How do you avoid depression?
Why is there such a raging amount of people suffering from this mental illness? Is there a natural way to avoid it all together?
Yes, I believe there is.
If you’re like me, and you look at those statistics above, it breaks your heart. My natural instinct is to want to help those who are in pain and loneliness. But, therein lies the flaw.
We don’t take care of ourselves first.
I’m not saying don’t reach out to those who are need, but many times, those who are suffering from a mental illness got to that place, because they ignored emotions that were trying to get their attention. When repressed anger, continuing sadness, frustration, fear, and feeling held back swirl around on the inside of you, a deeper root manifests–depression. Depression is a state of giving up when the emotions one feels can’t be expressed or sorted through.
So, how do we avoid this all together? Let’s dig in a little further.
Depression and Divorce
My story of depression began with a fairy-tale. I’m not going to go into the mess of divorce right now, but I want to briefly give you a few insights. My story started with my desire to have children. The longer the desire was withheld from me, the longer my repressed emotions built, until I got to the place of depression.
Everyone handles depression differently.
I know for some they don’t do anything but lay on their bed, but the thing about depression is: it has a bunch of ways it comes out.
For me it was being obsessive.
I couldn’t stop long enough to try to deal with the emotions I felt about being withheld my deepest desire. I couldn’t face my feelings of “not good enough” or that my husband didn’t love me. I would ‘think’ those thoughts, but I never let myself actually express or ‘feel’ those thoughts. It was too painful.
This is why depression formed for me.
How do you deal with depression?
Depression is, in my own opinion, a lack of expression in some way. Some people get depressed cause they feel life has no meaning or point. But why? What part of themselves are they not allowing to express?
- Depression is a form of self-loathing (it is a form of self-expression, because we aren’t expressing what we truly want or desire to ourselves or others.)
- Depression is our emotions shutting down because it hurts too much not to speak our truth.
- Depression is formed from desiring something, and anger, frustration, sadness, and pain grows too great to handle.
- Depression can be triggered from a life event: divorce or loss of some kind (if emotions aren’t sorted through or expressed, it can linger after these events are long over.)
So how do you deal with it?
I found this amazing book called: the Courage to Be Creative. It literally came at the right time for me. I thought I was the only cray-cray one out there who felt the way I felt. And, that is a form of depression right there–feeling you are the only one who feels that bad.
The Courage to Creative helped me to see that I needed to funnel my emotions INTO something. Again, like I said, EXPRESSION.
We need expression to thrive. We need expression to live. Discovering who you are, not by what you DO, but your very ESSENCE or BEING and LIVE through that. Discovering your passion prevents depression, because it gives all that emotional energy a place to go.
We all suffer. We all go through pain. And through our pain we can thrive, if we learn to funnel that expression of pain INTO something. If you are having a hard time knowing what form of expression works for you: explore everything. I’m a writer, a reader, a dreamer, and an idealist. I love to express this way, but I also love to express by crafting or being outside.
FIND YOUR EXPRESSION.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or professional. These are simply my opinions on the subject of depression. If you are suffering from a major illness, please talk to your doctor.
Heart beating fast.
We’ve all been through a form of anxiety in our lives at one point or another, but how do we beat down anxiety?
About a year and a half ago I went through a divorce, and anxiety and I became unwanted roommates. Dealing with chaotic thoughts, short breathing, and a raging amount of emotions was an every day thing.
How do you cope with anxiety?
- Find a place in nature
People talk about exercise, deep breathing, and all kinds of methods, but what worked for me was getting in nature. And, yes, I did this in winter. Bundle up if you need to and get outside for at least 20-30 minutes a day. There is something about fresh air that relieves anxiety.
2. Be in the NOW
I heard the angels tell me, “Look up the book about the NOW.” I had no idea about THE POWER OF NOW, and this book changed me.
Pull all of your attention to the NOW. Not the past, not the future, but what is going on right NOW.
3. Acknowledge your own emotions.
As a sensitive person, I used to dismiss my own emotions. When we dismiss them we build up a higher charge, that can turn into anxiety or depression. In order to cope with anxiety, tell yourself, “I hear you. I love you in whatever emotion you feel.” This will help dissolve the emotions that aren’t feeling good.
How do I deal with stress?
Stress and anxiety are brothers. So, how do we deal with it?
- Tell yourself to slow down.
