“Signs” of Depression, Part II

On the brighter side of “signs”, everything looks different in the light of day.  What seemed terrifying and haunting during the dark of night has now slipped back into my subconscious for possible future nightmares.  That may never change.   But now it is controlled. I move about the daylight hours doing things that bring joy to my life.  My dog, Hazel, needs me.  She depends on me.  She is the cutest dog I have ever seen!

Ok, so I just wanted an excuse to show everyone my dog……

There has been one repeating theme in my life, a couple of serious relationships and three marriages.  I have been told by two husbands and at least one man I was in a relationship with that I did not NEED them.  At the time, I was hurt and resentful to think that THEY thought THEY had nothing to offer me.   Sure, I was independent and I was also an intelligent woman.  I did not come from a home where I could always come back if things did not work out.  I had to fend for myself, so that’s what I did.  I wrote my own script.  Happiness was something I would provide for myself. I had my share of depressing times and traumatic events.   I thought my life would be completely different.  I was brainwashed into thinking what my life should be, what OTHERS thought it should be.   Here’s what I learned about depression and anxiety.. you have to write your own story.  Not everything is as it seems.  People can bring harm to you but you can overcome.  You can be hurt, traumatized, humiliated and even pitied but “other” people usually have their own issues.  You can rise above it all and be a confident and happy person.  Don’t ever let anyone else tell you who you are or what you are.  Live your own life, your best life.  Mistakes will be made, that is what makes you successful.  Leave old mistakes in the past and don’t repeat.  Bring your successes to the forefront.  Some of the most successful people in the world have suffered from depression and anxiety at some point in their lives.  This is nothing new.  

I value Joy.  I am a woman who loves nature, gardens, birds, animals, trees, lakes, ponds and the ocean.  I am down to earth and try to be a good person to others. I possess self respect.  I think this goes a long way with respect to the type of people I am attracted to.  My friends are varied and they all bring something unique to the table.  They ask for nothing, I ask for nothing.  It is a natural camaraderie that happens when you are open and honest, and your only expectation in life is joy.  It is all about where you find your joy.  There will always be those who do not like you.  It is my job not to be distracted by this.  Now that I know I cannot please everyone, I try to avoid people who bring only negativity to the table.  This is easier said than done.  I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I also don’t want them to hurt me.  Value joy.  Embrace it.  Own it.  Don’t let anyone try to steal it from you.

On the spiritual side of things, I found Joyce Meyer (http://www.joycemeyerministries.com)  to be so helpful.  I never considered myself to be a religious person.  I was raised in the Catholic Church, but I am not a practicing Catholic and don’t want to be.  Joyce taught me how to overcome being a people pleaser.  Beware, you may lose friends when you make this decision.  The people around you can be controlling or maybe they have been controlling your thoughts without even knowing it.  That was a big issue with me.  Always trying to gain approval.  Maybe that is why I have always been so driven.  When I crashed and burned, my first thought was what other people would think.  My second thought was to make a plan to move forward and gain back what I had lost, both financially and emotionally.  Some people will blame you for your losses, others will sympathize.  Either way, other people’s opinions do not matter.  That was a learned notion.  I found my biggest help to be right in my own soul.  Eventually, I was able to rise above the anger and move on with my life, drawing on all those strengths that were always there, just waiting to be nourished again.   So when the signs start popping up again, go this way, no go that way, and I start going in circles, spinning around that wheel like a hamster, I will be ready with my internal GPS so I will never get lost again.  Amen.

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