I’m sitting here at the gravesite of a special friend of mine; a very special person in my life. I started to wonder why anyone would be driven to or choose to commit suicide. I feel that this person lost a fight within her self. She wanted to be free; free of fear, of stress, anxiety, mood swings and addiction. So my current conclusion is that her need for suicide was to be free of all pain.
This conclusion drives me to research to learn about ‘That Disease’ : depression.
I’ve found that many counsellors prefer out of body methods: “make a list of 10 things you like and . . . “ or, “what’s been your favorite book lately”. Really?
That doesn’t speak to my soul or to my heart.
I am convinced that people struggling with depression are motivated by investigating their ‘own’ self. The counsellor could be a powerful help with this, however, the client will be the one fueling it, it begins inside.
That little voice in you; The Inner Dialogue
It’s reasoning and dialoguing all the time, as we go through each and every day. We sometimes notice it, it’s our sub-conscious. Often, we’re not aware of what it has to say, but it affects us in many ways.
Here, let’s explore how the inner voice influences our feelings and emotions, and the role it plays in and through, a depression.
Why is depression so real? What is that inner voice anyway?
Well, that voice is the foundation of your identity and behaviour in the here and now.
The internal critic is formed early in our youth, molded by caregivers, then educators. You were young and these educators told you what was good or bad, right or wrong, what’s acceptable, what’s not.
Earning the approval of your educators became a very important part of your life and their disapproval in most ways was frightening to young you. Often, this leads to a greater fear of rejection in later life, because you grew up with little approval; the normal was disapproval.
Unconsciously, you’ve learned negative self-talk. Now, your self-determination has been shaped by the needs of the educators. If those experiences were not ‘too bad’ back then, then the voice will be less violent to your self. But, if intense experiences happened, the inner attack is violent; and in most cases, unconsciously. Because you’re not aware of it, you won’t even know why you actually feel so sad.
How well do we know ourselves?
The inner voice creates struggle in us. If the underlying cause is great enough, the inner voice can become a weapon against your self. Imagine children that are labeled ‘negative’, perhaps even yourself.
As you were growing up did you have to deal with excessive anger from educators and authority figures? Those experiences may send the child messages that they’re being rejected as a person, not for their behaviour. This can be harmful to self-esteem.
If your own feelings have been ignored enough, you may have learned that feeling don’t count, that they’re not important.
Do you ignore your own feelings? Do you look down on yourself? Chances are, that leads to ‘I’m not worth it”.
So now, you ignore your own feelings and don’t value yourself enough, because that’s essentially how you’ve been taught to behave. And now, even though you’re an adult, maybe with children, you still live ‘down’ there; probably living with ego and not from your heart . . . just to get recognition. However, the feeling doesn’t have to be permanent.
If allowed to roam free in ones mind, that voice will become a bully. Maybe you think that you’re all grown up, but have you considered that it’s possible that your youth is still living inside of you, without your awareness and is still feeling the pain of those youthful experiences.
Maybe it’s not obvious but, it could have more influence than you think possible.
These issues during development toften can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. As we mature and ‘grow up’, these values determine a large part of your feelings and emotions.
Allow yourself to be seduced by the idea of living a complete life; free from anxiety, fear and addiction.
It might seem like a dream , but it’s not deception. How well do you actually know yourself.
Why would other people have these issues and not you?
You can’t make the same recipe with different ingredients. So, it becomes important to learn how to use different ingredients to get different results.
Your brain is like a muscle; you can train it. Don’t make mental health a taboo, get out and exercise it like you go to the gym. You can have a routine for your mind and soul, can’t you?
We need to wake up!
Our world is experiencing a mental health crisis. Almost half the population experiences mental health issues at some point in their lives. People are aware it is becoming an epidemic.
You need to speak out to reduce the taboo of mental health. Speak up!
Don’t feel that you’re less of a person because you deal with depression. Okay, it’s true . . . you temporarily feel inferior as an employee or as a friend, but get past that.
When you have muscle pain from weight lifting or if you have brain pain from working on yourself, you’re not a fanatic, you are looking after yourself.
The only way out is in!
If you commit to the process and put in the work on yourself you gain other insights, emotions and strength. The commitment is essential, even though it can mean a sore brain, just like sore muscles…but it does good in the end! It will have a positive influence on your work and the people around you.
Losing friends during your depression and recovery is OK; they aren’t really your people. Don’t lose interest in the work.
Depression is not a weakness if we grow into a better version of ourselves. Once you heal, you can help others. Doing the work is good. It might not always feel like you’re getting somewhere but don’t lose faith; you are. Hang in there!
The valley of darkness has been visited by many people. Some stop there and stay but this doesn’t have to be you. Keep believing that whatever you are experiencing doesn’t have to be your whole story; certainly not the end of your story. Don’t believe the lies that you’ve collected; those are just the gossip of your life right now.
To get out of the depression you must face it. Then, you might see that it’s only an inner voice that has believed the wrong people in your life. It’s time to disarm that voice so you can be a happier version of yourself.
Use different ingredients.
Try to use the pain inside as a motivator to get past the depression. Life is about challenges; it will never be pain free. Work hard to get past the heavy pain to find the path of doable challenges. Life is for the living, and it is challenges, so stand up.
Find out what the depression wants to teach you, get curious. You’ll find it will coach you to a happier life if you listen closely. Your inner voice is not there to make you feel bad; it wants to help you. It has only been influenced by your negative experiences with people and situations.
It’s time to allow yourself a life that you deserve. Work toward a life of less fear, stress and unrest. Change the story from self-criticism to one of positive self-esteem. Get involved with your self; nobody else can do this for you.
You might lose confidence in the assistance you find, but don’t lose faith in the ability to change. The only real constant in life is change. Change is certain.
Your depression is the soil, your tears are the water and time is the sun. Together they will overcome the depression if YOU plant the seeds.
Do you think you can never get rid of it? Do you think your inner voice wants you to always be unhappy? Do you think it doesn’t think you deserve a happy life? No! It’s been programmed by people and events. Life isn’t always kind but change always coming; always. Choose happy change for yourself. Put in the work.
The gospel of Matheus states: “Because whoever learns will get more and it will be abundant.
Those who CHOOSE not to learn will be deprived of the latter.”
Would you like t start recognizing your and disarming your negative inner voice? Do you want to change your inner dialogue to begin the change toward a happy life? Then please send an email today.
Peace be with you.