mental health · Uncategorized

Two Easy Steps to Becoming Chronically Depressed for the Rest of your Life

28 November, 2016

It’s simple, really. All you have to do is learn two simple behaviours, and then let these behaviours wreak havoc over every area of your life.

Then, before you know what happened, you will be living in a cycle of misery that can go unchecked for a really, really long time. It is so simple!

1. Deny the fact that you have feelings, or that how you feel is important

2. Deny your own personal power to make positive changes in your own life

These are the ingredients to a cocktail of disaster. Together, with their powers combined, these two easy habits can lead to years, if not decades, of unchecked depression, emotional baggage that never gets dealt with, bad life decisions and habits, and a cycle of misery.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Deny the fact that you have feelings, or that how you feel is important

This is surprisingly common. So common, in fact, that it is normal. I am very good at it, personally. It is the end-result of having poor self-worth. Somewhere down the years, through hurt, rejection and disappointment, you learn that feeling certain emotions can hurt, and when you feel hurt, most people don’t seem to have an ear for you. That, or they just don’t talk about their feelings either. The end result is, you feel that you need to ignore the warning lights, block your ears, and go “la la la la la la la la la la” when your brain tells you “I feel sad, I feel angry, I feel hurt”.

What is so beautiful about this behaviour is that when you do it, you start to live a life that is unsatisfying. You start to build a life for yourself that disregards how you really feel about it. You become unsatisfied and frustrated, but really, you just need to get over yourself. Really, you’re fine, your life is great, you shouldn’t be complaining, you wuss.

2. Deny your own personal power to make positive changes in your own life

The second ingredient is to become totally paralysed to actually doing anything about the mess you’re in. An easy way to do this is to rationalise that you’re just feeling “discontent”, which is bad, and that really, you can’t do much about it.

For a long time, I thought that to be unsatisfied with a certain area of my life, whether it was an unfulfilling job, a bad relationship, or anything else, was bad, because I wasn’t being, well, satisfied.

I thought that, basically, I needed to suck it up, swallow the bitter pill, and realise that this is how it is always going to be. I’m always going to be depressed. I’m always going to have a dysfunctional family dynamic. I’m always going to be anxious, shy, have low self-worth, and fail at life.

I began to think, “I’m really frustrated with x and it’s causing me to be very depressed and anxious, but, hey,  it really isn’t that bad. Besides, I shouldn’t feel frustrated or….” Oh! we’re going round the cul-de-sac again! Guilt, anxiety, and low self-worth. Before you know it, nothing has changed, I’ve simply put up with bad circumstances. This cycle repeated year after year.

Sometimes contentment is a cover-up for apathy. Doing nothing is easier than doing something.

Break the Cycle

With a lot of help, I’ve started to break free from this cycle. But it takes commitment, and support.

Here are some resolutions I’ve made for myself. I’m still learning how to do these on a day to day basis. Maybe they’ll help you:

– I refuse to put a bandaid over my personal life and hope that the universe will fix it for me.

– I refuse to accept that I need to “get over it” when I’m angry or sad. Instead, I’ll respond to those emotions in a constructive way.

– I refuse to accept that I have no control over anything in my life. Instead, I’ll commit to making the right choices when I have the opportunity. It is not too late.

– I’m committed to getting help when I need it – counselling, accountability from people I trust, etc.

– I’m committed to taking responsibility for myself, and dealing with my own problems, rather than blaming them on others.

– I’m committed to letting others take responsibility for their own problems, too, rather than try to save them.

– I’m committed to actually believing what I say is true – Because of Jesus, I’m loved, forgiven and accepted. Therefore, I will no longer let guilt, shame and low self-worth control my life.

These kinds of changes are the building blocks to break free from the cul-de-sac of depression, anxiety, and low self-worth. It takes time, and it is not as easy as the “two-step program”, but it’s possible.

Grace for Failures is the blog of Carlin Doyle to encourage and inspire people who have gotten life wrong for a long time, and want to try and do things a little differently. Click here for more info, and here for more posts.

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