Choosing to Live

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2013 Nancy Virden

pretty teenage girl laughingThis blog is short today because I am preparing to conduct a seminar on Saturday. An interesting lesson I am learning is that we can be supportive to ourselves and often are not.

There are those of us who need to keep an eye on depression’s symptoms, and prepare for the red flags by having an action plan ready. My response to the first observation of isolating, negative speech, and low motivation are to deliberately reach out to people, change my self-talk, and keep moving. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Think about it. How many of us like change, especially in the moments we feel less worthy, more hopeless, and uninspired? Change requires energy and effort driven by one thing – a previously made decision. For me the decision to fight back, to not allow major depression or even suicidal thoughts to take me too far away again, was made at a time of clarity and I haven’t looked back. Much.

I get weak, sad, angry, pessimistic, hurt- you know, like everyone. Because I have depression always in the back corner just waiting to emerge, I have to work at keeping it pinned back there. Sometimes I grow tired and do not fight so well. On those days or weeks I can feel myself draped by darker thoughts.

The decision. The decision! One year ago I chose to try and discover what enjoying life means. That is why I make a phone call, reconsider my speech, and stay busy with work.  It’s not easy at all.

I ask regularly, What kind of person do I want to be? I want to honor God, leave a positive legacy, and help people who struggle with depression. No, I do not want to be a suicide statistic.

*****

NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

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