Rebuild Your Life with 5 Tips
Lessons that I have learned on my Journey
First, let me say that by no means have I totally accomplished my goals. Nevertheless, from where I was, to where I am now today, has been a huge improvement. I am writing this for anyone who has experienced life events that have left you so depressed that you have thought of escaping, for good. I want if possible, to reach out and speak to you, to give you some encouragement that there is still more to experience in life, that suicidal ideation does not have to end in suicide.
I have wondered what I could say to a person who is in the throes of panic, thrashing over events that have left you paralyzed emotionally, where all you can think of is ending the pain. I understand that you do not really want to hurt yourself, and you do not want to hurt anyone else, but what you want to do is to escape from the mental pain of whatever is causing you tremendous anguish, humiliation, shame or guilt.
I have wondered what someone else could have said to me when I was in that situation, when I was in the quagmire of emotional trauma, when I was mired in ideation to the point that I was not functioning. I know that my thoughts were tormenting me and the idea of being able to stop the thoughts was the attraction of suicide. I am not going to soft soap anything here, I want anyone who has been or is in a similar situation to know that I do have a sense of what you might be experiencing now.
Suffice it to say that not knowing how to get out of my depression was very costly to me in the worst ways. My not knowing how to get out of my depression affected my family relationships, my career, my marriage, my health, do I need to say more? Anything and everything that anyone values was decimated by my not knowing or not understanding how I could get out of depression. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that everything is hunky dory, no, it is not, and it is possible, that some of the worst casualties will never change, specifically the estrangements of relationships which I do not know how to repair. On the other hand, I have made so much improvement in other areas, that it might be valuable to share it to you, even if it helps one person, it is worth it, right?
Here are some tips that I think would have been the most effective in treating my depression, and perhaps saved me from years of emotional suffering. I hope that some of these tips might resonate with you.
1. Focus on You. Right now, you might be focused on others, whether it be your folks, your significant other, your children. You are focused on how they are behaving or how their thoughts, words or actions about you is leaving you despondent. You might be focused on how to change them or have a fantasy of how to change them. If in your depression, the majority of your thoughts are about someone else, how to persuade or influence them to think or behave differently, then this concept is urgent. Stop trying to change other people. Instead of putting so much energy into being depressed about another person, and how you want them to be different, and how if they were different, then you would no longer be depressed, put the focus on yourself. Change yourself. If you want to change anything, change yourself first. Focus on your behaviors, your speech, your actions, your habits and start working on improving yourself. You know some people think the name Hashi Mashi is a corny, goofy brand name, idea, and I agree, it does sound a bit odd, but for me, what it has always meant was my pushing myself to make improvement, on me. Yes, I speak alot about food and exercise, because they are so foundational, but the essential idea is to focus on yourself, build yourself up, improve yourself and that alone can start to give you relief from your depression. Even making a little progress every day will give you the feeling of being productive, and I think that is one critical area, because a person in depression feels that the whole life has been wasted, that the world would be better without them, but if you can find something productive to accomplish, for yourself, you can start feeling better about yourself.
2. Leave them alone. This is the other side of the coin of step 1. Just leave everyone else alone, as much as possible, drop them from your mind and work on yourself. One of my theories is that depression is more likely to manifest in the personality of a real people pleaser, and when the people around you or me are not pleased, we sink, fast, sometimes into oblivion. It is really difficult to make other people happy all the time. How about making yourself happy and leaving the others to fend for themselves. They will be okay. When you are better and healthy, then you will be in a better position to help another, in the meantime, you have to leave everyone else alone.
3. Let food be your medicine. Of course this is a tough one. It could be that medications would really help you, and if yes, I am the last one to say that you should not try. In my case, medications were a disaster. The tranquilized induced alteration of myself led to losing my career, as I had no edge left, really could not care, because I was so lethargic. No meds were of value to me in this context, not zoloft, prozac, neurontin, risperadal, effexor, xanax and others that I frankly cannot remember their names. I experienced clearer thinking when I started to keep just real foods in my diet. Junk food was agitating and real food was calming. Try it out for 30 days and I think that you will see that it will be easier to cope with your depression.
4. Get Moving. I think the hallmark of a depressed person is , well, to be depressed, like a hole in the ground that never moves. You have heard of being catatonic, just staring into space, sulking, brooding, not moving anywhere. You can really transform yourself just from getting up and starting to move. Whether it is a sport or plain old exercise, running, swimming, lifting weights, all or only one of them will get you feeling better.
5. Commit to building a new home for yourself, figuratively. I mean that for perhaps years, you have lived in one room, one home in your mind, with the thoughts of everything that is bringing you down right now. Commit to locking the door on that virtual room. Close it and start to build a new room, a new home, a new life to live in.
I have found the above five tools to be more powerful than medications and/or talk therapy and definitely more effective than being depressed, which does absolutely nothing to change the situation that you are mourning over right now.
I practice them continually, once I discovered that they were having a positive effect on my life. As a result, today, I am in the best shape of my life both physically and emotionally. Every day is a journey. I am committed to improving every day and building the best new home possible. If you follow your suicidal ideation, you have no more opportunities to experience present or future joy in your life. Try to imagine yourself working on yourself and building the best life possible for you. Do your best, there is no shame in that. Sure, we hope that the other people around you , perhaps, they will change, but that is up to them, in the meantime, changing yourself is under your control, and being focused on changing yourself can help you leave your pit of depression and discover a new life that is worth experiencing and worth living.