Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Overcoming Depression, Part 5

Today's tip for overcoming depression is, to me, the toughest thing I ever did:

Tip 5: Accept yourself the way you are, or do something about it

To do this, I must examine myself, good and bad, and catagorize myself into things I can change and things I can't.

I must acknowledge what I can't change, and find ways to work around (or overcome)those obstacles. I must also acknowledge what I CAN change, and this can be tough because we really can change more than we like to believe we can.

A couple of examples:

I am African-American. In some places I visit, this affords me poor treatment. I cannot change that, though I can try to limit my travels (as much as possible) to places that aren't predominantly racist. And if I get treated poorly because of race, I can tell myself not to take it personally, not to let the incident get me down.

I am also a woman. In some jobs I've held, I've been told the reason my evals were poor was because I was a woman, not because of poor performance. I can't change that, though when I end up working for a boss who thinks less of women, I can quickly seek out another job. And if I get treated poorly because of gender, I can tell myself not to take it personally, not to let the incident get me down.

I prefer my own natural scent, and often don't understand why others don't agree. However, I have discovered that my scent offends others just as much as it pleases me, so I've learned to use nice grooming products with a pleasant smell and clean myself every morning (whether I feel like I need a wash or not). Being clean and somewhat fashionable results in more positive interactions with others, so this means less times people treat me bad, thus less hurtful experiences to be depressed about.

I must take a hard look at what I can change, and stop making excuses for not changing. If I choose not to change, that's one thing- I must accept the consequences of not changing as a matter of accepting myself the way I am. But many things that contribute to our depression can be changed. Behaviours, mannerisms, the way we present ourselves to others, etc, are things we can change. By changing them, we change how people react to us, and that in turn gives us more positive interactions, which helps lighten our depression.

My life will never be different if I keep doing the same things. Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and I think he's right.

As much as I like to whine and complain about how other people have it easy, the bottom line is we all have handicaps. We all have personality issues. We all have strengths and weaknesses, including NTs. We all have to overcome SOMETHING, and the first thing we need to overcome is the tendency to look at ourselves and either sugar coat the truth so we can avoid change, or paint ourselves as horrible hopeless creatures, which discourages us so bad that we lose motivation to change.

1 comment:

Cube Demon said...

Saved Aspie

One thing I have to change about myself is my pride and I need to get over my anger. I need to pray about these 2 things especially my anger.

Do you have any scripture you can share with me?