Just look at that face. It doesn’t look like someone who had such severe depressions she nearly killed herself in her twenties, does it?
Last year, I ended my two year relationship with my therapist for depression. I felt good about it, despite being ‘cast adrift…on my own’, and I miss my therapist because she was such a positive element in my life. But I was better. It was time to move on-
I felt I’d share a few of the realizations that helped me get there, but you must also understand the reasons behind my depression;
I accept that my depression was not a ‘chemical imbalance’ but the fear, doubt, and low self worth I carried with me all the time. I accepted that I will never be 100% free of depression. It’s because I’m human, and part of being human is feeing bad such as anger, fear, and sadness.
I still deal with low self-worth from time to time, but I remind myself that I do accomplish things, am loved, and work towards a better tomorrow.
I learned the words spoken to me by my parents (and other people important in my life) became my inner voice, and that often said I couldn’t do that (for whatever reason), and I wasn’t good enough.
This was a huge revelation, because I realized that my negative thinking was trained into me. But I also found, I can change that voice, switch to something more positive.
I realized I wallowed instead of taking action. I let myself go into deeper depression, gave into ‘circular thinking’ rather than focusing on solving the problem.
With story writing we learn that its not the SOLUTION to the conflict that ends a book, but the RESOLUTION. Sometimes the character succeeds, but sometimes find a way to accept things they cannot change, or they find another solution altogether.
I would get paralyzed to doing action because if I screwed up, I had so many people pointing that out to me.
Since embracing the fact that I am a klutz, not too coordinated, and have issues with ‘attention to detail’, I find mistakes not so much daunting or defining on me as a person. I recognize that I need to make mistakes more because I’m still in the process of undoing all that doubt. I need to screw up, so I can be comfortable, even confident in trying new things.
And here are some things that helped me:
I accept I will fall apart now and then, that’s okay. I am allowed a bad day or week. Its when it lengthened into months or even years you should seek help. But being sad now and then is part of what makes us human.
I’m allowed to make mistakes. That mistakes are essential to reaching goals, because it shows you if you’re doing it wrong, and to change the course of action. I seem to make than the average, but if that’s my learning process, so be it.
I focus on the positive rather the negative. You might think “oh that’s so Pollyanna’, but it really does work. You still gain benefits from synthesized happiness. And if you think happy thoughts are not ‘in reality’, what makes you think your negative thoughts are reality?
I remove stresses and triggers that might put me into a depression. I recently stepped down as organizer of a business meetup group because I realized I have a full plate of responsibilities and taking that on would only stress me out.
I also keep people who love drama, or wallow, or stress me out at a distance. Some, I cut out of my life. I cannot express how much better my life is for doing that.
I surround myself with positive people. I have two wonderful groups of people I organize that have people who share positive thinking. The writers group offers feedback and encouragement, while the Wiccan group offers a spiritual side to grow and learn.
You may not have a group of people, but I think its important to have people in your life that will hold you up, not bring you down. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of broken people who work from such weaknesses as jealousy, anger, fear, doubt, etc, and they tend to drain rather than inspire, but you must also understand to also offer the best parts of yourself in relationships.
This is why I try my best to not share negative stuff to friends or even family any more. I don’t want to wallow, or drag them down, but to inspire, make them laugh, and feel good about themselves. I might mention something now and then, but I find my overall outlook on life is for the better by not giving energy to the negative stuff.
Being a gamer, I think, also helps. Consider problems as a quest or mission, and you have to figure out how to solve it to level up.