Sunday, November 8, 2015

How To Stop Your Depression and Anxiety

I've got three friends, that I know of, going through disappointment in their lives right now.   Two have been experiencing long term dissatisfaction, and the third is experiencing a new disillusionment but not an unfamiliar one.  All of these setbacks are in relationships where love is the culprit.  Sad to say this is a feeling I'm quite familiar with.  I've been disenchanted so much in my life by men that 'loved me' and that I 'loved', that I'm not sure what it feels like anymore not to expect the worst of people. 

This is my own fault because I'm responsible for my own feelings, no one else.  While I'm not blaming them for being who they are or were, I'm blaming myself more for not seeing them with all their flaws.  I suppose that's what love does, hides all our warts and makes us appealing.  If love wasn't blind perhaps the human race would never have been fruitful and multiplied. 

But that's the real kicker isn't?  When someone lets us down, it's really not that person that has done the deed.  It's us.  WE have let ourselves down.  We do this because we still have hope that the next great love (or friendship) will be different, or that the current love we are committed to will change, or see the light, if that's easier to stomach.

Because, I hate to break it to you sunshine, but people don't really change.  Except with time, and then it's usually for the worse.  See there I go again expecting the worst.  When I myself would like to think I've changed for the better.  Perhaps that's not true.  Perhaps all the hurt I've thrown upon myself, for whatever reasons that I felt I deserved it, has left me bitter and unable to trust for a reason. 

They say that the best way to fix that is to fall in love again, to have another leap of faith and just jump right back on that horse.  I've done that.  It doesn't work either.  At least not for me.  I wasn't ready to accept the love offered to me after my first disappointment, nor after my third, and consequently became regret for the men who only wanted to love me.  Not change me.  After my fourth self inflicted frustration, I felt so angry that I'd allowed anyone in again, I fell into the arms of a deep depression coupled with its favorite main squeeze, anxiety.   It makes me wonder if we ever really forgive the past.  Maybe we just walk away, forever with one eye watching our path for the other shoe to drop.  Perhaps some hurts can be so painful that we just don't know how to forgive. 

Forgetting seems like the logical solution, however, how does one forget that kind of pain?  How can we really move on from our heart being sulky and our minds in darkness?

I'll tell you how.  It's actually easier than you think.  But you have to be strong.  The first thing you have to do is forgive yourself.  And that's the hardest thing to do, even though it seems like it would be the easiest.  Its not.  No matter how much you thought the other person that let you down, wouldn't; that's nothing to understanding that you did it to yourself.  YOU are the one that let yourself down.  By putting too much stock into someone else to be responsible for your happiness.  That's right.  You have to fall in love with yourself again, and be truly happy with your own company, to really love.  Because if you believe that you would die if your love left you, then you are not loving  You are gathering possessions.  Understand that you will be just as happy as you are now with someone or without them.  That's the secret to avoiding depression and curbing anxiety.  Well it's a start anyway.  It's how I eventually got off my meds and found contentment in my life and in me as a human.  Am I perfect?  Of course not.  Do I still have things I'm trying hard to control about myself?  Sure.  Do I make the same mistakes in trust?  Yes.  But the difference now is that I'm not destroyed when disappointed.  Now when 'the love of my life' leaves me, I hold open the door for him. 

You see I don't want someone out of duty or commitment.  I want a companion that wants to be with me, for as long as they want to, and no longer.  I think this is a gift of growing older, and one I wish I had as a young woman.  If I hadn't...well you can go crazy saying things that start like that...lets try this instead.  Experience is the greatest teacher, and can help you keep your chin up and see the world as it really is.  YOURS. 

This is your life, please learn to live it for you, before it's too late.  Before you look back on it and see nothing that you wanted to do or experience.  It's taken me years to get here.  Years of putting myself second, or third or fourth or fifth, in my own life.  And I'm not talking about raising a family here, children should always come first, but sometimes it does feel like you are sacrificing so much for someone who will grow up and leave you.  Sooner than you can imagine.  Want to know a secret?  It's so worth it.  And the rewards of seeing your grown children living life and being happy is proof that you did the right thing.  And it makes my point.  You're as happy with them in your lives as you are to watch them leave the nest.  Because you love them honestly and unconditionally.  This is the mistake we make when choosing love instead of allowing love to choose us.  I used to say things like, "I'd choose better if you just blindfolded me and lined me up facing a group of men."  or  "Maybe you should choose for me."  Can you imagine having that kind of fear of failure?  Well I don't say that anymore.  Now I just live my life with myself as my best constant companion.  And if love falls all over me again, I'll accept it with open arms and include them in my journey.  (sorry for that musical pun, but I couldn't resist.)