One thing I’ve been very open about is my history with depression. While most kids were careful and joyful, I was the little girl in 6th grade writing suicide letters during recess. I grew up sad.I was lucky enough to land myself in a mental hospital in my early 20’s, which is where I learned to identify my TRIGGERS. Events, or emotions that would trigger depression and set me off in a downward spiral.
And I learned that I have a CHOICE. When those triggers happen in my life I can choose to PERPETUATE that negativity and feed into it, or I can choose to do activities that promote POSITIVITY.
Funny how I learned that ten years ago and I got to learn that AGAIN this morning.
You see Tuesday I REALLY dropped the ball as a mom. I drove my son to our church to drop him off for Scouts. He wasn’t sure where they were meeting, so he asked me to walk in with him and help him find his troop. I never FULLY got ready that day so I didn’t have any makeup on. I was feeling vain & prideful and didn’t want everyone inside the church to see me sans makeup, so I encouraged him to just walk down a specific hallway.
An hour later, I go to pick him up and he walks out in tears. My little boy never found his scout troop and had sat in the church hallway all by himself for an HOUR. Of course. I suddenly remember they were meeting at the leader’s house this week, NOT the church.
PUNCH IN THE GUT. He told me he was sad & lonely, and had sat there crying for awhile. And of course he was MAD at me for not walking in with him. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so horrible as a mom. I can imagine my little boy in therapy someday relaying back this experience as his tries to figure out why he has a sense of abandonment and can’t trust women.
UGH. I was SICK over it all and cried myself to sleep that night.
One thing that I’ve identified as a HUGE trigger for me? GUILT. I’ve been known to REALLY beat myself up over things and keep a mental list of everything I’m doing wrong. And I found myself doing that again after this experience. And of course, I felt that depression sneaking it’s way back into my thoughts.
This morning, woke up not really feeling like doing much today. I didn’t even want to get out of bed. And as my own boss…. I COULD do nothing all day and no one would care. Not like I’d get fired.
But one thing that has always been a habit for me? PRAYER.
I prayed and prayed and honestly? Still felt like crap. I didn’t feel the comforting spirit, I still felt hopeless. “Maybe God has forsaken me” I thought. I just wanted to feel PEACE. So I kept on praying. And suddenly I remembered….. a prayer of gratitude is the most PURE and POWERFUL prayer you can give.
So I changed HOW I was praying and started listing off everything I’m grateful for. I felt that spirit slowly creeping back in. And then, I was reminded of this very POWERFUL principle I have read in some of my personal development books.
“Do the thing, you’ll have the power.”
Here I was asking God to give me the strength to get up. To give me the strength to be PRODUCTIVE today. To give me the strength to move on and forgive myself.
But He reminded me that the power comes through ACTION.
I can’t wait until I FEEL like doing something before I do it. I get to just START and go through the motions if I have to. And THEN the PASSION and EMOTION and POWER will follow.
And so I did. I spent two hours going through the motions this morning, doing all the things I felt were the activities of a happy productive person. I got the kids off to school, the dishwasher unloaded & loaded, a load of laundry started, my P90X3 workout done. And made sure to have personal development audio playing the entire time. Everyday mundane morning activities. And what do you know??? ————> I feel like a million bucks.
I’m sharing this with you guys because I know there’s a LOT of people who think I must not have anymore triggers since I’ve conquered depression. Or they think I’ve got EVERYTHING figured out and I never struggle anymore. And so often people message me that are depressed and they wonder HOW they are going to EVER have the POWER to change their life.
Well the answer is stop waiting for the power to come TO you!!! DO the thing, and THEN you’ll have the power. I am PROOF you can go from not feeling like even getting out of bed in the morning to feeling like you can conquer the world. ALL in a matter of hours. And if I can do it – so can you.