As I work to pull myself back to a productive life after a severe depression, I am coming to realize how much limiting beliefs play in all this. It’s something you hear from every “success” speaker you will ever hear and it has become tangibly real for me now. When you’re current situation is not good, one of the only things you can do is envision a better future. If that vision is powerful enough, you can achieve it. Sound simple enough, except there are certain limiting beliefs that will come down and smash that vision. I also believe the limiting beliefs contribute to the overall general anxiety I often feel.
I have a vision of what I would like my future to look like and I have been trying to come up with ways to make that vision more powerful. I have been trying to get myself to feel the feelings I would feel when that vision is a reality, but feel those feelings now. This is a technique derived from Tony Robbins. I realized today, one of the reasons I am getting stuck is my limiting beliefs about myself are crushing the process. I like my vision and believe at an intellectual level I can make it happen, but deep down I know that’s never going to happen. I’m not that good and I don’t have the strength or will or commitment to actually do it. This is the difference between what you know and feel intellectually vs. physically in your gut. I am great intellectually but am terrible at the gut level.
You can’t think your way out of limiting beliefs, you have to attack at the gut level. I can’t tell you I have any specific techniques to win this fight as I will be learning as I go. What I can say is there is a lazy, weak and scared version of me inside myself I have to kill. I have to murder the lazy, weak, scared me. Easier said then done, as this version of me has become dominant in recent years. Often, you won’t be able to remember what it was like to be the better version of you.
I don’t know how this will go, but I think it will involve dynamic and physical actions because the playing field is in the gut. There will be yelling, screaming and physical gestures. Of course, I will let you know how it goes and what I have learned. Hopefully, I can pass that on and you can have your own liberation.
One of my favorite comedians of all time has died. RIP Robin Williams.
Immediately upon the reporting of is death, we knew it was a suicide and it was widely reported he was suffering from depression. Today, one day later, all the experts and psychologists are out and talking. I suppose that’s fine, we need to talk about it. But it all feels so typical. We’ve been though this before. Dr. Drew is back on again.
I know about depression and I know about suicidal thoughts. I’ve been in that deep, dark hole before. I won’t purport to know exactly what Robin Williams was going through, but I have an inkling. So much trite advice and speculation is being bandied about in the media by people who have no idea what it’s like to feel those feelings. It’s easy to think what you should do from the outside, but when you’re deep inside the hole, it’s not so easy or clear. Don’t assume someone needing help will ask for it. If you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, ask them if you can help. Yes, people hide their depression but usually there are signs, cracks. Maybe you can be that one last glimmer of hope that keeps them going.
Maybe it’s my circadian rhythms that are all screwed up because of the winter or maybe because of the shocking life event I almost went through that still has me rattled, but I have noticed that I am most unhappy and unsettled at night. I also don’t like it that the sun doesn’t come up in the morning until after 7:30am. I hate the dark.
Winters can be difficult in the pacific northwest because of the too short days and so much cloud cover and rain. Last winter wasn’t a problem for me, but I was on the Lexapro. And this winter has been much more trying. Managing my moods and attitude is much harder without the drugs and I have struggled with that this last six months. It’s partially what lead to the traumatic life event that had me within inches of reaching out for more Lexapro. I felt like I was right on the edge of going over the waterfall and actually did place a call to my psychologist to get more Lexapro. Fortunately she did not return my call for several days because of a holiday and by the time she did call things had calmed down and I felt like I could handle it.
I feel like depression and anxiety is like being an alcoholic. You can get better and learn to manage yourself, but that certain something will always be there, small and quiet in the back of your brain, waiting to explode again. The thing is now to manage it and how to deal with the situations that irritate it, make it want to stir and come to life.
I received a very disturbing Facebook message the other day about a mutual friend. This friend has just committed suicide. We weren’t super close, but we knew each other well enough. Jeff was a great guy. Nice, good job, great family, ect. What could be so wrong? It goes to show, you can never know the darkness that inhabits someones soul, no matter what they appear on the outside. I am not terribly unlike Jeff although I don’t have the good job at the moment which is causing some stress. But if you met me, you might never know the anxiety and tention I deal with on a daily basis. You might never know how many times in the past I have wanted to die. I have never been close to active suicide, but what I call “passive” suicide absolutely. I thought about Jeff and wondered if he lived with “passive” suicide too and if something flipped the switch to turn things active. That scared me a little.
I still don’t know how I am able to manage myself these days. Why I have not gone down the rabbit hole of darkness I used to spiral into. I wish Jeff could have found his way through because he was, as they say, one of the good ones. The world is full of so many shitty people, we can’t afford to loose the good ones. While I don’t spiral into deep depression anymore, I can get very down and despondent and this news jolted me right out of that mood. It was like a wakeup call. Yeah, your life sucks, waaa waaa, not as badly as Jeff’s apparently.
