Who Knew?

I discovered something so simple that it seems too easy.

This thing has given me positive results regarding my depression like nothing else.

Oh, I have had many breakthroughs,that have no doubt, helped me manage and to lessen the effects of depression.

I started out by re-inventing myself. I started eating better and exercising. I found writing, which gave me a way to channel my emotions. I discovered self-talk.

But, this thing… well its result were almost instantaneous.
The big breakthrough? Sleep. Yeah, that is it. The right amount of sleep to be more precise. I hate to admit it, but since my daughter graduated and I have not been employed for a while, I have been sleeping in sometimes as late as 10  once it was closer to 11. I would stay up late and sleep in late.

The result was a very sluggish me, no energy, not much brain power, and always feeling tired no matter how long I slept. I wasn’t accomplishing much with this routine and I was having more and more depressed days.

So, I decided to stop it and I went to be early and got up a lot earlier. The first few days were rough. One day I gave in to the temptation and went back to bed, that is the day I got up at 11 am. The results were dramatic, where I had been slowly getting less depressed, that one day crashed down on me and I was miserably depressed. I decided no matter how tired I was, that I was staying up once I got up and if needed I could take a short nap to re-energize. Again the results were dramatic, I feel less depressed and am getting more things accomplished than I have in months.

Who would have thought something that simple could make such a difference?

Changing My Mind.

I have been depressed again and I know that in order to get completely well I have to change my mind. Sounds easy, it isn’t. How do you change what others have said and what you have told yourself about yourself for years?

You are so stupid. What is wrong with you? Can’t you do anything right? Why aren’t you happy? Just shut up. Look at you just lying there, if you’d have more gumption things would get better. You do everything wrong. Nobody loves you. You are useless. Your pain doesn’t matter. Grow up! You are such a baby! No wonder no one likes you. Look at you, you fat pathetic loser, no wonder your husband can’t stand to be with you. No one will ever really care for you. Why don’t you die, everyone would be better off.

How does one shut all that off?

I compare it to a tape-recorder, that keeps playing inside your head.

You want to shut it off, but you can’t find the off switch.

May, I suggest that once conditioned it is almost impossible to shut it off?

That doesn’t mean there is no hope, only that another approach is needed.

May I suggest you don’t need to try and shut it off?

People who try ,usually, do so by self-medicating, over-eating, sleeping around, and many other destructive behaviors trying to tune out that ever playing machine.

The problem is that doesn’t work.

What you need is to re-record over that cassette, you need new and more accurate information.

The list above of negatives is one that most of us, if we are considerate people, would not level at anyone else.

We would think no one deserves that kind of treatment.

We don’t deserve it either.

So treat yourself like the friend you’d like to have.

When the tape recording begins telling you something negative, talk to yourself like you would, if you are trying to convince a friend.

Name your good qualities, point out lies, and tell yourself you are worth loving.

What I mean is when a negative comes along like: “you are so stupid”, refuse to believe that and call it what it is a big fat lie.

List the things you are proud of even if it seems silly, I have nice hair, I am intelligent, I try to be kind to everyone, etc..You try to be nice to everyone?

Is that not a person worth loving? Tell it to yourself.

I am convinced, in time, that I will re-program that cassette with more positives than negatives.

That is, if I continue to tell myself the opposite of what those destructive messages are telling me, then I will successfully re-record that cassette playing in my brain.

I do know that every time I have slipped back into the depressed state it has been because of that damn tape recorder!

So, I need to reprogram that tape, I need to change my mind.

Cured?

I have struggled with depression for many years in fact I was in a deep depression lasting 10 years and it was pure hell.

Can you be cured? Possibly.

But, is there a one size fits all cure, I doubt it.

A blog I recently read, suggests that if everybody just did thing “A” they would be cured from depression, he admits he is not an expert and neither am I ,we do have one thing in common, we both have been depressed.

If he is cured I am glad, very glad.

You don’t know how glad, because I would not wish this thing called depression on anyone. 

I do, however, get irritated when someone, anyone says, “Just do “A” and you will be cured from depression.” 

Well if I could do “A”, don’t you think I would?

Don’t you think I’ve tried?

My depression was caused by childhood trauma and just thinking positively is not going to cure me.

The problem is I don’t know how to think positively, I didn’t learn that language, I learned the language of survival.

I need real help to change my ways of thinking, I need to learn the language, not just the words.

