Depression, Procrastination and Putting One Foot In Front of the Other

Not motivated?  Waiting to feel up to it?  Plagued by doubts? Maybe, I just have to do it anyway.  Sometimes I just have to show up, it seems, and do the task at hand, regardless of how I feel.

A photo posted by Beth Evans (@bethdrawsthings) on

I’ve been plagued by depression lately, and this week has been particularly bad.  I got in my mind a few weeks ago to do the social media thing on a weekly basis; to put a few videos on YouTube and to do a blog post.  It turns out that it’s a good idea, because it adds some structure to the week, gives me something to work towards, but more importantly, I can look at the work after it is done as an accomplishment, rather than feeling I had a week with nothing done.

“Every book seems the struggle of a whole life. […] Best thing is to get the words down every day. And it is time to start now.” – John Steinbeck

Yesterday morning, I did no piano practice, feeling “not up to it”.  I had this attitude as soon as I was out of bed.  And I didn’t just do it anyway.

Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did.  I certainly didn’t want to shower, but I did.  I kept hearing myself thinking “I better quit piano, I’m not enjoying it, and practicing especially the assigned pieces is really getting me down, and it’s a waste of time anyway.  Why do I even bother; I’m not talented at this at all, and I think I’m actually getting worse this year, instead of better”.  But, knowing what Steinbeck said (more quotes below), I decided to just plow on ahead and put in my time, and practice, regardless of whether I think it’s crap or not, or whether it’s pointless or not.  And afterward, I’m glad I did.

It turns out that it got better as I trudged along.  The first half hour was a lot of thoughts about it being pointless.  It was more palatable once I committed to just doing it, regardless of what I felt, or what I thought.  As time went on, I became more at peace with it, rather than fighting it and questioning why I even bother.

After my practice time, I figured I’d better make something to eat.  I didn’t feel hungry, and I didn’t want to do it, and I thought it won’t change things, but I did it.  I don’t really enjoy eating lately, and I certainly don’t enjoy taking the time to make something.  But after I ate, things seemed a little calmer.  Almost too calm, because I had planned (as I am doing now) to complete this blog post, and I wasn’t feeling miserable enough to write about the miseries of depression😉

“In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not”

So I’ll leave you with some random quotes, pix and postings that I found this week, that in my isolation, I didn’t not want to re-post on Facebook.  Enjoy!

A photo posted by Beth Evans (@bethdrawsthings) on

Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings. Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility.  May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.”A Day at a Time” October 21 © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 

A photo posted by Beth Evans (@bethdrawsthings) on

“People suffering from depression are locked in their own thoughts. Everything revolves around them and they don’t connect with the external world,” said Northoff. Ottawa-led breakthrough could hold key to ‘holy grail’ of depression research


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High Expectations of Admired Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend a lot of energy on a few people in my life (not you, dear reader), and they seem almost indifferent towards me.  So, I vacillate between my idea of “stop ignoring people”, and my idea of “don’t waste time on people who wouldn’t spend time on you”.  The latter, I hope, will prevail.  As I journalled; “[with the right people…] there will be no pain, no doubts, no rejection, no wondering, no massive highs and deep lows”.  Unfortunately when I’m in “ignore mode”, there is collateral damage because I’m ignoring people who are always decent to me.

I say “not you, dear reader” because you are probably not indifferent to what I have to say, because you are reading this!

I think there is something to be learned about expectations.  I think maybe when I have expectations of how someone is supposed to react (to conform to my “requirements”), I set myself up for disappointment.  Surely, I know by now that expectations are premeditated resentments.  And I learned lately that sometimes we come up against people’s limitations – there are certain things they are just (socially) incapable of doing, or being, or behaving.

One thing about expectations, when I have such high expectations of someone, it may be because I think so highly of them, and I think about what I’d be willing to do for them, or how I’d react to them; such as show them a lot of attention, make them a priority, and think of what would be in their best interest.  It’s a little like putting someone on a pedestal.  I thought about this pedestal thing today; I wouldn’t want someone to put me on a pedestal, they are setting themselves up for a disappointment.  Kind of like a premeditated resentment.

However, pedestals aside, if I think that someone would behave towards me as I’m inclined to do so towards them, that’s a little unrealistic.  It’s terrible living in my head, haha.

I seem to know how to recognize when someone is paying attention to me, their eyes are not wandering on somebody who passes by because they want to be talking to the other person.  That’s a good clue.

The person in front of you is the most important thing in your life at this moment, and there is nothing else.  I like to try to be present.