I’m sorry it had to come to that Jeff. I hope you are finally at peace.
I have made my decision. I am geting off Lexapro. I did not consult with my shrink on this decision although I will follow her advice for getting off. This was my decision and I had to make it myself. It’s something I have been considering for a month or so.
The primary thing that drove me to the decision was the overwhelming feeling of apathy that has come over me the past year. Lexapro has numbed me out so much I don’t care about anything anymore. This has become a real problem and has affected my daily life. Working for yourself requires tremendous motivation and drive and I have none. I need to feel again, for better or worse.
The other thing is a realization that when I went on Lexapro, I did very much need it and it helped greatly. I was going through an incredibly hard time in my life and was sinking into a deep, dark hole. It was to the point where I was loosing control and I felt like things were getting dangerous. But I am in a different place now and situations have changed. I think I have outlived my need for Lexapro but I have been a little afraid to realize it. Lexapro doesn’t really help you “deal” with anything so much as it turns off the light so you don’t have to see the monster. Now at the time I needed to not see the monster. Now, however, it’s time to stop hiding and move on. I am a different person in a different place. I’m not even sure the monster is even there anymore. If he is, well I need to find a more effective way of dealing with him.
I am finding lately that reading is a great antidote to loneliness and depression. It’s a way to escape your everyday problems and feelings as you jump into another world completely. Sci-fi and fantasy, of course, are some of the more powerful genres as they create worlds vastly different than our own where anything is possible. But I have also been enjoying biographies. Seeing life from another persons perspective can give you a very different outlook on things. If anything else, reading helps to refocus your mind on something else than what’s troubling you.
Sure, reading is masking the problem rather than dealing with it, but you can’t always be working on your problems. Sometimes you need a break, a mental vacation and reading is perfect. It’s better than TV or movies too as reading involves the brain in a more active way. With video, you veg out more but with reading you are more an active participant in the story. You in involved in a much deeper and more satisfying way.
Some people take drugs to get their release. I completely understand this. At a certain point, you need to escape your reality and drugs are the quickest and easiest way to do it. Unfortunately, there are massive downsides to taking drugs, and so, I highly recommend reading as a safe alternative.
I don’t blog here terribly often and I don’t spend a lot of time on other depression websites or forums. I don’t participate in depression communities. I just can’t do it.
I suffer from depression and anxiety, yes, but I don’t want to live with it every day in such a deliberate way. It feels like I’m wallowing in it and I refuse to do that. On my better days, I would like to even forget I have depression.
For some people, this won’t be the right choice. For some, community is going to help and be a real benefit. God bless and go forward I say.
I will continue to share here when I have something poignant to say and I will answer your comments, but that’s about all I can do. I have depression but I’m solidering on, I’m living my life. I can’t afford to stop and analyze it all.
I have been thinking about the difference between depression and indifference. I have been feeling myself moving from one to the other. When you are depressed, I think you still care. Part of the depression is the gap between where you are and where you would like to be. You become depressed because things are not the way you want and you cannot find a path. But when you’re indifferent, you just don’t care at all. When it stops mattering and you’re willing to accept whatever comes down the pike, that’s a different thing.
I have been feeling more indifferent lately than depressed. I get tired of fighting and just want to let it all go. I think indifference is more dangerous than depression because you have stopped caring. It feels better because when you’re depressed you’re still fighting, still feeling. When you’re indifferent, it’s all so much easier.
It’s been a year that started with more depression for me but is ending with more indifference. But I’ve been thinking about this and the next post will be a new years post that may surprise you. Stay tuned.
When I first went to the psychiatrist to get medecine for my depression, I really thought I was going to get something to make me feel happy. What I got was Lexapro which does not make me feel happy. What it does is put a floor under me so that I do not descend into a deep spiral of depression. The best way I can describe Lexapro is that it doesn’t allow me to feel sad. This is a good thing and I’m glad for it, but I really thought there was some kind of happy pill. After several inquiries I have to accept the fact that there is no happy pill.
My first psychiatrist asked once if I wanted to come off the Lexapro as I was doing better. I am not at all ready for that. I’m a little scared to tell you the truth to go off because won’t I go right back to where I was? I haven’t really dealt with the core of my problems yet. Lexapro keeps me going until then. That is why my new nurse practitioner and I are on a path to really get to the core of what is going on and change my neural pathways to literally think different. Only then will I be able to quit the Lexapro.