The blog host suggests to just live in the “now”, but what about people living a life of pure hell?

They may be indeed living in the “now”, but that “now” is a scary place, a “now” where they are repeatedly tortured or molested or raped.

They don’t have time to stop and smell the roses and contemplate how great life can be, they have to think ahead and they got to think about how to survive.

Even years after all this abuse has ended it is not as easy as saying, “I’m going to be happy, now”

Mainly, because you don’t know what happiness is supposed to look like.
You have been conditioned to think you are not worth anything, not worth saving, and a hundred other things like that,

 The “now” is a tape-recorder of these “lessons” that is constantly playing in your head and if you could turn it off you definitely would.

Some depression is caused by chemical imbalances and sometimes medication is needed.

Now, I think we push a little too much medication in this country, but I have seen how the right medication can do wonders.

Positive thinking is not going to cure a chemical imbalance, you can’t think correctly because of the imbalance.

I think a combination of things can help like therapy,  for me writing helps, medication if needed, diet, getting enough sleep or even self help books

Just waking up to an epiphany is not going to happen for most people, no, it is going to take hard work to unlearn all that we have learned.

I mean no disrespect to the blogger who wrote up his post, he is talking from his own experiences, but I believe we should be careful about saying things like do this thing “A” and you will be “cured.”

Like I stated above I do not believe in a one-size fits all “cures” for depression.

I do believe things can get better.

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Fancy cake with number 20 candles.  Decorated with ribbons and star-shapes, in pastel tones. Stock Photo - 4315728

I made your acquaintance 20 years ago today. You came into the world with a shout! Who knew you’d end up the quiet type?

I admire you, you have fears like me, but you have gone and faced some of them! You have plans for the future and though frightened are willing to try, that is bravery.

Uncompromising in what you believe, you amaze me at times with your goodness. You would never dream of hurting a soul if you can help it.I wish that I was more like that at times.

I love you and I believe in you. Do you know why I always cry at that song, “Wind beneath my wings?” Because, I think of you there in the shadows happy to let others “shine.” You are a steady light, lower beamed, never compromising.

I hope your Birthday was happy and you have many, many, many more! I would not have missed these last 20 years for the world!

Love.

What is love?

Is it merely a feeling?

If it is, feelings wax and wane so how do you know that love will stay?

How do you know you will always love the person you are with?

If you answered because they love me, what if they stop? What if for one day they don’t feel like loving you? Do you throw it all away and start again? Or do you choose to love them, despite their feelings?

Is love a choice? A decision to keep the vows “for better or for worse”?

Unconditional love is the purest form of love. It is a commitment. It is a choice to continue to love when the other person is not so loveable. It doesn’t demand anything. It is willing to wait until the loving feelings return and if we are patient they almost always do.

So, I believe love is a feeling, but it is also a choice.

Positive in the Negatives.

Hand in boxing glove through paper hole Stock Photo - 12798991

Sometimes, something unexpected comes along and BAM! it knocks you back into reality.

Imagination is a great trait, but when you live there 24/7, things start to unravel and you don’t even notice.

Then something jars you and when this happens you have some choices, you refuse to wake-up, you give up, or you grow-up.

I have made fun, on my silly blog, the concept of self-talk, but in reality it is what keeps me from heading down the path of psychosis.

It isn’t an easy discipline, you’re not allowed to tell yourself fairy-stories, on the other hand you’re not allowed to beat your self up, either, what you have to be willing to endure is the unvarnished truth and believe me that is hard.

A pleasant fairy-story where Rachael can live selfishly and unconcerned about the feelings of others is much easier. I have no duties, no responsibility, and no one is affected by my selfish behavior in that world.  I can tell myself they don’t really need me, they don’t care if I’m around, or they do fine without me. But, that is not true.

The truth is we need each other, the truth is I have sadly neglected my family and have dreamed the hurt away,which really never goes away until you face it, why they waited and wondered why I was rejecting them. Why I was so detached.

Facing truth is always hard, but the positive thing about self-talk is you get to see other truth as well. Yes, my family does love me, they do want me around,and they are happier when I make time for them.

It can help with negative “self-talk” as well replacing the  “you can never do this” with “you can do this just give your self time and allow yourself the privilege of learning from your mistakes.” It takes the Negatives and turns them into positives.

And, although true enough that you can do nothing about the past you can do something about the here and now. I choose to grow. I choose to face the truth and I choose not to beat myself up.