I am so angry this morning.
I cannot believe some of the decisions I have made in the past 43 years.
It is infuriating to think that I have thrown away different opportunities that would have made significant changes in my life. My plan as I write this is to be mad at Depression for the decisions I made along the way.
But I was the one who took the action or failed to take the action.
I said I was proud of myself for not going down the “should of” road. I have been good about framing my thoughts in a positive context and not letting Unhelpful Thinking make me feel sorry for myself. I can see in others how destructive this is. They wallow in their own misery and everything is someone else’s fault.
Circumstance beyond their control are keeping them from their true destiny, their true potential, the life they are promised.
Yet they never acknowledge their own role in making things turn out the way they envisioned it. Often these are very talented, very smart, intelligent people who feel the world owes them a Living. And when it doesn’t materialize, they become bitter.
I am not writing this to be bitter, and as mad as I am, I accept responsibility for my life.
I cannot go back and change the decisions I have made. While I want to say everything is depression’s fault, I cannot. I accept that I had a choice about following depressions ideas. I could have been stronger, I could have asked better questions, I could have “just said no.”
But I didn’t.
I caved into depressions rules. At times, I probably sought refuge in its crazy, self-centered schemes. I have so much more empathy for people that are in abusive relationships after spending 43 years with depression. I have a clearer idea of why they don’t just leave. The thought of leaving the relationship is scarier than the reality of the abuse.
So maybe I am feeling sorry for myself this morning.
Life would have been different without depression.
So many of my ideas got to the very edge of success, only to be pushed back into the abyss by my buddy depression. But I let depression win. How can I come to grips with what I let it do to me for 43 years? That’s most of my life so far.
But I have a choice.
I can wallow around in my own self-pity, or I can take control of my life, recognize the role depression has played, and make a conscious effort to change my relationship with depression. Daydreaming about what might have been is living in the past.
I don’t play the lottery very often because I do not see the ROI in it. But when I do spend a dollar or two for a Mega Millions Jackpot ticket, I feel like I am buying the right to dream about what it would be like to be the winner.
I pay $2 for the privilege of living in the future until the drawing is held. Then I see I have zero out of six numbers and the fantasy is over. I got my $2 worth and I am back to reality. The difference here is that I know what I am buying, I know that I am just giving myself permission to live in the future for a day or two. It is a choice.
When I get in bed with depression, I am not in control.
I succumb to its unhelpful thinking and become a patsy for it’s twisted, destructive, secretive schemes. I become the poster boy for mayhem. I do not see that there are other options and I become secretive and dodge anything that is not coming from depression. This has been my life for 43 years. I am done with living that way.
My new outlook on life is that Depression is not my boss.
I conceivably have 25 to 30 or more years of living and I can decide how I will think about them. By asking better questions and keeping depression out in the open where I can see it, I am in control. I recognize that I have a disease, and I need to be mindful of it. So, I am arming myself with a comprehensive WRAP plan. My wellness recovery action plan includes triggers that in the past, might be the beginning of a spiral into the abyss.
Now I have tools to help me recognize them and do something about it before I go over the edge. This is exciting. And putting my energy into that has a better ROI than putting my energy into shoulding on myself. I have paid the price for my ticket to a better life, now I get to live it.
So, I will set aside the anger and pick up the “how can I go forward from here and live the best life possible” mantra.
How are you living your life? What works for you?