The Calm After The Storm

I was SO miserable last night, I was in a serious rut.

I’d had such a good day yesterday getting through an interview and bagging myself a job/internship, but once I was home all the anxiety and stress of the day let itself show. My boyfriend (as always) took the frustrations on the chin via the text messages I was sending him. Just for his support last night I love him so much, never mind anything else. Just listen to the things I was telling myself and him:

“I’ve never felt so low about myself, ever”

“I’d rather just not be here than live the rest of my life like this precise moment right now!”

“You think of your lowest points in life. Imagine them looming over you every single day for no apparent reason with no one there to just make any of it go away. You can’t make any of it better because you have no reason to feel upset like this in the first place. That’s my life and I hate it.”

“I can’t cope like this for much longer. Life is a terrible thing”

I mean, these are depressive and I know they’re difficult to read, but they’re true.

I had an epiphany…I may not have entire control over my depression or my life, but I can begin to take control of the messages I give myself. That way I won’t feel horrible on a daily basis. The messages we give ourselves in our heads come to us in a familiar language so that the words sound like the only truth there is.

I can’t change the message “Life is a terrible thing” into “Life is fantastic, full of fairy dust and glitter” and actually expect to believe it and feel better. So if my plan is going to work, I have to change negative messages into believable positive messages. I think the trick to beating negative self-talk is to build counteracting messages in our everyday language.

I’m going to break apart one or two of my messages and see what happens;

“Life is a terrible thing” – Okay, not every aspect of my life is terrible. Actually it’s only a very small, minuet, tiny bit of my life that might be scary or not so great, but not terrible. Next time I catch myself thinking “life is a terrible thing” I’m going to say “I think life feels terrible right now, but after this storm blows over, my life is pretty damn good and I sure as hell love my family and friends.”

“I’d rather just not be here than live the rest of my life like this precise moment right now!” – Um, no Rachel. I really wouldn’t like to end my life as I’m still alive now and suuuuper excited to see my boyfriend tomorrow. Twenty-one years of my life are over, and four or five may have really sucked but others didn’t. So next time I’m saying “I’d rather just not be here than live the rest of my life like this precise moment right now!” I’m going to remind myself that my past twenty-one years are over, now I have years to fill with good things in between the bad!

Sometimes the messages we give ourselves are so ingrained that it’s hard to remove them from everyday life. So why not try what I have just done? Try picking apart your messages until you come up with a counter message that makes sense in your mind.

I spent today mulling over last night, reflecting on what was said and done as I lost self-control…and I can’t describe the way I feel about what I was thinking and what I put my poor boyfriend through. Like a disease, I let the dark side of depression take over my whole body. I know that wasn’t me, it was the depression, and that is what I am going to keep telling myself. When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, I need to learn to treat them as if they are black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past.

I’m going to start living my life day-by-day in the now. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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