I shared at a meeting that I have been feeling crappy, and as a consequence I isolate and withdraw from people.  But I don’t want to do that anymore.  The universe responded favorably to my sharing at the meeting.  It’s funny that I’m so reluctant to share my stuff.  I still am.  But then something positive like this happens.

I’ve been working  on a bigger on-line presence, starting with last week’s article on this blog, which I found out this week was my 100th blog post!  I’ve been on WordPress for 11 years, my first post was on June 29, 2005.  So this week I did a few YouTube videos of my music, and am trying to get this article out a week after the previous blog entry, before technically it’s not Monday anymore.  Tune in next Monday.  Cheers.

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Depression Paradoxes: Isolation

Last night, I was reading something on the self-defeating things we do when we have depressive episodes.  Today’s topic is isolating; one of the several things we do which seem to be contradictory to our desired outcome.  I don’t know why people with depression do this, or more specifically me.  Here’s what I do know, but it barely scratches the surface.

There’s a feeling inside that it’s not OK to be down, and that I can drag other people down.  I read something yesterday where the person said, “you’re better off without me…I’m an inconvenience or nuisance to you”.  Some truth there.

There’s a sense of looking for an external cause, and maybe it’s other people, so eliminate the “problem” by eliminating the person.  Don’t take offence, I also see as potential external causes the things that used to bring joy: exercise, artistic pursuits, being in nature.  Well, part of that is that there is that thinking about “should I go do this” makes me think, well, that’s not going to help.  So I remove these things from my life too.  But partly, I think, I, in my depressed state, see those pursuits as possibly the external cause for this feeling.  A side effect of removing things that used to be pleasureful is that that it leads to further withdrawing from life, i.e. more isolation.

And having to face people who don’t understand, and can’t possibly understand, but who act as if they think they understand.  Or worse yet, there’s the potential of getting criticism, even from friends.  Criticism can take the form of a friend’s comments such as “If I have a positive attitude and take positive actions…. blah blah blah”.  Preachiness is not welcome.  At all.  At least to me.  Ever.


I know I’m excessively self-involved when in a depressive episode.  It’s the nature of the beast… living inside my head.  So a conversation with a friend may be too much about me, and really, I have a little trouble even hearing the problems of others during these times.  That makes for a crappy friend, I think…. and so I avoid talking to people because I’m just involved in my own stuff.

And sometimes I just don’t feel like talking to anyone.

That’s not the half of why I isolate.  I’m just speculating at some of this.  I don’t know why I isolate.  I think it’s just simply a symptom of depression.

The article went on to say that social support is one of the things that we MOST need in order to cope and get past this.  So, armed with that knowledge,  though my brain says, I just want to recede into the background when around people, I chose to make an effort today.  Enough pushing people away.  It’s gotta stop.  Push hard enough, and they will go.  So, despite what my depressed brain wants, I go and say hi, greet a few people.  And you know what, I’m glad I did.

I was thinking the last few days, “I may not look like I want to be around people, make no attempt to acknowledge you, and even appear to ignore you, but it’s important that you are there, and it brings me a lot of comfort that you are just present.”.    I can’t stress that enough.  I said I can’t stress that enough.

What I don’t want is anyone offering solutions, because, quite frankly, I don’t think anyone has anything that can help to the least.  People may be well-meaning but the efforts, sometimes, are not helpful.  The exception to this would be someone who has suffered from depression for decades and will continue to suffer from depression for decades.

I’m a little angry at these things I read that say “1 in 4 will suffer depression at some time…”.  That’s not depression.  That’s sadness.  That’s grief.  That’s loss.  Yes, even if they are on medication for 2 years, they may think they qualify.  Sorry.  Not in my book.   Different ballgame altogether.  Too bad the word “depression” is so overused.

Here’s something I found in an article “Whenever I seem to want the most space is usually when I need the most support.”.  Well support for me is a hug.  That’s all.   To me, this quote means, when I’m at my worst, that’s the time I need the feeling that people care.” I think the person who posted this said they didn’t want to hear “are you OK?”.  I probably don’t either.  But it’s important I know you are there for me, and will continue to be there, and that you are thinking about me.  Usually, that can all be accomplished without saying anything.  Sometimes less is more.

I edited the picture here, and removed some stuff that wouldn’t work for me, but I’ll leave you with what to say to someone depressed:


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How To Read The Contents of Program Memory using AVR Assembler

A program which reads itself using the LPM instruction.

