I’ve not posted any new self help method attempts in a while, mostly because I’m currently going through a very low period of depression.
Those times where the sadness ebbs into something much more grey than you could imagine, and you feel like an empty hollow wandering aimlessly. You’ll likely lose motivation, passion and emotions. You might feel like a phony, living in the stead of someone who used to be very much alive and real. You may sleep all day, or never be able to lay your head to rest, eat too much or not enough. There are always differences in how each of us experiences our lowest of lows, but it sucks balls for each and every one of us.
Normally, my coping mechanism used to be drink a lot, smoke a lot, go out, get crazy. This lead to emotional breakdowns, stupid decisions and a whole host of anxiety and heart palpitations from alcohol and cigarettes. Now, I’ve given up that life, cutting down my drinking and only having more than one if I know I’m in a good spot. It’s helped a lot, but it hasn’t solved this destructive urge. I still turn to cigarettes but I don’t implode the way my body wants me too. I have no solution yet for this, though I have found something that helps soothe over this pain just a little.
Say thank you to yourself.
I first heard this in a yoga class (so I know, this sounds old, cheesy and you’ve probably heard it a million times). I practice some yoga alone, using videos and apps, and realizing each time how horrendously stiff and inflexible I am. Last Sunday, I decided to have a change of pace, let’s actually join in with a group of people, be around the presence of others and see if that brings me more peace.
It didn’t just bring me peace, it brought out some of the pain in me. After an hour and a half of hard work, listening to my body, thinking about me exclusively and letting my form move in ways it wanted I felt released. I felt like a small crack had formed in the tough grey wall that stopped me feeling. When the instructor then said the words “Ignore that criticizing voice inside of you. It’s a decision, decide every day not to listen. Thank your body, send yourself love.”
I remind you, I am a meat eating, weight lifting kinkster who’s more cynical and bitter than at peace with the world, but this struck me hard in the chest to the point that tears rose, unfallen, into my eyes. I realized that the idea of pushing away these negative thoughts and sending positive ones to myself felt alien and wrong to the strongest degree. That I had allowed my mind to poison itself into such self hatred that I absolutely couldn’t appreciate how hard my body had worked. Because there was always better, always the next goal, it was all about progress and never understand that what I was doing in itself was enough. That still working out and eating healthy while going through a dark mental episode was enough. Living was enough.
So, for everyone out there who might be forgetting that they deserve thanks, thank yourself. Appreciate yourself. Living IS enough. Choosing the positive voice, at least sometimes, is enough. Do not let this disease dictate how you speak to yourself.
Maybe just a little bit of self kindness could go a long way for you. You deserve to feel happy, even if it feels like the world is against you