- Do one thing at a time–quit the multi-tasking
- Take deep breaths
- Find a quiet place and focus on the NOW
- Ask for help
- Tell yourself, “I love you even when you feel bad.”
You want something really bad. I mean BAD, BAD. So bad in fact, that it’s painful. Your partner or spouse seems to be withholding that thing from you–now what?
This was me.
I married at a very young age (22) and I had tons of high hopes for the future. I pictured myself having 4-5 kids around me, laughing, romance, and all the fairy-tale stuff.
To make a super long story short, my ex-husband withheld my greatest desire from me.
TO BE A MOM.
From the age of probably 12, I pictured myself being a mom. In fact, that was the only thing I desired.
As years ticked by, and I asked more and more, I realized that this desire wasn’t going to be fulfilled. In fact, I started loathing this desire. The longer it went, the more painful it felt. Until, one day I remember feeling my desire is bad.
What causes resentment in a relationship?
Have you ever wanted something so bad that it suddenly felt bad to want it?
After 10 years of marriage, I suddenly realized that the relationship I was in was not what I wanted. I used to try to make it squeeze into a box, but if I looked at it square in the face–it was never my truest desire.
I started to resent him for withholding my greatest desire.
If you feel like a desire you have is bad, I want to tell you that it’s not. I’m not condoning divorce, when a spouse withholds something from you, but value yourself. I didn’t value my desire enough to do something about it–I let myself be controlled and pushed aside. I lost valuable years because of it.
The resentment I felt toward him destroyed our relationship.
Have a voice.
Say to yourself, what I desire is good. What I desire is normal.
People used to tell me, “What you wanted was normal!”
But, for some reason I still felt bad about my desire, because it caused so much pain and resentment in my relationship. I’ve come to realize now, that it wasn’t me, it was him. Most men on the planet want their wife to have children and be happy. Not to condemn my ex, but his own issues got in the way, and it created a huge gap between us.
I want to encourage you today that your desires are GOOD.
If your partner is withholding something from you, first of all, communicate how you feel. Many times resentment builds because we aren’t expressing our feelings in the right way. Start of with, “I feel (emotion) when you withhold this from me.”
Your desires are good.
Today I beat the sh** out of ten bags of ice.
Why you ask?
I’m doing a divorce recovery program right now called The Naked Divorce, which I’d highly recommend to anyone going through divorce or having been divorced. I’d even recommend this to someone who’s been through breakups or trauma to be honest.
Today felt amazing.
I was a bit nervous about the “releasing of emotions” day in the program. I stacked my ice up, got my baseball bat (I had goggles and gloves on) and I started to pour out my anger about my marriage. I had NO clue how angry I was inside about it all. From anger to sadness to anger and back to sadness, it all came out.
I realized so many things about my heart–I’d literally gave my ex EVERY piece of it. When that line came out of my mouth I lost it. I just sobbed and sobbed. Years and years of pain and disappointment came out. And you know what?
I feel amazing now.
If you are suffering on the inside with anger, fear, sadness, or whatever type of emotion, and you keep repressing it, this will lead to depression.
I was already heading toward depression, and I could feel it. For one, I haven’t wrote on a book in well over a month. Which is CRAZY for me. Even though I’ve written some stuff, and for work I’ve written stuff, but my own sense of creativity took a nose dive. All that anger was pulling me into the dumps.
Thank God for the Naked Divorce Program!
If you can relate with this, I’d advise you to get that program, and stick to it! Also, if you need a way to vent, buy some ice and have at it! You’ll feel good! I allowed my emotions to come up, and I also kept saying to myself, “If there is more, come out now.” Because we tend to spend years and years repressing our feelings. Which can lead to sickness and disease.
Let it out people!
Today was kinda weird.
I started a program for divorce recovery, called the Naked Divorce. It’s highly suggested to not be in a relationship, so that you can heal, and really sort yourself out. So, I talked to my boyfriend, and he and I are on a break. It kinda sucked, but I knew this was the best thing for my heart.
For about the first hour, I was pretty good, and then the feelings of “aloneness” hit me. Like this panicky feeling of not having someone in my life, and not having those daily touches–texts–calls. These are the feelings I’m trying to overcome. I even had this morbid thought of, “What’s the point of life without someone to share it?” Don’t worry, I’m fine. But, that opened up a whole new realm in my mind of thinking such as “Why do I believe me, by myself, isn’t worth much?” And that made me realize, this fear needs confronted.
