I had a very interesting conversation with my husband a couple weeks ago. We’ve had several over the course of my counseling sessions, and me working through my depression. He tries to understand the scope of it and why it took so long for me to realize what he’s known all along, “it’s all in my mind” (this has been my case, it’s not a chemical imbalance).
It’s very hard for a person who doesn’t have depression, or ever suffered from it, to relate to someone who does. That is our situation. While we were talking, and I was trying to explain to him how people can lose themselves in depression, I had an aha moment. I compared the pattern of thinking to going around in circles. You are so distracted though, that you don’t even realize it. It made me think of a roundabout (thus the reason for the picture). Imagine driving into this circle feeling confused. It’s something new. The traffic is heavy and you end up in the inner circle. You fail to notice this because you’re busy with something else: your phone, the radio, your kids in the backseat, that throbbing headache, or all of these! Whatever it was, you suddenly realize that you’ve been going in circles.
So how does a driver come out of that roundabout? He needs to be focused & alert. He also needs to know where he’s going so he can take the appropriate exit. Likewise, to come out of my cycle of negative thinking I had to focus. I knew where my exit was, but I didn’t know why I kept missing it. I hadn’t realized there was a mountain of things blocking that exit! The majority of these were neglected issues covered with deep denial.
What triggers the negative thinking in you? Is it trauma, unfulfilled expectations, a failed relationship, or comparing ourselves to others and falling short? We need to deal with these first. Avoiding the issues in life hasn’t worked! If the help of a professional is needed don’t hesitate.
Who we choose to surround ourselves with also, can either help or hinder the process of getting better. You can replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, but if your best friend(s), or relatives are negative and bring you down, you need to step back and seek out those who will build you up and encourage you (what’s more important here, your sanity or their temporary upset?). Positive people are the ones who will help us focus on our good qualities when we overlook them. This doesn’t mean they are enablers. When they see a character trait or conduct that will lead you in the wrong direction, they will let you know. I call these people mentors. Some call them role models. These are the ones who are gonna help you move in the right direction, and are some of the most wonderful people out there! They do this out of a sincere interest in others and because they genuinely care. No doubt you already know someone that fits this description, and if you’re fortunate, you know more than one!
So where do you wanna go? Forward? Or in circles?
Love you guys ; )