Have you ever been lied to or cheated on? I have. The year my divorce was finalized, I would have been married 20 years. I was told many lies during those years. And honestly, I was married to a really great guy, or so I thought.
At first, the lies were small. Or, maybe he was just a really good liar and I just didn't catch the big ones for a long time. Over the years, what I realized was that each time he was caught in anything, there was a pattern. He would get busted, we would fight, he would say he was sorry, life would go on.
Now, being divorced for a while and being able to look back at it all with a different perspective, I see that each time he was caught, it gave him the opportunity to become a better liar. It is like failing at anything you are trying to master.
"The more times we fail, if we are determined, we will get better each and every single time. "
While going through a bout of depression, it dawned on me that while we are all working so hard to fight the stigma of mental health and all that entails, many of us have learned to master hiding our down times. We have heard awful things from certain people, we have been criticized at times and told to just, "Get over it." Many of us have been hospitalized against our wishes.
It doesn't take long before we find ourselves in a tough situation and aren't even sure how we got there. I was walking down a hallway one day and passed several strangers and we smiled at each other. Before seeing them, I was in mental turmoil. After passing them, I wondered what each of them might be going through themselves. That is when it dawned on me how I have perfected being totally fine and wondered how many others out there have done and are doing the same thing.
We all have our own patterns. Something I did after this event was print out a calendar for that month. Every single day, I journaled and I wrote about the events that went on. I took note every day on a scale of 1 - 10 on where I was at mentally. This was a very helpful exercise because, after 30 days, I was able to have a clear picture of what my triggers were. I was able to make a decision as to what I needed to do more of and what I needed to do less of.
My entire "message" has always been that we each have to find the things that work for us. Many times, in our darkest hours, the only person we can trust is ourselves. So, the goal is to improve YOU.
"No one else knows what is best for you but yourself anyway. "
Reflect on yourself and your own patterns. Think back to other times where you found yourself in a really depressed funk and you pulled yourself out of it, how did you do it? What worked for you?
Here are some things I do regularly:
- 15 minutes of Compassion Meditation (Search on YouTube for them)
- State at least 5 things I am grateful for
- Journal, even if it is only one paragraph
- Listen to positive audiobooks
- Remind myself that this is only a moment and the sun will rise yet again tomorrow
How about you? What do you do? What has worked for you? Do you have a story of a time you pulled your own self out of a really dark place that you could share with me and others? I would love to hear back from you!
~The Survivor Coach