Over the last year, I had surgery twice in my abdomen, I suffered from anxiety attacks, depression, stress related illnesses and overall feeling of general lethargy, it was not until I was recovered from my second surgery that I finally started to be able to heal myself, by myself. I had seen plenty of doctors, gastro’s, gyno’s, internal, external, chiropractor etc… they all wanted to push medicines and tricks to mask the multiple symptoms I was having. I hate taking medicine, I think it poisons your body and masks pain that is meant to tell you “Hey, something is wrong!”, I wanted to HEAL the source. I knew I wasn’t that sick, I had every test in the book done, vitamin levels, hyda scans, x-rays, ct scans, SURGERY! But depression will make you seem sick, will take away your life, will affect you even when you don’t realize. Depression is so common, the new normal is depressed, this world takes enough out of you, stop taking more from yourself, read these tips to help build strong relationships, to rekindle the old you and erase the damage we do to ourselves.
So I made a vow to myself, to save myself. I started slow but it’s getting faster, I took the first step which was:
Rule #1: I will not participate in my unhappiness, if something makes me unhappy, I will leave it alone.
This is a harder rule than you think, because I had to leave not only situations, but people, jobs, homes, to ensure that I was not hindering my recovery. I truly felt like I was fighting for my life at the time, I was a slave to my anxiety reactions, crying fits at home and not being able to eat for hours and days, crippled by my own depression. It hurt to leave those people but that pain went away and I felt lighter, I felt more in control of me and my life. Rule #1 is the reason I am leaving my 9 to 5 cubicle cushy IT job to go to school full time because my heart is in love with learning and it offers a freedom I can only have at this age, 23. Drink wine, entertain friends, take a walk, plant a garden, if it makes you happy, DO IT!
Rule #2: I will stop focusing on what I can’t have and appreciate what I do have.
Humans naturally want what they can’t have, and the consequence of this, is that we take for granted what we do have, blessings, people, opportunities, lessons. If you want to be happy, start by being satisfied. A satisfied person is not lazy or mediocre, a satisfied person appreciates and savors their accomplishments as they come. They are happy to wait for the right option because they know it will fulfill their needs wholly. A satisfied person is humble and not jealous, when you are genuinely happy with what you have, then you can go get more.
Rule #3: I will let others in.
Our society is all about “me, me, me” because when we cared about “you,you,you”, we got hurt. Gone are the days of love songs and lovers, here are the days of infidelity and insecurity. IN- that prefix, lacking, lacking fidelity, lacking security, when we are lacking, we are not happy. You must find what you are lacking and supplement it, heal it, but most of us are simply lacking companionship, and most of us are lacking on purpose. As a defense, walls work well on a fort, walls don’t work well in friendships, relationships, even just social settings. If you are always on defense, when your walls are breached, you are likely to freak out and hurt someone. Love is a beautiful thing that comes in many forms, if you follow rule #1 and #2 you will be satisfied with who you are, enough to be with someone who makes you happy. But be warned, are they satisfied with who they are? You will never know if you don’t let others in. Companionship relieves anxiety, stress, worry and loneliness but it takes a friend to have a friend, keep your relationships two way streets, pick up the phone when your are lonely, no one can read your mind, participate in your happiness.
Rule #4: Catch up with yourself.
Remember when you were a kid and people would ask you, what do you want to be when you grow up? Have you heard the story about the child who answered “Happy”? Life is so fast, it never stops, sometimes you simply need to catch up with your old friend, You. We over extend ourselves, we lend ourselves to friends, family, work but we don’t lend ourselves, to ourself. Perhaps you feel guilt for being so selfish for needing to please yourself, but the truth is, you can’t take care of anyone else, if you can’t take care of yourself. When you are happy, it shows in everything you do, your kids will be happy, your job performance will improve, your social life will thrive, because people are drawn to happy people. Visit a favorite spot that you haven’t seen in years and think about the old you, what were your goals, who was your lover, what did you have? How have you changed, what did you accomplish, what did you learn? Use the past as a lesson to get in touch with yourself, and do what makes your heart sing.
Rule #5: Feed your body to feed your mind and soul.
If it’s one thing I learned from my “sick year” it’s that food is vital, you will always need to eat food, food is life. Now most people will probably say, well duh… but when you are unhappy or stressed out, your body can shut down your appetite and even your digestive tract! I lost 30 lbs and had no energy, couldn’t think straight, couldn’t get out of a fog, until I was able to eat properly, eat regularly, and eat healthy. I had to follow the first 4 rules in order to free my body’s hesitation to eat, but once I was on my way to happiness, a beautiful thing happened, I got hungry. I was hungry all the time, my body was craving everything, naturally I have an OK diet, I like fruit, don’t eat fast food, I like a variety of food from indian to sushi, so I went to the store and I bought fresh fruit, almonds, and anything else I wanted, it was freeing knowing that I was spending what little money I had on healing my body, which had been betraying me for a year. You only have one body and it has to last you a lifetime. I know what it’s like to be in pain, to have no energy, to not be able to function, it’s something you don’t want, especially before it is necessary. When you eat better you will naturally feel better, you will notice changes in your energy, alertness and happiness. Good food= Good mood! Stay away from fast foods, fried foods, and sugary foods, you will find it’s easier than you think to live healthy and happy when you put in the effort!
Depression and anxiety are serious mental disorders which affect millions of people, you are not alone, you have options. Speak to your doctor before discontinuing any medicine, but try these rules to strengthen your confidence, body and live the life you wish to have. You can do it.