Growing up in a small, “this is the way it is” town, I learned quickly what it’s like to be an outcast, to be judged before you open your mouth, and to be bullied and live in fear just because you don’t follow the crowd. I knew that one day I was going to make life better, easier for everyone else. I also knew I was moving to New York City ASAP.
And that is what I did. I saved my babysitting money and moved to NYC when I was seventeen. I was ready to conquer the world! However, there were times when the world almost conquered me.
I know what it’s like to fight for a dream -- and what it’s like to lose one. I know how it feels to be smiling on the outside and crying on the inside, for habits to become lifestyles, and to look in the mirror one day and barely recognize yourself. I know what it’s like to give up. And I know what it takes to get up.
Don’t let depression consume you. Make a decision today to fight!
1. Believe You Are Worth Fighting For
Depression steals your joy, your passion, and your zest for life -- it makes you forget who you are. Depression silences you into thinking it’s the boss.
Have you ever had a houseguest who stayed too long? Think of depression like this guest. If you cater to its every need, listen when it says You might as well… No one cares anyway… You don’t deserve that job… You’ll never be good enough… it will hang around forever.
Take charge, and tell depression it has over stayed its welcome -- it’s time to hit the road.
2. Count Your Blessings
This can be the most annoying thing to hear. But it is the one thing that psychologists, pastors, scientists, and psychiatrists agree on. Cultivating “an attitude of gratitude” affects everything from your health to your finances.
I used to waitress in New York City. Before rushing to work, I’d write a note to myself about something I was grateful for and put it in the pocket of my apron. I would reach for a pen… and feel the note. I’d get ready to take an order… there was the note.
I put it in my pocket so I’d “remember,” yet all day long I kept finding what I forgot was there.
Depression is like this. As much as we want to remember the good things, it distracts us. Today, make your own list and put it somewhere it will keep finding you.
3. Be Aware…
Of what you are thinking! Are your regrets on re-play? Do you re-hash old wounds? Go over and over conversations that hurt you in the first place? Do you think about how bad things are, or how good they can be? How many times you’ve fallen, or how many times you’ve gotten back up?
I’ll never forget moving into my first apartment in Los Angeles. I could see the “Hollywood” sign from my window (something I had always dreamed of), and the Serenity Prayer (which I knew nothing about), was hanging on the bathroom wall. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
"WE CAN THINK ABOUT OUR PAST. OR WE CAN FOCUS ON MOVING FORWARD DESPITE WHAT'S IN THE WAY."
4. Watch Your Words
Words either build us up or tear us apart. They make us feel like we’re on top of the world, but just as easily, can break our heart.
We can’t control what people say about us, but we can make a commitment to ourselves to speak life into our life.
Words are powerful and full of energy. They carry momentum. Which direction are yours taking you?
It’s not all about you.
Depression makes us feel unworthy, therefore we isolate ourselves. Yet while isolated, all we do is think about ourselves! Today, get the focus off yourself and do something for someone else.
Helping others really does help.
6. Dig Deep
Every successful corporation knows that taking inventory is essential to success. Take a second to jot down what is working in your life. Next, write down what is not working.
The “thing” you didn’t write, don’t want to think about, and “just can’t deal with” holds the key to your freedom.
7. Ask for Help
You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Talk to someone who will share their strength, their scars and their story with you. Someone who has been there, done it -- and overcome it.