Trembling. Shaky. Anxiety-ridden fear. These are some of the feelings I’ve been facing lately, and it comes and goes. When you divorce, you face these a lot. It doesn’t matter if you initiated the divorce or they did. You get scared. Being alone scares me to death for some reason, and I know I need to confront this head on.
I’m a grown adult, but these emotions make me feel like I’m 3-years-old and can’t do anything for myself. The world seems so huge, and it can feel like the ground is shaking beneath your feet.
4. You want to make it go away
I’ve been learning through my program not to do short term avoidance tactics such as movies, obsessive cleaning, socializing, drinking etc. There are tons of things people want to do to avoid their emotions. I’m learning to accept, feel, and love all my emotions. They have layers. Feel each layer deeply.
Today I felt so weirdly numb. I felt like I was in a fog or something. I try to tell myself that these types of feelings don’t last forever. They WILL pass.
I think I’ve had on and off heaviness in my life for years and years. I want to get to the root of these fears and pains, so that I can actually LIVE, and live for me. I’ve always been taught that you need to live for others, but I see how this can create a very poor mindset in yourself. You need to LIVE for you, and you will give out of that.
There is Hope
I want to encourage you if you are facing a divorce or an aftermath of one. There is hope. There is a better tomorrow. Don’t discount your grief. Don’t just tell yourself you’re fine. I’ve done that, and it doesn’t do anything. Emotions will come up in some way shape or form. Let them come out in a healthy way.
I read something in the program that was interesting. Facing a divorce is probably worse than a death. I say this because people who have a death in their life, get more emotional support. Often times a divorced person, get’s little to no support, and many people treat it like a disease that could be catching. They get panicky about their own relationship.
People are weird around divorcees and don’t know what to say. It’s okay. Give them a pass. There is help for those suffering from divorce. I am about to start this 21 day journey in a day or so, and I will keep you posted about how this is helping me. I pray for all the divorcees out there. I know how you feel. We have to believe that it WILL get better. I’m not there yet. I’m not sunshine and roses, but I trust that God has led me to the right source.
I love you all
This started with a book.
Surprise, surprise I was reading a book (or listening since my robot kindle was reading it to me). This book is by a friend of mine named Chuck Crisco. As the words washed over me, sparks were flying inside of my heart. Dreams of my heart. Love. Belief. All of it stirring all around me.
This blog post isn’t about that book, but what happened just short after I got home. The moment I stepped out of my car, my feet hitting the gravel, I got this revelation.
I won’t feel love if I don’t believe I’m loved.
I’m a divorcee. It sucks. It’s painful, and there are a million emotional obstacles to overcome after a divorce. I find myself constantly questioning my boyfriend’s love for me. Today we had a conversation, and he told me that it hurts him that I don’t believe him when he says, ‘I love you’. The moment I stepped out of the car, these thoughts started to come to me.
I will never feel anyone’s love if I don’t believe in it.
It’s like this. God loves you, right? You’ve heard it, heard it, heard it. But, do you actually believe it in your heart, so you can FEEL it? I’ve been on a self-love journey (learning to love me) and it’s been a struggle to get there. As I listened to Chuck’s book some of the revelation he spoke got to me. It’s not just me loving me, it’s God’s love inside of me, giving me the love to love me. Confused yet?
Someone can do things for you, be there for you, support you, and even tell you that they love you, but if you don’t believe what they are saying is true, then it never will be true for you. Love isn’t just about a “feeling” but a choice to believe in it. That’s what gives you a feeling. No one forces you to feel one way or another–you do.
You can reject love simply by rejecting the belief that someone loves you for you.
My boyfriend makes me think all the time. I’ll ask him, “Why do you love me?” And his reply simply is, “Because I want to.” Those replies give me more questions such as, “But tell me why? What did I do or say that caused it?” And he simply patiently will say back, “Because I want to.”
Think about it in these terms.
Why does God love you? Is it because you have blonde hair, blue eyes, and the perfect dimples? Is it because you did everything just right? Is it because you can sing or dance? Why does God love you?
Because He wants to.
God’s choice to love us goes beyond what we can do. It simply IS. Now, it’s up to us to believe that He loves us, and accept it deep into our hearts.
