Have you ever felt like your depression would never end no matter what you do? Does it seem like you’ll always be depressed? Are you almost to the point of giving up and just accepting it as the norm?
I’ve been so depressed that I couldn’t even remember what a positive emotion felt like. I’ve been so depressed that I didn’t leave the house for weeks at a time. I’ve been so depressed that I wanted to give up on life, and I nearly did. If you ever felt like that, you might be wondering if you should talk about your depression..
I don’t feel like that anymore, at least for now. Emotions are cyclical that way; maybe some day I will experience a depression that deep again. But my toolbox for dealing with depression is always growing. I want to share one of those tools with you right now.
There will always be something to be depressed about
Always. I don’t care if everything in your life is perfect. Focus on something negative; focus on it long and hard enough, and you will be depressed.
At one point in my life I was fortunate enough to change careers from a thankless manual labor job to a comfortable office environment. It was great at first. Then I found a way to get depressed again. Before, I blamed my exhausting job and brutal bosses for my depression. At the new job, I blamed the monotony of office work. I say again, there will always be something to get depressed about.
If you have a history of being depressed, then you’re very skilled at finding things to get depressed about. You are a master at focusing on the negative. You’ll even find ways to rationalize it. Right now you might be getting defensive and saying you can’t help it. Maybe you can’t. But why not try? You’ve tried before, it doesn’t work, nothing helps, and you have a million other excuses?
I know. Depression is addicting. That’s why you need to start small. Take advantage of the knowledge of upward and downward spirals to start climbing out of that addiction.
Happiness doesn’t go away
There will always be something to be happy about. Does that sound cheesy, stupid, insane, or just flat out wrong? I understand if it does. I’ve been there, believe me.
In every moment of your life, you have unlimited options: literally infinite things you can choose to focus on. How many do you focus on regularly? Maybe a dozen? How many of those are negative?
I’ve been in ruts where all I’d think about is how my ex did me wrong, how my parents ruined my life, how depressed I was. Guess what: no amount of focusing on that stuff helped. It only made things worse.
You can make the choice right now to focus on something different. Focus on something that’s not depressing. Focus on something that’s beautiful, challenging, hilarious, relaxing; just focus on something else. Just give it a try, and tell me how it goes.