' because I heard that a lot when I was struggling and that didn't really help. How can you just take things one day at a time when you don't even know how to get through today? Taking things one day at a time isn't a solution--you need to know how to have a good day before you're able to start stringing together good day after good day.

A lot of people who don't know what to do with their days are unemployed and on disability. When you're in a situation like that (which I was) you have no idea what to do with yourself. You don't know how to use all the free time you have. Instead, it's too easy to just lay in bed all day eating ice cream and watching 'The Price is Right' or whatever happens to be on TV at the time. Sleep and TV are two things to get you through the day, but getting through the day isn't enough.

At group, I'm always surprised by how few people have hobbies. Hobbies can be so important to turning your life around. Hobbies give you what TV and sleep never will--something to show for your day. When I first came to the conclusion that I could no longer function at the bar scene, I thought that meant I could no longer have a social life. I was wrong about that assumption. I didn't have any friends whom I could talk to and get all my emotions and frustrations out. Besides, I didn't want to be a downer--because I felt like I was a total downer when I first tried going to the bars with my friends again. But I had two friends that helped me get through. They didn't offer advice. They didn't ask how I was feeling. They didn't act like they felt sorry for me. And most importantly, they didn't treat me like I was someone else, even though I was someone else.

What these two friends did was come over to my parents house to jam and record songs in my basement. I played a little guitar, another friend played guitar and the other rotated from drums to guitar. What I really liked doing wasn't playing guitar--it was writing lyrics as my friends came up with guitar hooks to write to. We'd play, I'd record the instrumentals and later I'd record the vocals. There were two big reasons this is exactly what I needed at that time. First, I was in a safe environment where I could spend some time with a couple friends and just be myself without worrying about being a downer. Second, writing those lyrics was a way to get my feelings out without having to be a burden on my two friends. Had I been a burden, I would have pushed them away.

What was most important about having these little record/jam sessions was that, when my friends went home, *I had something to show for my day*. That's the power of hobbies--you've done something and have something to show for it. This whole website is a hobby for me--writing these blogs is a hobby and the whole designing and programming of the website itself is a hobby--I taught myself the programming language and website design software for fun, and now I have something to show for what I taught myself.

If you're not a particularly creative person, you can always turn to books. I strongly believe that reading books is a hobby but watching TV is not. There are two reasons reading books is a far better way to spend your day than TV is. First, watching TV is passive. You don't really have to think much while watching TV. Second, there is one thing books can offer that TV or movies never can--the opportunity to get inside someone else's head. Since mental illness is such a... well, mental issue, there is a lot to be said for reading widely and getting into the heads of fictional characters, simply because you're getting out of your own head. When we have nothing to do, we basically live in our heads and detach ourselves from the world. We end up isolating ourselves--even though there's nothing we want more than to have quality friendships. When you read, you get out of your head and explore a different world. Lots of people from group really enjoy going to the library or a bookstore, if for no other reason than to get out of the house.

I should also mention that even if you have a job, you might still need a hobby. Lots of people at group feel like shit because they don't have a job, but a lot of other people from group do have jobs, yet they feel like shit too.. If you come home from a long days work, throw a frozen pizza in the oven, plop down on the couch, watch TV and then go to bed, you'll find yourself in a monotonous cycle with an unfulfilling life. If you come home and do whatever hobby you love to do, you'll feel like you're doing something with your time.

A hobby is something you love to do. A job is something you have to do. If your whole life revolves around a job you have to do, you'll feel like your life has no direction... that things aren't getting better... and that you're not in control of you life.

If you don't have a hobby, then try finding or learning one.

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Displaying Featured Blogs 1 - 12 of 12

Blog title: By: For: Date Posted:
Stigma mikew 10/18/12
What Real Depression Is mikew 10/12/12
UnLearning mikew 10/12/12
Importance of Hobbies mikew 10/12/12
Pride and Expectations mikew 10/12/12
Purpose of Medication mikew 10/12/12
What Everyone Wants More than Anything mikew 10/12/12
Redefining and Rebuilding Yourself mikew 10/12/12
Complacency mikew 10/12/12
Student Accessibility Center mikew 10/12/12
Simple Ways to Improve your Thinking mikew 10/12/12
How Sports Help you Recover mikew 10/12/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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