There–I’ve finished with my life story…

At least all I’m going to do right now. I’m back to daily stuff. What is there to say about the weather! It’s been grey and raining for days. Or so it feels like it. All I know is I battle depression when it’s gloomy for too long.

But I have my cure–the book Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns. It’s a book about cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is full of specific exercises to do to pull myself upward and it works. Sometimes it has worked for me just by taking the book down off the shelf and putting it on my desk. Looking at it cured me! Usually, though, I have to dig in and do some exercises.

I’ll  show you one exercise for procrastination. If you’re depressed, you are putting tasks off. This sheet makes you get going. Suppose you have a letter to write that you have put off for weeks. Here’s what to do.

Break the task into smaller tasks. On a sheet of paper lengthwise, write down the steps:  1. Outline the letter. 2.  Write a rough draft. 3. Type the final draft. 4. Address an envelope and mail.

To the right of each step, predict how difficult it will be and how much satisfaction you think you will get from each step. Use a scale of 0% to 100%. After you have completed each step, write down how difficult it was and how satisfied you actually were with completing that step, again 0% to 100%.

Putting anything into small steps relieves me of feelings of doing badly. I just have to make an outline, for example. That’s easy. Once I do that, the rest of the steps fall into place. I feel good and I’m ready to take on another task. I may not even need to follow the directions above, if I feel energized enough.

The sun is shining now so I think I’ll go visit my garden. Maybe one of my day lilies is blooming.


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