My last post was about, God loves me, but do I? I think my mindset is shifting again, into the thought that I need to believe that God loves me. I need to believe others love me. And dang, I need to believe that I love me too. Love is the key to everything here. When we shut our hearts off to love, that’s where pain abides.
I dare you to open your belief to love again. I triple dog dare you to open your world to believe that someone is crazy about you.
His name is Jesus.
I believe the number one reason why marriages fail is this: there is no more belief that the person loves you. I know that was my thoughts. I would combat it all the time. I also believe that if you don’t love yourself, you’ll always reject others’ love too. You won’t find yourself worthy to receive love. I believe that was the case with my ex. He couldn’t love himself, therefore he couldn’t receive my deep love for him either. I also combated loving myself, so you mix the two and it creates a disaster.
Eventually, if you don’t love yourself (and allow love from God in) you will push away everyone who loves you too.
Love brings healing. Open your heart to love. Believe.
From a Divorcee
Everyone hits it.
The breaking point. It doesn’t matter who you are or how “mature” you are, you’ll come to a place where you hit the breaking point.
We all have insecurities, fears, sorrow, and disappointments we face in our lives. Everyone deals with these things in a few ways.
- Stuffs it
- Builds it
- Denies it
That’s a few I’ve noticed people do over the years.
My own breaking point hit last summer. I was a “build it/deny it” type of person. Where for years and years my marriage was a mess, and I tried to juggle the pain of it by denying that it was “okay” and also trying to believe that it would all work out in the end. I had this endless so called “faith” that kept me going. But, looking back I see that it wasn’t faith, it was mostly denial. My mental state snowballed over the course of five years until I literally hit the breaking point.
What is the breaking point?
When you’re done, you’re DONE. You have nothing left to give emotionally to the situation, and no one can talk you out of your point of view, no matter what they say. These breaking points start with a simple thing. A LIE.
People around you can love the socks out of you, but if you have allowed a lie to slowly build over the years, and haven’t dealt with your childhood issues, your pain from relationships, and have stuffed, denied, or allowed them to build they will BLOW. And it won’t be pretty, guys. When this breaking point hits, you hurt a lot of people. I know I did. I regret a ton of stuff when I hit that point, and I literally (when I think of it now) was crazy. When I think about my state of mind, at that stage, I was a different person. I don’t even recognize her at all.
The shrapnel of your “breaking point” will be worse than dealing with it before it hits that point. Trust me. I know. I really, really know. You will live with the guilt of people you hurt, things you did, and the things you didn’t do too. If you are feeling the build up of pain, fear, and lies inside of you I have one piece of advice: DEAL WITH IT.
Things you think when you reach your breaking point
- It’s all “their” fault.
- They don’t care
- People don’t like me
- They are against me
- I’m better off on my own
- I want to run away
- They don’t really love me
There is many, many more toxic thoughts that roll around in your head. I want to beg you, warn you, and shout from the rooftops about this subject. It’s been killing me inside to see so many marriages, relationships, and people hit that point and not return.
YOU MUST DEAL WITH YOUR PAST.
Sorry for the caps, but I want to stress it over and over. I’m still dealing with my past, and it STILL comes up about my ex and my 12 year relationship. Of course you’re in pain. Of course you’re sad, discouraged, and hurting. But, please, before it reaches the end game, get help. Contact a counselor, a friend, or find material to read, listen to, or watch that will help you deal with your build up of pain.
In my last article I talked about the “looper” personality and the empath. This personality tends to have a rougher time, because they get stuck in this endless painful loop.
Let me tell you a story.
There once was a girl, twenty-something, pretty, lively. She had a dream. A dream to be a mom and a wife and to live happily ever after. She married a nice guy, they settled down, and started their journey together.
Then 3 years ticked by, and the girl asked the boy for a baby. It was a no go. Again, years ticked by, and it was into year 5. The girl again, begged, pleaded, cried for a child, falling into depression. The boy said no. More and more years ticked by, and it reached year 10. The girl was in her thirties, in pain, believing her husband had tricked her, lied to her, and didn’t love her.
This was me. My breaking point hit at year 10, and mixed in with a lot of pain, I left my husband. The story is a mess after that, but you get the point. When you hit this point, all you see is through those pain-filled glasses, and everyone you love takes a beating. You tend to think they are out to “get you, abuse you, or hurt you” because you haven’t dealt with an underlining issue.
