Friday, May 8, 2009

It's All in Your Head

That phrase is probably the least I like when it comes to describing depression. I used to think that depression just happens, it's not something I can control. I resented the thought of it being just in my head because to me that meant, I'm making it up, that it's not real. In short, that I'm just plain crazy. Who knows how I got to those conclusions.

Then I started reading "You Can Feel Good Again" by Richard Carlson Ph.D. and that phrase started making sense. So far, the book is explaining how depression's root cause is one's thoughts (thus the all-in-your-head part) This time though, the phrase has a different meaning to me, a positive one. Everything starts with a thought then comes the corresponding feeling. If I'm not aware they were just thought and not actually "reality" happening right there in front of me then I get sucked into the dark hole of depression once again, focusing only on the negative feeling the thought has given me and maybe making it worse than what it really is or was by thinking more negative thoughts through assumption.

I've been learning slowly but surely how to control my thoughts and where they lead me. I've been catching myself in that cycle quite a bit. No wonder I felt like I was always down. I sure beat myself up. I am my worst enemy. And I only feel as bad as I lead myself to believe. These were things I've heard people say to me before but they never clicked until now. I'm hoping to be better at being the captain of my own ship and to be completely mentally and emotionally well again. Three days of feeling good by closely monitoring my thoughts and feelings feels pretty good. I'm hopeful.

It is true that you're the only one who can make yourself happy. It doesn't matter what the rest of the world is doing even if it's all for you if you don't decide to be happy. It will all feel empty if you don't allow yourself to be happy.

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