Why? What Do Instructions Look Like in the AVR Microcontroller

In the days of Commodore 8 bit computers, I created a little assembler/disassembler program.  So I was driven to know exactly what the instructions look like in memory, and exactly what gets stored in program memory when a program is uploaded to the microcontroller.

I suppose I’m thinking about trying to upload my own code my own way using my own assembler.

I’m using AVR Studio version 4.15 Build 623.  You can use Atmel Studio, but my computer was too slow for the newer version, and this old version really flies, has debugging, shows ports and registers too.

The Solution: The LPM Instruction

The code is in the description.  The secret sauce is the LPM instruction.  Here it is in the datasheet Instruction Set Summary:

The data sheet shows what happens during this LPM instruction:

Which means the contents at address Z get put into a register.  Then Address Z is incremented.  Here is the description:

How We Use the LPM Instruction

To use this, we must load register Z with address 0, the first location of our program on an Arduino chip.

To load register Z with an address, we can load its low byte and then its high byte.  Remember memory addresses are 2 bytes long, which is of course needed because there are so many of them.

The clr instruction is possible because we are setting both values to zero, it’s possible to use LDI but this seems more succinct.

The Main Loop to Read from Program Memory

Now there are two things to do, and they are in the following links:

1. AVR Asembler: Reading From Program Memory Using AVR Studio Debugger and Assembler

2. AVR Assembler: Comparing The Contents of Program Memory with the Hex Output File, and the Documentation.

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Brokerage Fees, GST, Duties, Customs, Taxes to Canada

Shipping Raspberry PI from Hong Kong to Canada with no Brokerage Fees

NONE!  None whatsoever.  No hidden charges, no brokerage fees, no charges asked by the post office, no GST, nothing.

I bought my PI 2 from and paid $57.43CDN, exactly as it says in (well it’s probably cheaper by now).  When I went to check out, there were no hidden charges, and my paypal amount was $57.43.

I ordered on February 1st and it arrived February 18th.  (17 days later).  It came to my front door from the Canada Post guy who asked for a signature, then handed over the parcel.  No brokerage fees, no GST, no duties, no nothing.

The envelope it came in was postmarked Germany (I don’t know why.   The store is in Hong Kong).  The Customs Declaration affixed to the back of the envelope read:

  • Merchandise
  • Raspberry Pi 2 – Model B. 1GB RAM.  Qty: 1   Value: 25
  • Total: .198lbs USD 25

I am not affiliated with this seller.  They don’t know I’m posting this.  I just wanted to share.

If you find this useful, share the luv, and give me a comment of thanks.🙂


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Installing Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi 2

I installed Arch Linux on my new Raspberry Pi following these install instructions.

What to expect when the Raspberry PI 2 is booting

  • While trying to boot,  if no lights are blinking, it means the PI is not booting.
  • Red light is always on for power
  • Blinking green light twice then…
  • Alternating blinking of red and green light then…
  • Then network port lights go on and that’s a good sign!

Power Supply for Raspberry Pi 2

  • My charger is pretty much the same as many phone chargers
  • cable on charger has a USB large end and a USB small end.
  • Plug one end into the computer, the other into my PI.  Works fine.

My Problems with installing Arch Linux was a 32MB Sandisk

  • My 32GB Sandisk  attempt at booting was just showing a green light and a disturbing red light.
  • I found the lack of a light on the network port to be very peculiar
  • I expected a network light to be on regardless, as I often see a light on the Network card on my PC when it’s switched off.
  • But I was wrong.  The network light requires a system that is ALREADY BOOTED.
  • Also the DISTURBING RED LIGHT is supposed to ALWAYS BE ON,  as long as there is power.  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t booted yet, are booting, or have done booting, it’s always on.
  • The green light is SUPPOSED TO GO OFF once it is booted.
  • I replaced my 32 GB Sandisk with a 4 GB slower Sandisk, and followed Arch linux instructions (see first line of this posting), and it worked FIRST TIME!

Is this article useful?  Share some luv and leave a thanks for a comment🙂


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TCNT1 Number must be positive and less than 64 solution

AVR Assembler Arduino

To store zero in TCNT1 using OUT won’t work.  To set the TCNT1 bits requires this technique.  First, you have to write to TCNT1H then TCNT1L but you can’t use OUT.  Here is the proper way to use assembly language to set TCNT1:

STS TCNT1H, 0x00
STS TCNT1L, 0x00

You, of course can also load those values into R16 then do


If you used this, send some luv and leave a reply!🙂

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