Did my husband love me? Maybe in his own way, but he never dealt with his issues about not wanting a kid, and it bled into our marriage–thus creating pain and a breaking point for me. I didn’t hear one single word he said after my breaking point.
Give yourself a Voice.
I’m still learning this one, since I repressed so much pain. I am still recovering the little girl who had a dream. I am part of an amazing leadership team(Life Leadership) that talks about dreaming, and all I can feel is a giant painful hole where mine used to be. Will I recover? Yes. Will you recover? Yes.
Don’t just see red
When you’re in this spot, you see everyone as a bad guy. Believe me I could tell you stories in my own life that would make your toes curl. People who always loved me, I looked at in a red haze of pain, and I couldn’t seem to find the love I knew was there. I only saw them one way. If this sounds like your life, please understand that people love you. Your family loves you. Your friends love you. They are HURTING because you are hurting. If someone reaches out to you, don’t bat their hand away, see through the haze. Allow someone in.
See the light
There is light for you. There is hope for you. If you are experiencing great pain like I did about marriage or family I have one warning: Don’t break your ties.
You may be going through hell right now, but reach out to someone. If you feel like you don’t trust anyone, there are programs to get emotional and mental health. Believe me, if you just decide to “end it all” you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. I’m talking marriages, friendships, family ties, whatever the case is here.
One more thing
Some relationships ARE toxic. But, in the breaking point it’s hard to know better. If you need a break to think, then do so, but without killing all your relationships. My one regret was rushing my own divorce and not just letting myself heal for a bit. Would it of still ended? Maybe. But, the fact that my breaking point shoved me forward to destroy everything kills me now.
If you are in the middle of a divorce, pause for a moment. Take a breath. Is your partner willing to work it out? Is he/she willing to change? Is he/she trying his best? I know they hurt you. I understand. I really, really do. But, in the breaking point you hear NOTHING. You feel NOTHING. You think all they are doing is lying, lying, lying.
Don’t do anything rash. Give yourself a breather. Deal with your pain. Deal with it. Please. For your mental and emotional health. For your family, friends, and even acquaintances. The ripple effect of a breaking point is like a hurricane, destroying everything. You hurt a lot more people then you know. I’m not trying to guilt you. This is from a divorcee who knows. I know the pain you go through, and I am still dealing with it a year later.
I love you guys.
So, I’ve been dating for roughly 8 months now (broke up once, almost twice, with the same guy). I was divorced last October, and started dating a guy in March. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Tip 1. You’ll face the Ugly Past
Yikes. Yikes. Yikes. I had no idea that every ugly, painful, disgusting lie and belief I’ve ever had about my old relationship was going to bounce like tiger into my brain. Everything I do with my current boyfriend feels like ripping a wound open and reliving everything. My god, it’s crazy.
Tip 2. Emotion is a bitch
I don’t usually swear, but this seemed really fitting. I’ve never had this much emotion IN MY LIFE, and I am an emotionally sensitive person. Even, going for a nice walk I found myself trying to shove down the geyser of emotion that’s buried there. It pops up whenever and wherever.
Tip 3. You’re numb and scared
This is the hardest for me to face. I can’t seem to get over the past 12 years of my old relationship. I know it’s only been a year since I was divorced, but you want to beat yourself up for continually stepping backward again and again. It created a fear of love, a fear of not loving, and all the messy stuff in-between.
What I learned Today
After my crying spout, my feeling like he’ll be the same as my ex, and feeling unloved in my love language, it all hit me in the face. I have to love myself, and if he can’t match my vibration, the relationship will disperse. But, no matter what, I’ll find the one who’s meant for me by loving ME. I’m not saying my current boyfriend is like my ex or a jerk or something(he’s very loving and patient), but every emotion I felt with my ex surfaces no matter what. That’s why I realized that I HAVE to love myself right now in this messy, painful aftermath. Because, if my boyfriend actually is the one, I won’t see it if I don’t feel my own love. Whether he gives me loving words (which is my love language) or not is up to him, but once I love myself, I’ll attract someone who gladly gives me love in the way I need.
In loving myself, instead of allowing myself to be ruled by fear, I’ll be ruled by love, and my self-love will send out a high vibration to a man who will love me as I love myself. Make sense? It’s easier said than done for sure, and I want to start truly loving me for me. In the end, currently with my soulmate or not, he’ll show up. And so will yours.
From a Divorcee