I use to let so much get me down and I have also been though so many bouts of severe depression. It felt like the past continually overshadowed everything I would try to do and I felt that my past would always define me. Not because how hard it had been for me. That had absolutely no bearing on anything. It was only because I had let the past get in the way of everything I would try to do to make things better. I would let it decide who, what, where, when and that made it impossible to feel anything but defeat.
I can’t say exactly what changed everything and even when. When I look back on the change in my attitude it feels like it was something sudden, but realistically it was a process that happened over time. I believe the first change I made was to stop focusing so much on my health. I’m by no means saying a person shouldn’t focus on their health at all, but you can’t spend every waking hour doing such thing. You should only spend the amount that is really required on that. There was also so many other things I did to get me over that hump that I lived at for so long. I have started a list of those things and here the ones of I thought of so far:
- As I stated before “don’t focus too much on your health.” For the longest time my poor health was what defined me. I convinced myself that the reason for that was so I could find someway to get better. The fact is I had let it consume me. When I finally let go of that and started to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn’t, it was beginning of finally turning my life around.
- “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Things will go wrong in life, go through it the best you can, deal with it, learn from it and move on!
- “Get rid of the negative influences in life.” That was such an important thing to do. I realized that being around others who complained all the time was really getting me down. I then told everyone that I don’t want to hear negativity all the time, I wanted to surround myself with positive things. That didn’t mean I stopped listening to others, nope not at all. I listened, gave my opinion or advice as well as spoke to them about the positives to their dilemma and sometimes about how they need to try to let go of their negativity (didn’t always go over as well as I had hoped, but I tried to help and that’s all I could do. I couldn’t fix everything for them).
- Start realizing you have a lot to be proud of! As long as you are doing the best you can, what is there to regret?” I use to have a really hard time with that one. After all, I spent the past 44 years putting myself down, how was I suppose to see good in myself all of a sudden? Well, first I looked at my situation. I’m a disabled single parent of 4 kids who had previously been in a domestic violence relationship whose having a tough time affording everything. Even so, I am still making it, barely but my family had everything it NEEDS. I then realized I had to let go of the guilt I was feeling due to my kids having a father who primarily was abusive to me, but beginning to be that way with them. I realized that I did everything I should have and even could have to try to make it better. I may have been foolish at times, but my heart was in the right place. I also realized the reason I kept going back to him was for my safety of my children. I was afraid of them being alone with him and the only way I felt they were safe was if I was there to protect them. I finally got all of us away from him for good but it was after I had one of the kids therapist who was going to testify in court for me and so he suggested that we have a court order that gave the decision to the kids on whether they saw or spoke to him at all. In a way it was like rolling dice. I was in the most part confident of what they would choose but there was always a chance I was wrong, but luckily I wasn’t. Besides an occasionally conversation or a short short visit, they have chosen to stay away from him. Once I put that behind me I then started to think about what “limitations” the doctors had given me and how they said to take it easy even if I was having a day where I felt really good. Over and over I was told not to overdo it. That just seemed so ridiculous to me. Why should I take the days that I feel really good and not take advantage of those days. So I changed that. I did as much as I could, when I could and I far surpassed what I should have been able to do. From that point on I decided I would not waste my good days on doing barely anything . I take full advantage of those days and even though I sometimes have to pay in pain for several days afterwards, it showed me how much I was accomplishing and doing and that’s something I should be proud of. I easily could have had an excuse to not do much at all, but while some able-bodied persons were making up any and all excuses to just sit around, I wasn’t. I was making the most of everything. Even though it can be time-consuming and difficult, I feel this is one step that can’t be taken out.
- “Stop listening to that negative voice in your head that tries to convince you that you can’t do something.” Even today I struggle with that voice, but when I catch myself putting myself down, I then will scold myself for thinking that way again. May sound a little crazy. Some of you might be saying “This woman talks to herself and even scolds herself,” but if I didn’ I easily could have had an excuse to not do much at all, but while some able-bodied persons were making up any and all excuses to just sit around, I wasn’t. I was making the most of everything. Even though it can be time-consuming and difficult, I feel this is one step that can’t be taken out.t, who would. Oh…I’m sure there are many controlling people out there that would like to take over, but….no thank you. It has to come from me or I won’t be able to do anything at all. I have to be the one in control of my destiny!
- Find and memorize bible verses or “quotes” that mean something to you. The ones I like to use are: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and “With God all things are possible.” When one thing after another goes wrong I will quote Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” I have pictures and anything else I can find with those verses on them all around my house and usually where ever I go. I also make sure I tell myself “I can do it.” If I think in a negative way, I won’t be able to do anything I try to do.
