Frame of mind can be a powerful thing. Our thoughts alone can lift us up or drag us down, sometimes both within the same day. But we don’t have to be powerless to our thoughts and emotions. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t mean that you will never have a negative or doubting thought…but it does mean that you can learn to recognize them, deal with them and slowly start to counteract them.
Before I get going, I want to make this clear: Clinical depression is very real. Help from doctors and medications are very important. I am not talking about that here. I am not stating in any way that you can defeat depression through the power of positive thinking, or any other such nonsense. At different points in my life I have been in therapy and on anti-depressants, among other things. Medication is nothing to be ashamed of or ignored.
If that particular topic is something you would like to me to write more on, I can. But that is not the topic I am covering today. Today, I’m talking about everyday negativity and the issues surrounding it.
I’ve struggled with negative thoughts, self-image and defeating thoughts for most of my life. While these were particularly difficult to deal with at points and very damaging, I had a situation a few years ago that really caused me to feel lost, detached and overwhelmed with negativity.
I’m going to talk about something today that I’ve never talked about on here before. If it starts to feel too personal, feel free to skip this post and catch the next one! But I feel that it’s important to give some background into what started me on this journey and lead me to the life and the mindset that I have today. There some events in life that can really shape a person and how they view the world. One of those is divorce.
That’s right. I’ve been through a divorce. I’ve thought about talking about my experiences on here before, but it’s difficult. And very personal. Now, I’m not going to get into the details of my marriage, or my divorce. But it’s important to understand that my separation, my suddenly being single, really lead to that dark time period in my life. I had never been single or alone as an adult, having started dating my ex-husband in high school. We were together for 9 years. I was about to graduate college when we separated. All of my plans, goals and a lot of my support system fell away and I was left….stranded. My remaining friends and family were supportive, but didn’t really understand why I was having such a hard time adjusting to my new, single life.
I felt swallowed by the negative thoughts. My self-image had never been lower. It took almost a year and hurting a few people I really cared about before I realized just what that negative mindset was doing to me. And that’s when I realized that I needed to make some major changes in my life, a few of which are what I want to talk about today. Before I could make a lot of those changes though, I had to learn how to recognize when I was being negative towards myself and some of the particular activities that would trigger those thoughts more than others. I started to avoid those activities where I could, which helped.
Change and progress was slow. It was hard. It still is sometimes. But there are some things that I have found to help a lot.