How to Prevent Depression From Stopping You Get What You Want
People today don’t confront sadness because we think it keeps us from achieving our goals – This is a toxic trait we must steer away from.
It’s an effort nowadays to find a neutral state of being. Our heads and hearts are constantly being dragged to the ground by an invisible force, which often goes unnoticed until we are drowning in grief. The cause is always unknown, but one thing is for sure: we have to fight like hell every single day.
I feel that people today are afraid to confront sadness. We think it keeps us from achieving our goals because it’s toxic, and therefore we must steer away from it. We’ve stopped training ourselves on how to deal with it, because we’ve been persuaded that sadness is contagious to the point where when a friend is sad, our first instinct is to run away rather than to console or listen.
Through family and friends, I feel I am one of the lucky ones. Thanks to them, I’m so thankful to know what love looks like. My body remembers how it feels, how it tastes, how it moves – a gentle reminder that life is wonderful as long as there is love.
Tapping into love while you’re in a depressed state can be like finding your way home blindfolded. The only way is to pay attention to what you recognise: the winds, the smells, the texture of the roads, the sounds of water, of birds, of wind chimes, and our own body’s sense memory reminding us of a time when we stood strong with self-confidence. This is how we find our way back to love and self-worth, by revisiting the source deep down in our memory.
Everyone’s brain is wired differently. Some circuits don’t allow their bodies to recognise the patterns of love or the ability to self-heal, while others make it much easier. Some brains lose the circuits altogether, requiring medication for them to work regularly. But there is also a kind of social depression happening in today’s generation – one that is spawned not only by our circumstances or lack of opportunity, but by each other.
Deep down, there are people who take advantage of one’s sadness. It’s an emotional dog-eat-dog world: we don’t always need to be the happiest person in the world, but we do want to be happier than our friends – the wonderfully descriptive word, schadenfreude springs to mind: simply defined, ‘pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune’. Some might even go so far as to shove our sadness in our faces because it makes them feel more valuable – thus generating a false sense of self-esteem and hollow self-love.
Value is everything. We treasure it and want to keep it as high as possible, or at least higher than those closest to us. But self-esteem and self-worth don’t come from pushing a friend’s sadness further down, so we appear better off; it comes from a personal exploration of why we’re here. Together. Feeling depressed and lost.
Floating in Pools of Sadness
One of the reasons why I get sad is because I feel at times that my career has zero value, and that I don’t know how to translate the successful social side of me, into a successful professional version of me. I feel that everything I do, all the work I’ve done, my ideas, worthless; as if all the decisions I made meant nothing. I relive the same memories, which are emotional bookmarks, and feelings of regret, doubts and fear all resurface – again. In a matter of seconds, I’m back to square zero.
All of us have a ‘pool’ of doubts and fears inside, and it’s usually the only place we’re comfortable floating – not because it’s safe, but because it’s habitual. It’s the only pool we’re used to and comfortable treading water in, so naturally it becomes a refuge. Little do we realize that this is the very thing keeping us from finding love, self-esteem and confidence – finding ourselves.
It hit me one morning as I was staring blankly into a computer screen willing myself to continue working on my business. My painful past bubbled up to meet me, and all my doubts, regrets and fears along with it. I started to swim in my depressing pool of memories, then I stopped – Why do I visit sad memories to remind myself of how invaluable I am? Why must I always use them as an excuse to prove my fears right?
Why can’t I tap into happy memories and professional successes to prove my assumptions wrong?
I dug into the happiest of times: the laughter, the life achievements and professional ones alike, the moments where I was completely free of fear and worry. Suddenly familiar feelings started arising – I recognised them because I’ve felt them before. They were joy, peace, and love. I channelled them, but I felt something else rise inside me too. My confidence and the belief in my abilities. I found the translated version of me.
Don’t Let Depression Win
I channelled them until I forgot why it was that I was sad in the first place. I gave them power, so naturally they become powerful. I’d chosen not to swim in my pool of sadness, but rather use that sadness to fuel me towards a stronger current of hope and faith, a current so strong it enabled me to take the bold step of becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own events agency.
Sadness became the fuel in the engine, translating me into the professional I doubted I could be; graciously, it came with added bonus of a lifelong dream fulfilling itself right before my eyes.
Don’t let depression win. Never bow down to invisible forces caused by nothing, fuelled by nothing, owned by nothing, to make you believe you are nothing.
The truth of the matter is you are so much more than nothing. You are a light shining itself inside a cave of sad thoughts. Your thoughts. Eventually the light will banish the sad and we can finally drain the habitual pool for good.
It’s time to let love, self-esteem and continued self-belief in our value win.