Then vs. Now
Totally haven't been keeping up on this thread! My posting came out of my personal experience. I was clinically depressed for years in my teens; they tried me on every anti-depressent, I was seeing psychiatrists and psychologists, sat under 'happy lights' for an hour a day, etc. For me, it took realizing that I, and only I, was 'in charge' of my moods, life, happiness and health, and that only I could make the decision to find new tools and ways of being and utilize them.
I read a lot of books, I found a cognitive psychologist, I changed my diet, my exercise routine and consequently my life. I connected with ways of thinking that made me feel good, instead of awful. It didn't happen quickly, and I fucked up a lot with consistency, but me then vs. me now? Night and day. I used to spend days cloistered in my room chain smoking cigarettes and wasting away on the interwebz, listening to The Smiths and crying a lot. Now when I have those days (I no longer smoke, and find The Smiths make me smile now), I wallow for a couple of hours to respect that part of myself, and then I do just as someone else was mentioning - I con myself into making breakfast and coffee, I wheedle myself into the shower, and I choose an activity or goal that will take me out of the house, out of my head, and into the world. It does work in small increments when life feels like a lead weight on your chest/mind/heart.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has also really changed my life. Remembering and giving creedence to how incredibly lucky I am on a global scale has done a lot to get rid of some of the internal dialogue that kept me paralyzed in unhappiness for years. Instead of Why Me? in a negative sense, it's now Why Me? in how lucky I am to be able to turn on the tap and drink water out of it when scores of human beings die from waterborne illness every day. I'm not saying that depression isn't an illness too, but part of the solution for me was shifting my psychology to really internalize how blessed and lucky I am, even at the very worst emotional times in my life. I start my morning off with a gratitude session where I "pray" which to me, involves recognizing the people that I love, and saying thank you for things in my life - a comfortable bed in a safe home, partners who love me, my dogs, etc. etc. When I talk to myself about the good things in my life, it gives a certain spin to my day that isn't otherwise there.
I also give myself permission to restart my day at any time. If things start getting shitty, I can stop, take a cup of tea outside, and mentally reset the dialogue that is starting to make life feeling unmanageable. Life is what it is, but my attitude can change the way that I process it, and only I am responsible for that.
We're all on our own path, and having been plagued with self hating behaviour when I was younger (eating disorders, drug abuse, smoking, self mutilation, suicide attempts, resulting time in the psych ward, abusive relationships and the resulting depression) has given me a richer, deeper understanding of hardwon happiness in my own life. I changed my life step by step, and changed myself step by step. It isn't easy, and it took a long time for me to forgive myself and start really learning to love myself, but I'm getting there.
Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 06-07-2013 at 03:51 PM.