In Mind Battles, I shared a small portion of a major piece of the puzzle that fundamentally brought me out of depression. I hope you took seriously the invitation to write down one battle that is raging in your mind. If you did not, I invite you to do so now.
You see, the cells that make up our bodies are doing one of three things: creating growth, creating protection, or giving no response. (Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief). One of the most insidious things going on inside of me as I fought depression were the battles that raged in my mind. I told myself all sorts of stories. I told myself why people acted the way they did. I told myself why I couldn’t share with my husband what was really going on. I told myself that I was an unhappy person on the inside even though I really tried to be optimistic on the outside… The battles came and went. Sometimes I really could step outside of myself and be genuine. I wanted to be good. I wanted a relationship with my Higher Power. I wanted to be a good influence upon my children. It was important to me to be a great mom. It was important to me that I had a good marriage. That’s why I persevered through the dark, the ugly, and the times when it just seemed hopeless. This is why I never really gave up.
Maybe your story is different. Maybe you DO want to give up. Maybe you have none of the desires I just described. Don’t beat yourself up about it. This is a process. For me to tell you to just hurry up and get a desire to be true to who you really are would be like telling your car to go get its oil changed! This is a process, a journey. My intention is to give you a lifeline–a hope that mental illness and life challenges do not need to consume our power.
One more story: I remember one particularly extremely difficult passage of time. I was in the depths of feeling dark, lonesome, hopeless, full of self pity, and I did not like myself. I was angry, angry, angry! And there really was no reason to be angry. I had intense feelings of just burying myself–that it wouldn’t matter, that no one would miss me, and that it would certainly be nice to be done with the horrible realities of depression. I remember going downstairs to dinner with my family and saying something like, “It would just be better if I wasn’t around.” They were shocked that I would say something like that. Although I didn’t lash out because I didn’t want to hurt them, my words did hurt. Later I learned that bottling up all of this anger and frustration in this way only compounded the problem. I needed to express.
And so, I again invite you to write out a battle that is raging in your head. Holding it in creates cells that are in protection mode–and this mode creates high levels of stress in the body that rarely, if ever, releases. If you’d rather not write, go somewhere to be alone and LET OUT THE ANGER, the resentment, the frustration…whatever it is. If you’re writing, don’t reread it. Rip it up and throw it away…or burn it! Allow your cells to move to a place of growth instead of protection.
(first published Feb 9, 2014)