- Realize that you will have bad days. I don’t have any misconceptions that every day will go the way I want it to go. If you are then you’re creating expectations for yourself that you can never fulfill. Be reasonable and set goals that are attainable and if you don’t succeed at all your goals, forgive yourself, move on and reevaluate what you can do.
I won’t claim to be an expert on this subject, I can only speak to what has worked for me. I can say that there’s no human being that is perfect and to try to reach perfection is ridiculous and puts you on a road that will lead to your downfall. I will admit that this feeling of happiness can be overwhelming at times and hard to believe I finally feel this way, but I do. I know this is real and it’s because I made it happen. Happiness is a reality but you have to really want it and clear about what the meaning of happiness really is.
Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment : joy and/or a pleasurable or satisfying experience. Happiness is also what you and only you make it to be.
I don’t know if this will help anyone else, but because of how I feel that we go through things so we can understand others and be there to help them when they are going through something similar, I need to share what has worked for me. I have also felt for the longest time that there’s something that the Lord wants me to do to help others and that there are greater things to come that I’m suppose to do someday. I’ve felt this way for a very long time and I even though I do feel that it is yet to come, who knows? Maybe even this blog has something to do with his plan for me. Whatever it is, if I’m not ready when I finally realize that here, it will be o.k. and I will get done whatever it is He has chosen for me to do.
Thank you Lord Jesus for everything you’ve done for me. I may not have always appreciated it at the time and there were times I only saw the negative side of things, but you Lord Jesus have opened my eyes to so much. You have given me understanding that I would have never had if I hadn’t ever suffered and that is such a wonderful gift you have given to me. Again, THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR EVERYTHING!
In my last post I spoke about how much I want for my kids and I meant every word I said, but I’m feeling very conflicted . It has to do with the fact that I’m always taking care of others and I’ve put myself on the back burner for so long that I don’t know how to change it. The thing is I’m feeling very good about who I’ve become these days and I don’t want that to change but I can’t ever seem to win when it comes to getting others to understand I need their help too and when I try to help in some way, it’s so misunderstood and don’t just don’t understand why.
Let me try to give you an example of what I’m talking about.
One of my kids has their drivers permit and in the beginning I knew I wasn’t the person to teach them to drive. Not because I didn’t want to, it has to do with I’m afraid something could happen to them when their on the road and although I have found that I have so much strength that I never thought I could eve r have…..if something happened to one of them I don’t know if I could handle that. I even expressed to my child how I felt, after all it was a car accident that changed my life and put me on disability. I wouldn’t change what happened to me, but I still don’t want any my kids to go through what I had to. I’d rather them never have to feel any pain.
Anyway, my dad was the one who stepped up and gave driving lessons and now it’s about time to take the drivers test. The past couple of week s I’ve let my child drive with me, but the moment I try to give any advice about something that I felt could get in the way of obtaining that license, I was supposedly pressuring and insulting my child. It’s any advice or help I try to give, “things are different now….,” is the usual excuse!
One thing I need to mention is that I was still with their dad and my abusive ex husband up until 6 years ago. I left him several times due to domestic violence but would go back to him mainly so I could keep the kids safe. They were so young and he was starting to take his temper out on them at times and the only way I could protect them was by being there too. Then when he had tried to kick my dog and instead ended up kicking me where I went flying in the air across the room I got us away from him again. The difference was the kids were now older and very verbal about how afraid they were of him to a counselor. That counselor was going to testify to that in court so they would be protected too so his attorney told him it was possible her could lose any custody rights and so my ex offered to agree to a Court order that stated the kids would be able to decide for themselves when and if they wanted to see him. He was sure they would want to, but that wasn’t the choice any of them made and to this date the only one who has gone to visit him is my oldest daughter who is now an adult, but I never just by herself and never overnight. Usually no more than an hour or two and only a few times.
The reason I mentioned that is because of the guilt I felt for them having to go through that and they knew that and used the guilt I felt to get away with some things. I went from taking care of everything for my ex to taking care of everything thing for my kids and I lost myself on the way. I didn’t make them do any chores even though I was the one on disability. Although they know I’m getting worse I still can’t get the help I need and a lot of that is my fault, but not all of it.
There’s still so much to this story, but I’m really tired now so I will try to write more on it next time. I also appreciate just knowing I can’t come here and talk about what I’m feeling. It’s been holed up inside for so long and having a way to get some of the hurt out…..so necessary.
Thank you again for listening.