It’s ok to struggle! I mean, it sucks, a whole lot, but it’s alright in the context that it’s something that happens to everyone. Tim Ferris has a quote from his book Tools Of Titans that I love, that says “everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about”. It’s a part of being human. We make mistakes, and we feel vulnerable and insecure. Or perhaps, we feel, depressed and anxious! Regardless, we all fight personal battles!
I wanted to talk about this because I know how hard it can be to feel isolated and alone when you are depressed. Your mind rolls in vicious waves of negativity and your heart races as your body sweats. It’s like trying to run away from a monster in your dreams, but you can’t because your legs feel extremely sluggish. There is almost a hint of laughter in the background of your mind as you feel trapped by the downward spiral of vitriol playing in your mind. You wonder, “why can’t I shut this off”? So you crawl into bed in hopes of finding sleep to take you away. I can remember those feelings and how difficult it was to escape them.
Of course, the next day you come out the other side. Like a bad drunken night at the toilet bowl, when you swear to yourself, “if I just get through this one night, I’ll never drink again”. You feel awful from the hangover, but it is a relief from the dry heaving for hours the night before. After the terrible days of depression, you feel guilt and perhaps some shame after. However, you are glad to be no longer entrapped in your mind assault.
At this point, it’s so important to know that it’s ok to have bad days or weeks! Everyone does, in one form or another. It’s always going to be a part of the process of being human, even after you defeat depression. When I was able to wrap my mind around this, it made it far easier to deal with “the day after”. I was able to stop feeling so guilty and embarrassed.
It gave me hope to know that, bad days didn’t mean I was defeated. If some of the most successful people on earth could have bad days and figure out how to solve those issues, why couldn’t I?
I wanted to focus on how to attack my internal self-talk. I use the word attack because I wanted to overcome this horrible habit that was consuming me. I was willing to be aggressive in my approach. My idea was to create something to focus on at the start and end of every day that would inspire me. I wanted something to remind myself of who I was so I could read it to myself during tough times. I didn’t believe all of the horrible self-talk that would replay in mind, so I wanted to replace those thoughts with something I did believe!
What I did, was sit down with a pen and paper and begin to write about what I did believe. It seemed almost crazy at the time. I didn’t even really know what I was doing, and I began to question the validity of the idea. I felt silly. However, the words started coming out of me, and it felt comforting to affirm some real positive beliefs that I carried inside. What I ended up with was a poem/affirmation based on my beliefs.
I would read those words every day when I woke up and every night before bed. My world was dark then, and this was my flashlight in the dark. It gave me hope that I would find my way out of the darkness. There were times when I had bad days that I would read it over and over again. I was fighting my current mind state with the words from a more positive frame of mind. I felt completely insane!
Be that as it may, I can say with complete honesty, that the words on that piece of paper were the start to me pushing through depression. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I began the process of personal development. As with most examples of perseverance, rewards are usually waiting right after we push through some of our most difficult times. That was certainly the case for me.
I would like to share that piece from 10 years ago, in hopes it can inspire someone else in their fight against depression today. I titled it, I Believe!
I believe in karma, and that what I put out comes back.
I believe in taking risks, and not fearing rejection.
I believe in making mistakes, and learning lessons from them.
I believe in forgiveness, for myself and for those who hurt me.
I believe in honesty, for acceptance and healing.
I believe in wisdom, for growth and maturity.
I believe in patience, for quality over quantity.
I believe in liberty, for myself and others.
I believe in loyalty, for trust and commitment.
I believe in faith, for hope and guidance.
I believe in love, as the key to unlock all doors.
I believe in the power of my thoughts, to change how I feel.
I believe in the power of my feelings, to change how I act.
I believe in the power of my actions, to change my life.
I believe in me!