How many times have you heard someone tell you if you just changed your attitude you could change your life? I subscribe to this belief, but I also recognize that when I am experiencing a depressive episode the last thing I am going to have is a positive attitude.
It is the nature of depression. It steals positive thoughts and taints them with chronic cynicism. If there is a glass to be seen it will most certainly be half empty. Negative thinking becomes strangling weeds in a patch of beautiful opportunity.
So if you identify the enemy as depression you have to figure out how to beat this enemy. I have found no easier way than fighting it. When I can actually pin point a symptom and give it a name I know I have a chance to catch that stink in’ think in’ thought right in its tracks. Sure it is not easy but it is possible. I strive very hard for all things possible.
I hold out for hope that things will keep getting better. I seek the catalysts until it turns on in my presence and helps me to shift my thinking. This is how I describe recovery-when a person is participating fully in life and making a contribution to her community with personal independence and freedom driving the decision making process. Given that definition would you agree that everyone is recovering from something?
Is there a lesson or two for those who live with mental illness to be more aware of those nagging depressive thought patterns? But I also think there is a lesson for all of us to say a gentle reminder about having a positive attitude which can be the deal maker or breaker in anything we are trying to accomplish.
To my friends who live with depression or bipolar disorder it might just take some added effort on our part to see those possibilities-but don’t give up trying they will be there when you are ready to see them.
Remember faith looks ahead. I choose faith. What are you choosing?