This is a topic that a lot of people deal with… depression. I've dealt with it many times in my life and in order to combat it I went to therapy. I had to do the work to better myself. As a mom you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself. What’s the saying… you can’t pour from an empty cup? Therapy was the best thing I could have done for myself.
I met with my therapist for a few months and I learned a lot of things about myself, depression and anxiety. The truth of the matter is I had gone to see a doctor before about depression prior to seeking out therapy. I went to a primary care physician to seek help for anxiety and depression. Upon signing in I was given a questionnaire. I think it had maybe 8-10 questions on it. The doctor determined from looking at my answers to questionnaire that I had depression and should be treated for it. She didn't ask me any personal questions to try to get to know me or find out maybe what was going on in my life. Over the years as I look back I feel she handled me the wrong way. Instead of getting to the root of the problem she just scribbled on her pad, handed me a prescription and said take these and see how you feel.
A prescription is not a one size fits all solution to a problem that affects millions of people. Anyway, desperate to get rid of the depression I filled the prescription. Once I had it all I could do was sit and stare at the bottle. I turned it over and over again in my hand and I thought to myself is this the answer for me?
Don’t get me wrong, it definitely is the answer for some people and I'm not here to judge. This is a judgment free zone but this was a personal decision I had to make. I had to decide if it was the help I needed? Was this how I wanted to treat the situation? I didn't want to take pills and just ignore how I was feeling. I genuinely felt like something more going on with me. So I threw away the pills and continued to be sad and anxious…. all the damn time.
Fast forward a couple years after that to a time I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. There was a lot going on in my life and I felt like I was losing control. I felt alone, my grandmother had just passed, there was a hurricane headed for Florida and I was still dealing with other unresolved problems. I just didn't know what to do or how to handle it.
If I could put into words exactly how I was feeling I would imagine it to be what a nervous breakdown felt like.
So that’s when I decided it was time to seek professional help. It was the greatest thing that I could have done for myself. Now mind you, this was a couple years after I originally went to a doctor first and she gave me the pills that I threw away, but now!! Now I would have been OK with being treated with the prescription at this point in time I would have done whatever I was told to stop the way I was feeling. What I discovered at this time was the depression was situational and I feel like it had been all along. So taking pills wasn't going to fix MY situation.
Getting to the root cause and fixing what was going wrong in my life would have gotten rid of the depression. Finding out what I was worried about is what helped with the anxiety. I sat down with my therapist once a week and I learned how to deal with the situations in my life past and present.
The main thing I learned is to deal with my past and the way people have treated me. I held on to a lot of things I needed to let go of. Not only that but I also take on other people’s problems. I had to learn their burdens are not mine to bear.
I've come a long way. Sometimes you just have to really sit in your mood if you're anxious about something or if you're depressed about something. Sit in it and figure out what's causing it. If it's a chemical imbalance than absolutely by all means take whatever you have to or do whatever your doctor prescribes as long as you feel comfortable with it. Whenever I feel down I sit in those feelings and I think what's causing it right now. Is it situational? Did I eat too much sugar? Have I not been taking care of myself? Am I going through a transition? I don't say struggle, I say transition. It’s all about a positive mindset during a difficult time and I tell myself this too shall pass.
There is air in my lungs, my heart is beating and my family is healthy. That's what's important that's what matters. There is food on the table and a roof over our heads. Anything else is not worth the worry. It's not worth putting that stress and strain on your body, it's just not.
At the risk of sounding cliché there is a quote I came across and I feel it would help… “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”
I fully believe that a series of small changes over time can create the biggest impact. Every week at the end of each podcast/blog post I’ll give you a minor tip for a major impact on your life.
This week’s Minor tip for a major impact is… talking to yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking I’ve lost it! But no really! Talk to yourself and say something positive. We are always in our own heads with so much to say, but what if every time we thought of something negative we turned it into something positive? I want you to come up with a list of positive affirmations this week that you will say to yourself every day, all day, as many times as you need it. I’ll start you off with a few.
I am grateful for my life.
I am enough.
I have everything I need at this very moment.
Say those and be sure to come up with your own. See how it changes your mind set. And above all else… pray. I don’t know what your personal beliefs are but I whole heartedly believe in God. So pray, say your affirmations and always, always consult a doctor or tell a family member if things ever get too much for you.
Share this with anyone you think it will help.
Best of luck,
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