It’s really tough to remember that depression is a liar. Not a fibber, but a whopping great big, no holds barred, stinky phantom of lies. (And yes, its pants are on fire.)
It tells you that there is no hope, no point to anything, that you’re a waste of space, that you are a blight on other peoples lives…it wants you to believe that every single tomorrow that you have left in your life will be as miserable and energy sapping as today. Depression’s nasty little chemicals want to swamp you.
I’ve been there and I believed the lies for a long time. Too long.
Good news!!!! Today is better, brighter and more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined.
There was light at the end of the tunnel.
The hope was waiting for me to claim and embrace it.
Today, I know me better than I knew me before, what I need and want and feel.
Gone is the drained perennial people pleaser. Here to stay is the new me, the one that deserves to be happy and respected. Sure, it took counselling and a lot of introspection but the liar didn’t win the game. Truth did.
If you’re depressed please try to find the truth, not the lies that the illness wants you to think are the truth.
You are special.
You have unique qualities.
You have hope for tomorrow.
You are not alone.
You are not weak, pathetic or lacking…you’re suffering from an illness.
Being happy with depression/anxiety/PTSD/OCD takes practice and effort. Even when the worst is over you know the dark cloud might pop back so it’s best to ward off negativity with proactive “make yourself happy and appreciate things” tricks.
Making a list of things to be grateful about may not seem appropriate when you feel like the world is your enemy and that life is less than glorious but actually, being disciplined and making that list can work, although it doesn’t take the chemical imbalance – the illness’ cause away. It can add positives to the apparent sea of negatives though.
Have a home.
Loved by family.
Friends and support.
Employed or seeking employment.
Interested in something.
Invested in a hobby.
Know where to get help.
I don’t know whether it’s the same for you but I love effect that the sun has on productivity. Birds singing, bees buzzing, cool drink, laptop and a full on day of writing or reading/research…love it! Summer says “bring it on!”
Obviously being out in the sun (safely) means seratonin production, the happy chemical in your brain, and if you have depression/anxiety you know that all the help you can get is welcome so set to work and seratonin to the max.
Cosy in the winter is good too and working from home I get to wear my smug face as people battle the weather conditions, you know, sat in front of the fire with a hot chocolate, sorry;-)
This took me time to be able to even consider!! Be nice to yourself. Your inner voice can be cruel. That mean voice isn’t the truth, it’s stuck on repeat.
So, you made a mistake at work, pranged your car or forgot to send an e-mail to Aunty Flo…that isn’t the end of the world. You may feel like it is, but the globe will keep on turning and you won’t make it as headline news so please go easy on yourself. You’re human.
Lastly, how often do you congratulate yourself or give yourself a reward?
As part of my CBT therapy about 4 years ago, my homework for weeks was to enjoy myself ON PURPOSE and until it became a habit. I still do it now, whether it’s a new top, a cream cake, an Animaniacs/Garfield cartoon or an early finish, I treat myself regularly. Why? It feels good.
We often forget ourselves and our contributions as we rush about. Stop, take a moment and say “Good work.” It’s not being boastful or decadent, it’s being nice to your brain, self esteem, confidence and about diminishing stress. Humans are powerful machines, we need to refuel sometimes.
One treat a day can keep negativity at bay.
Happy Wednesday:-) Thanks for reading this.
I was reminded this morning of how I used to be, people who know you “from before” a brain blip tend to send your mind right back, to “another” you.
I recalled how reluctant I was to say that I was ill, how I backpeddled from treatment, how I refused medication for my OCD/PTSD for around six months and how when it all looks gloomy the thought of defining the sadness with big medical terms is enough to depress you – when you’re already depressed!
Here’s a news flash for anyone who feels like this at the moment:
I only started to heal when I got treatment, accepted the diagnosis, cried my eyes out (I put them back in) and then took meds – only 60mg in my case – but my long suffering therapist thought she’d have trouble even getting me to take 5mg of anything!
Therapy does make you better, I know it’s a long road and sometimes it seems neverending, but enjoy the moments in which you claim YOU back and can review the past with a knowledgable smile and gratitude that thanks to experts and rebalancing a chemical imbalance your life is yours.
Sure, it will be different, you will be stronger – no one goes through a mental health crisis without learning who they truly are – but that, in its own way is empowering. Cool, huh?!
Don’t let the bad guys steal your life, get help and the future opens up like a rose bud.
If anyone is down today I recommend this: Thanks Jo:-)
Let’s talk brain trickery…it is so easy when you have mental illness (or in a rut) to get stuck with stinking thinking. Thank God I suffer from it less than I used to…helped by a brilliant counsellor and CBT but I still fall prey to the occasional (read daily) thought error.
Like “I should have done this by now.”
“I’m taking too long loading the dishwasher, I have other stuff to do.”
“I must e-mail someone right now. They’ll be waiting.”
Really, the answer should be “why?” or “who said?” “what difference does it make?” “Is it a life of death importance?” BUT somehow the brain blip kicks in and two things happen in response to the stinking thinking:
You start to feel bad, like you’ve done something wrong and you tell yourself to do better, therefore demanding more of yourself which only adds pressure which exacerbates a stress related illness.
Anyone else seeing a vicious circle here?
Apparently it’s called the Demanding Thinking Error… It’s demanding and it’s a thought not a divine or true statement and it’s an error…so think of it as a number in place of a letter or a vegetable instead of a fruit. You don’t have to have it and use it just because it presents itself so if, like me, you have the demanding thinking error, don’t listen to that pesky inner voice, ignore it and remind yourself that life is to be enjoyed, it’s not a speed trial and you are a fabulous person doing just fine!
Happy rest of the day, smile, you’ve earned it. Have a slice of cream cake too, go on, you know you want to!
I’m British, that means I’m genetically disposed to discuss the weather…apparently!
Anyway, here I am in southern England, the sun’s shining timidly and it’s a lovely spring day MEANWHILE my sister has woken up in Canada to a dusting of snow. I know where I’d rather be.
I think I’d:
b. retreat to the duvet
c. both of the above, whilst eating a ton of chocolate
if I woke up to snow on the 11th May…it’s nearly the longest day of the year…there shouldn’t be snowflakes with the cornflakes!
Anyway, I’ve had a fab editing my latest book day.
I’ve also decided what my next book will be about and I might just go for a springy stroll later unlike my sister who’ll be snowgliding to work. LOL.
Have a fab day, whatever the weather.