MISCONCEPTION 1: That you’re broken
Something I observed in myself whilst experiencing depression and have since seen in others, is that rather than underperforming or being “broken”, it’s very possible that you’re actually just performing.
Here’s what I mean; you are simultaneously desiring something, have awareness that it’s lacking, and the intelligence to deeply question why that is. This is a sequence many people don’t ever stop to introspect on in their entire life.
The thing is that this can lead to a feeling of deep unfulfillment and sadness if you don’t also have the skills to draw a workable solution. When you find yourself here you essentially have a high level of self awareness, and little idea what to do with it.
You’re left feeling challenged in your ability to experience meaning and connection in the world and often using a strategy of self preservation to become “realistic” (read: very skeptical) about life’s potential so as not to suffer further when something doesn’t come together.
The problem is that when you suppress life’s potential in this way you also suppress opportunities to feel joy and liveliness. You are a perfectly performing human that simply requires the activation of additional resources you already have within yourself to express in a happy and connected experience of life.
MISCONCEPTION 2: That once you have a diagnosis you have the answer
The truth is, you can choose to use any diagnosis as an informed starting point, rather than a predetermined future outcome.
To reach a diagnosis, there is a requirement to ask questions and understand the problem. Once you have that, you can then choose to ask questions to understand a solution… and then ask more questions, and then ask more questions – turning your curious mindset right up. A refusal to settle until you have what you want.
This involves learning new things about yourself as an individual; self stimulated education, a deep discovery into your values, and insight into your willingness to make choices.
YES it does take time and commitment to truly be the leader in your own life and remain informed. It also requires acceptance and understanding that any sizeable problem will require a holistic solution – there aint a quick fix or magic pill I’ve seen to produce meaningful and lasting change.
What I have seen, is that the person who uses a flexible and open mindset whilst also staying true to them-self is always the happiest.
MISCONCEPTION 3: That there’s nothing you can do about it
I remember feeling like regardless of what I did, the true relief from a depressive period came when my body made the decision to ‘wake up feeling a bit better’.
What I actually discovered after 23 years of depression, was that the more willing I was to lead a life aligned with what was truly important to me at my core, the happier I became and have stayed.
YES this takes time, painful self enquiry and a letting go of things that work against your happiness. It’s a process and it’s hard, really fucking hard, and then eventually you get to feel the rewards.
It makes sense that some women prefer not to take that time, and instead avoid painful self enquiry and refuse to let go of disfunction – but that just wasn’t my way.
Every day that I focused on what was authentically important to me, was a little step in the happiness direction. And little by little, a little becomes a lot – a HUGE amount actually!
Believe it or not, the more painful route is staying the same, or starting and then giving up over and over again.
THE STEPS TO HEALING:
1. Acknowledgment that you are wholeheartedly entitled to your experience of life – whatever that is – however right now it doesn’t match up with what you want for yourself.
2. A readiness and willingness to learn how to become emotionally aware; to recognise, participate with and understand your emotions so that you can use them as an intelligent messenger and then release them and move past them⠀⠀
3. Exploration of what is currently missing from your life that you deeply crave
4. Awareness and questioning of your current beliefs and stories around why you don’t have this and what would prevent you from having it in the future⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Discovery of who you would need to be and what you would need to do to have a different experience of life⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
6. A ruthlessly honest assessment of whether you want to be, do and have those things based not only on the benefits, but also the costs. This means true acceptance of your choices
7. The tools to support yourself through these steps and most likely someone experienced to provide honest feedback and support.
If this hits home for you and you’d like to chat about healing depression in your own life – reach out here!