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Recognizing That You Need Help


Probably the most important thing that I have learned while battling depression was to recognize when I was spiraling into the dark abyss. It became recognizable after several years in therapy and the harsh, overheard comments from those around me when they thought I could not hear them. Once you start falling into the 'low self-esteem', 'worthless', useless' and self-pity, it is hard to recover, but you do.


Sudden crying spells, emotional sensitivities and haunting memories of tragic past events overwhelmed me day to day along with a number of physical ailments. Every morning I awoke depressed because I found that I was still alive and therefore face the new day with all my pains and burdens. I was sabotaging myself from the start. How was it supposed to turn out to be a good day when I was already spreading the foul scent of doom and despair from the moment I opened my eyes?


One of my favorite motivational speakers is Tim Robbins. All the renowned speakers have their points but there was one point in particular that Tony stressed and it was crucial to me...you must get off your ass to create the change you want. We can blame everyone and everything for our misfortunes but if we don't do anything about it, we will keep receiving the same stinky lump of garbage right on our front door...every day. The trouble with me was that I found myself becoming more complacent with laying on a bed of nails wallowing in self-pity and thought that, 'getting off your ass' was a hurtful and condescending approach to someone who is going through severe depression. Felt more like an insult rather than advice.


Bu as time went by I began to make deliberations on the choices I was going to make in order for my day to be better. Little changes like looking forward to a hobby, project, meal, a smile from a family member...anything other than cursing my day so early in the morning. I began to change because I saw that people were changing on how they interacted with me as well. I did not have to be the dark cloud that everyone tried to avoid. A little sunshine goes a long way.


Becoming emboldened by my small scale success, I began to ask friends and family about my condition, what did they think. My plead was not for sympathy but rather for help. Any advice, resource or kind word would be of great benefit. Of course, statements made without any tact hurt incredibly but I understood or tried to understand that they were trying to help me as counterintuitive as much of it was. But I knew that I had to make things better. Nobody likes to be called lazy, stupid or ignorant, I felt that I was being called all of that in a semi-polite nature. Had to pick up my big boy pants and take it like a champ.


Pain and emotions are a normal part of life. Misfortunes and mistakes should be seen as lessons instead of set backs. We need to take steps to live life instead of merely surviving it. And because I have found to be true, the saying that if you think that you have it bad...listen to someone else's story, I knew things could be much worse. We have struggles in life and it is up to us o make things better for ourselves. Early in life I worked as an emergency medical technician and one of the first lessons was that you had to be in good shape to help someone, if not, there will be two people needing help instead of just one therefore compromising the whole rescue effort.


You are important to the world. Your presence means a lot to many people, your smile changes moods and perspectives. There are so many people that appreciate you and want to be with you to share the joys of living but you have to recognize it and be open to happiness. Invite joy into your life instead of doom. Not everyone is receptive or is living the perfect life when you come along with your issues so if you feel confrontation brewing or bad vibes coming on. move away as fast as you can to a safer place. Let the miserable stew in their own sauce until they are ready to move on. Do not every try to force someone to follow or keep your counsel, it is not appropriate or fair. Flowers bloom when ready, not before.

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