┋I’ve always felt like I wasn’t good enough. I’ve struggled with depression of various severity since my early teens. This year, in January, I finally decided to do something about it and returned to therapy. I was diagnosed with Severe Dysthymic (chronic depression) Disorder, the highlights being, for those of you who are familiar with the Big Five Personality Traits, a Neuroticism score of 99 and a Conscientiousness score of 0.
I went into therapy knowing and expecting I would eventually have a life-changing revelation, that is going to make my life better. Something that would revolutionize the way I think and approach my life and will allow me to be the man I’ve always wanted to be.
Now I know that that revelation, that massive life-changing event, it’s never going to come. It may for other people, but not for me, because I now know that whatever better life I envisioned I will have to build myself, for myself.
Living with depression, one of the hardest things is to take initiative and do something. Why bother, when everything is pointless anyway. Why make the effort when I know nothing’s going to change. That, no matter how much I try, I will never be more than ‘just a joke’, more than ‘not much of a man’. Why try to see the positive in something that is, and always will be broken, abandoned and just not worth it.
But see, here’s the thing: every time I thought, spoke and acted on those thoughts I gave them power. I turned them into reality – my reality. And if I want something to change, I must take the steps to do that. For me to have a new reality, I must think and speak a new reality. I must do the things I want to see done, as hard as it can be sometimes because the only way my life is going to change is if I change it.
At least for me, change is not going to just happen. A better life is an active effort. Making myself a better person is about saying and doing the things I want to see in myself day after day. Sure, sometimes I may fall, but that’s all right, because I can tell myself that it’s not who I am. And it’s not much, I’ve come to find out. Little things, like repeating to myself the good things that I am, or doing the smallest chores or tasks, like cleaning out my desk, or doing the laundry have already helped more than I’d have expected.
If you’re down, feeling like you don’t belong, like there’s no point to anything, like you’re not worth it, let’s start thinking about it differently. Let’s start talking about ourselves, and about life differently. Let’s speak the reality we’d like to live in. And let’s do things differently, small things. Wash the dishes, clean our houses, things that may not matter at first sight, but that are steps we can climb to get to where we want. Let’s climb those steps and let’s be the people we want to be!┋
✠ Thank you to my wife, Ryanna, and Lara Martian, for the support.