Are there specific things, places or events in your life that make you feel better when you are upset? Most people never stop to wonder why they occasionally reach for those things that make them feel happy. Almost like an event of a repeating performance would break the spell and they would lose joy or the feeling of happiness, content or peace that they find within themselves.
Why is it so hard to push ourselves to do things that we enjoy? If we enjoy going out to a a cafe and have a latte, why does it seem easier to just sit in the parking lot and stare and the building and almost willing yourself to go but being afraid to take a leap?
When people are depressed, even such little things as having a coffee at the popular cafe filled with people having fun, may seem too much. We sit at that parking lot staring at the building, and wonder what is waiting for us inside. We may be almost too sure that we will enjoy being inside, among people, but there is always that fear of anxiety present. What if it is too crowded? Or too loud? For depressed extroverts it may seem especially hard as extroverts normally enjoy being around people and they get their energy from them. Introverts on the other hand recharge only when they are by themselves. Contact with people drains introverts of energy regardless whether they enjoy it or not.
It is not easy to be brave when you are paranoid and afraid of anything. Paranoid of the possibility of being happy, if only for a moment. It is almost easier to sit and stare at the cafe bar while you’re sitting in your car in the half empty parking lot. It is almost too easy to give up and convince yourself that you made it there, that you made it to the parking, that you’re looking at the building and that almost counts as you being there at your chosen destination.
Why do we wait to make things special for us? Why are we so convinced that a repeating performance would ruin the magic and we would no longer want to sit at the cafe bar to have that latte if we decided to come more often. Why do we wait for a weekend to come or specific occasion? If we have more of a good thing wouldn’t that make us more happy? In contract, it seems that we have too many bad things going on that we can’t climb out of our depression. Why are we not “saving” bad events or feelings for special occasion? Why have we accepted their mundane existence in our lives like something so natural and within us that we are almost incapable of changing?
If you enjoy going to the art gallery, ask yourself how often do you go? Are you surprised that something you enjoy to do you only do once or twice a year? Do you have great time when you go to the movies, when you go out with your friends and when you visit with your family? Don’t you wish that every day is a holiday where people get together with good food and drinks, and laugh at each other jokes?
Human beings are social by nature. Nobody can be by themselves, although people that are depressed often want to be left alone to drown in their own sadness and despair. But even them, when they manage to push themselves to make a leap and join the crowd, they tend to break that spell for a moment and enjoy themselves. Almost feel happy again.
Lots of people experiencing depression feel like they are being punished for something they have done or for some event that have happened to them in their past. They believe that they deserve punishment and being happy for a moment seems like a reward that they did not deserve. They prefer to continue punishing themselves as a way of redeeming themselves for the wrongs that occurred in their life. It is very hard to break that cycle, especially if you believe that you don’t deserve to be happy. It is very hard to break any cycle at all when we are already running in circles. How do we break the cycle and let ourselves go?
Do you enjoy walking in the nature, looking at the trees, grass, flowers and perhaps listening to to the sound of birds chirping and creek lazily falling over those stones creating most relaxing sounds? If the answer is yes, why don’t you go every day and enjoy that walk? Or just sit on the stone and listen to do sounds of nature?
Why is it so hard to push yourself to do things that you like? You should be doing them every day, every waking moment. You should have a job that you love. You should have hobbies outside of your work or school. If you like painting, go and buy some brushes, some paint and a canvas and start painting. Don’t wait for your life to pass feeling depressed that you haven’t done anything you’ve wanted for a fear of failure, or having something else happening at the moment, or whatever other excuse you have ready for yourself.
If you are depressed, you need to push yourself and convince yourself that you are worthy and deserve to be happy, whether or not your plans for your life are acceptable to others in your life. Look for a support system around you. If you have one person that supports you, that is enough. Go on, be happy, do things that you like. Do not be stuck in the virtual world, checking your social media, watching reality shows or TV shows in general, and reading books. Your life is not virtual, there is nothing happening there that should have impact on your life. You are in control of your own life, so get up, get out of the house and face the world. We only have one life to live, and right now, change your life and do things that make you happy.
And if you are afraid of letting too much happiness in your life all at once, start in increments. Do one thing a day that makes you happy. Whatever that is. Write a list. Make yourself do it. Soon enough, the feeling of excitement and longing will fill your heart as you realize that you can be happy, every day, step by step, little by little. Soon enough, depression should leave you and you should be left with joy and your whole life in front of of you.
You are not worthless, undeserving or born unhappy. People in our life or certain circumstances and situations that you may have or have not had a control of may have started the seed of depression. Somewhere down the road you may have made the wrong choices for which you’re paying for by leading yourself to believe that you deserve to be depressed and unhappy.
This is one time when you should not listen to your inner voice as it is not telling you the truth.The truth is that nobody deserves to be unhappy, nobody deserves pain and suffering. Even if you have done something wrong, get up and face the consequences so you can start healing. Running away is not helping anyone and you cannot hide forever. Life will catch up with you so you better be ready. Find the strength within yourself. Allow yourself to be happy and enjoy life. You are in control. Nobody else. Don’t let anyone else tell you anything different. So start re-writing that chapter that you started by being unhappy and change your tune. Soon you will see how you will look at the world with different eyes. Eyes filled with hope. Hope in a better tomorrow.
And that is a start.