The only person I know who is more moody than I am is my best friend Krissy, and even then I admire her ability to stay positive. (Love you, Krissy!) Where Krissy picks herself up and stays on the positive track, I tend to fall short and let the negativity creep into my mind, and sometimes it overtakes me, thus leading me to a state of depression. When I am in that state of mind, almost everything is negative and I can’t seem to have any single thought that is positive. It’s like a downward spiral past the edge of darkness. It makes me realize how powerful the mind is and just how hard it is to be aware of your ‘self’. When I get like that, I know I can’t fight it with substances, I know I can’t forget it, I know I have to confront it and overcome it with my own mind. It feels unnatural to seek out help or advice because in my mind, nothing can help, positive reinforcement will only make it worse, and I don’t want to bring other people down or be lifted up.
Why was I depressed? Well, I think there are many reasons. I think it was building up inside of me for awhile. I know I was fighting it. Specifically, after coming off such a high that was leading up to the wedding, getting married and having the best honeymoon ever – I quickly realized I had nothing to do anymore. Nothing to plan, no way to be creative, and I sunk into a routine of “relaxing” as I liked to call it, which really just meant being lazy. I found no worth in myself. There were some other things that happened that I won’t talk about, but mainly just downers that were happening around my life that I had no control over. Something else has been weighing on my mind for awhile, that basically boils down to me not believing in myself. Everyone has fears. And we must all face our fears in order to grow. I’ve felt like I haven’t been facing my number 1 fear for years. I feel like I’ve been hiding in my comfort zone and as much as I want to do something about it and break free, I get so scared and can’t do it. This has been a theme throughout my life. But I know that when I break through, I always succeed and the burst of confidence I get from success is the most amazing feeling. I would say that tearing my ACL could be a metaphor for my life. I used to take more risks, try anything and not be afraid at all. When I hurt my knee, I realized I was vulnerable, breakable, and I was scared to do things out of fear it would get hurt again. When we first realize we can be broken, and we are tested mentally, physically and/or spiritually, it is only then that if we overcome our fears, we experience growth and move forward.
I also realized that yes, it is always a good idea to be the best “me” I can be. Wondering how I can better myself? What will make me happy? What will give me that juice of goodness I need to be the best I can be? A road trip? Colorado? A show? My blog/my journal? I need to be reading more books. Cooking and being creative in the kitchen. Exercising. Meditation. The list goes on and on. And while those are all good, positive, wholesome things that make me feel great about myself when I do them and even open doors of perception… It’s not necessarily the answer or the key to my overall happiness. If I’m doing those things, I feel better about myself. But the only person I am bettering by doing those things is me me me me. My ego. My pleasure. My ‘self’. So, then the question is this. In what way am I bettering other people’s lives? How am I making a difference, making a change… what am I doing for someone else? And when I stopped to think about it, I felt the sense that I wasn’t doing anything at all for other people.
But fortunately, my husband knows me better than I know myself. After all, when he married me, he knew I go through episodes like this and after 3 years, he knows what to do to help me. He doesn’t think I’m weird, he doesn’t think I’m a depressed person, he just knows this is the way I am. My mind just starts going and going, even when I’m not aware of it. Gareth gave me the perfect words of encouragement and helped me see myself and the positive action I needed to take.
I was talking to a good friend this past weekend about graduate school because I have been interested in going. I’ll go ahead and say.. it was Ryan Slessinger. We all know him and we all look up to him. He gave me so much encouragement and believed in me, that I could tackle grad school and succeed. His overwhelming confidence in me made me emotional and I kept questioning him saying, “How do you know I can do it?” because while I believed that he believed in me, and I’ve believed other people when they tell me I’ve had certain sparks of greatness, I don’t believe in myself! That is the key!
So, I guess I’ve learned many lessons in these past few days.
1. I have a very strong desire to be creative. But I can be creative privately and still express myself. I don’t have to be the best painter, sewer, writer, etc. I just need little projects to do so I can tap into my creative side.
2. While being active, organized and having fun are things that make me feel better about myself, and I need to do them, they aren’t things that necessarily make me a good person. It’s not all about the ego. What makes us good people is the good that we do for others. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Just be kind. Even writing this blog has made me feel good in hopes that it helps someone else.
3. Facing your fear is extremely difficult. We are all vulnerable and we have all had specific things happen to us that held us back, and maybe still are holding us back. But the only way to grow is to believe in myself the way others believe in me and get over my fears by attacking them.
4. My success is only interpreted by my own standards, not someone else’s.