Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Bob Rich’s Self-Therapy Guide: Regular Fun

Bob Rich’s book From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide is therapy in your pocket. Depression, anxiety, and other forms of suffering are all too common in our crazy world. Bob teaches you how to rise from that to “normal,” which is the walking wounded, then far above that, to inner strength enabling you to cope in any situation.

Like Charles Dickens did with his novels, Bob has converted this book into a series of posts, free on this site, because he wants to be of benefit. In the fifth post in his series, Bob underscored the difference physical exercise can make against a state of depression. The following is the 6th excerpt from his book and it tips readers on how to have fun while depression tries to stop you from having any.

Regular Fun

How can you have fun when you’re miserable?

You often do. I did an experiment once. My friend Georgia and I went to a concert. She is a musician — and was suffering from severe depression. As I watched her, it was obvious that she thoroughly enjoyed herself. Her eyes never left the performers. I could see that she was up on stage with them. Her mouth was half open much of the time, her body subtly moved with the rhythm. After the performance, she chatted with me, bought a CD and talked for some time with the players, smiled at strangers.

I saw her again a few days later. “How did you enjoy the concert?” I asked.

“Oh… it was all right I suppose.” Her tone of voice was bored, flat, shoulders were slumped forward, and she didn’t look at me. She was in the pits, and couldn’t even imagine that a few days previously she might have had fun.

That’s what the doom-colored glasses of suffering do to you.

Don’t believe your Depression when it tells you that you never have fun, can’t have fun, there is no such thing as fun.

There have been times in your past when life was OK. If you’re in the pits now, chances are you won’t remember them. But try. Think back to times when you got on with your life, and the misery was absent. What did you do for fun then?

Whatever it was, deliberately schedule it into your week.

– Dr. Bob Rich

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