Saturday, October 24, 2009

Overcoming Depression, Part 3

Today's tip on overcoming depression challenges us to look past the current dismal state we may be feeling, and reaching out to things that are good.

Tip #3: Focus on what's good

When it feels like our world is crashing down around us, and we don't even look for the "light at the end of the tunnel" because we know if we see the light, it's probably a train, we can improve our mood by focusing on what's going right. What things we have going for us. How the world is a better place because we're in it.

For example, one day, I got some very bad news: I found out I did NOT qualify for a program I needed to progress further in my career, and was told (in political, polite, language) that I've gone as far as I can go and I'm the bottom of the barrel. Lots of losers get into this school, so I was feeling really, really, down about it. Now that I'm facing life as a single mom, money has become more important to me. I'm now the provider. And in a couple years, this job will turn into a pumpkin. So I was crying and sad and feeling like nothing in my life was going well. I didn't get the program, my promotion recommendation was laughed at, my weight won't budge (in spite of all these half-marathons I've been running), and my son has developed a very disrespectful mouth.

But then the Lord spoke to me.

And reminded me that my problems are minimal. No, my weight isn't going down, but I'm in great shape and unlike my peers I no longer need medication. I'm not likely to get promoted (*1) but I make good money. And I have a healthy retirement package. No, things aren't going well in the social department either (the dating and friend scene has really changed in the last 15 years since I've swam in it), but I have a beautiful son who gives me a legal excuse to do Aspie things most adults would get disrespected for (like play with sounds (mouth/throat), explore textures (grass, fence, etc), and twirl around like nobody's business).

So, one by one I started thinking about all the good things in my life. What's right. I started praying and thanking God for all the good things.

And I realized, sitting around moping in my room was NOT making the world a better place. So I started (slowly) volunteering again and doing things for others. And slowly but surely this helped pick me up out of my depressive slump.

I encourage you to try these tips, and let me know they work out for you and/or your friends the next time a depression comes along.

(*1) I'm NOT going to say I'll never get promoted, though this school is pretty much required in my line of work, since, after all, promotion comes not from the east, west, or the south- but GOD sets up one and takes down another. If God wants me to get promoted, I will. I have to do the work, of course, but He can put me where He wants me, in spite of what my administration says (ps 76:6-7).


Cube Demon said...

The truth is I'm saved as well but I am still a baby compared to you. I still have anger and depression. Reading your thing means alot to me.

The thing is there are those who advocate responsibility whom I call "The advocates for self-responsibility" but they're so phony and fake. All they do is parrot their worn out cliched phrases that mean nothing. None of them will answer my questions. They just get me so riled up. I do agree God does work miracles.

SavedAspie said...

Thanks, Cube, for your comment.

I like to post my experiences because I find that many people who are giving advice are, like you say, phony.

Some are like the always skinny person telling those with low metabolism how easy it is to lose weight: I know one of these people- just naturally very skinny. Never had to deal with the problem, can't comprehend how someone can be heavy on a "normal" diet, and continuously spout off how easy it is to be thin. They think they "know" how easy it is to solve your problem, but in reality, it's not a struggle they've overcome.

On the other hand are the people who have a book/intellectual understanding of how to solve a problem but never have done so themselves. Unfortunately, many of my aspie friends fall in this category... and *I'm* prone too... I try HARD not to do this myself!

To continue the weight analogy, these would be the very heavy folks who tell someone who weighs less how to lose weight. The heavier person KNOWS how to lose weight, yet has not put that knowledge into action.

So, I try to write what I've put into action and let readers know if it's worked or not.

Thanks so much for reading!!