The idea behind the new depression regimen that will become Jolvie came after I tried to do NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I realized I couldn’t truly be successful at writing a novel, even using the awesome month of motivation that is NaNo, until I managed to get out of my depression. I loved the idea behind the National Novel Writing Month – it was a way to motivate yourself to do something really hard. Writing a novel and sticking with it every day until the novel is done is very difficult. People often start novels, and never finish them. The community online, and the deadline of finishing a draft (no matter how shitty a draft) in 30 days was what made it seem like something you could accomplish. I thought, what if I applied that same idea to treating my depression?
So, basically the idea behind Jolvie is that there will be journals you can fill out, so-called ‘Jolvie Journals.’ They will consist of 30 days of interesting things to do that are proven to help with depression. I’ve always found it difficult to do these things – the age old advice of ‘Leave the house! Go running! Visit friends!’ is truly not helpful when you really don’t want to and haven’t left your room in weeks. However, the thing I know to be true, is consistent behaviors that you manage to stick with over time (like writing a novel every day for a month) will result in hard cold RESULTS. If you write a few words every few weeks, you’re never going to finish a novel, or it will be very infuriating and probably take you ages. This is the same with depression – therapeutic behaviors like taking up a hobby, going on 10 minute walks, and other things are hard to do when you’re depressed, and to add insult to injury they don’t even really help that much if you’re not consistent about it.
I managed to kick a severe depressive episode in the bud myself by running every single night for a month – but guess what? Doing that is just not feasable when you’re super depressed. You have to start with baby steps. The first step for someone who has lost the spark of happiness and has absolutely no energy whatsoever is not to run 2 miles every night. The first step is to have the goal of showering daily, and maybe writing a journal entry and doodling a picture of something nice that happened that day. In a depressive state, all these things will feel silly and juvenile – but the idea behind Jolvie is having a 30 day period of time (not forever, just 30 days) and community to motivate you to be consistent about it.
I’ll be making up the “Jolvie Journals,” and eventually my goal is to have them be downloadable for free, and then after I have a few there’ll be the option to get a nicely bound one that isn’t self-printed. 🙂
We’ll see how all of this works, I’ll be trying to make all of this work well and changing and tweaking as I go along! Currently I have a group of approximately 10 individuals in the test phase, and if you’d like to join in you can email email@example.com.