I just finished reading some posts from a couple of bloggers who are really struggling with depression. I wonder when I write about how well I’ve done for years, do I make them feel even worse? Do I sound smug and condescending? When I was the one who was struggling and I read articles from others who said what I’m saying now, how did that make me feel?
I always told myself my case was unique, that somehow my depression was worse than the case studies that were cited. That my circumstances were worse than theirs. That I had some sort of medical problem. I can remember reading a book called, “Happiness is a Choice” and thinking the authors didn’t have a clue. Who were they to tell me I was part of the problem? That my thinking and behaviors were, if not the only cause, at least part of it.
And yet here I am free from depression. (Remember I didn’t say I never had some bad days, maybe even a week.) How did I get here? Was it really all the ways I write about in this blog? Or is it just the way it is? Did I somehow magically get here? Will I wake up some morning and realize it was all a fluke and I’m right back in the pit?
I don’t want anyone to feel condemned by my current state of good mental health, but I can look back even as recently as this past year and see how hard I’ve worked.
And it didn’t just happen.
I had to work at a number of issues. I had to learn to let people be responsible for those parts of their life they were responsible for. I had to learn to exert my opinion without qualification. I had to learn to carve out time for myself doing just what I wanted to do. Every time I feel guilty about something I shouldn’t feel guilty about, I’ve learned to remind myself I’m only human.
At the same time, I’ve learned to corral my thoughts, edit my words, slow my pace, etc. But does that mean that everyone who does as I do would beat their own depression? I don’t know. Why does it work for me? And will it always work for me? Am I only spouting theories that I say worked because I am better? Is it all circular thinking?
What is that “X” factor that works for some and not others?
Tonight, I’m letting you in on my “ponderings”. I know my story of recovery is not unique though. I know many others who have battled through their depression and are now healthy and whole.
If you’re following this blog, don’t feel bad if you’re not experiencing good mental health. I have a wonderful husband who completely supports me. I have a lot of good in my life. But just so you know, I have stressors as well.
As 2014 approaches, I still have work to do. I There are some people in my life I need to deal with. (Just need to make a decision about what to do if anything.) There are some situations I’m anticipating to be problematic. And those are the issues I know about.
I didn’t mention the most important part of my recovery, My relationship with God as been the foundation for everything. He has led me on this journey to health with me kicking and screaming all the way. I was pretty content letting the responsibility for my illness lie anywhere but with me.
That’s it. Enough thinking for one night.