Two days ago I was at a pharmacy waiting on an order fill and browsing through the pamphlets on display.
I picked up one pamphlet which offered tips on how to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. I’m not a smoker but I needed something to read and had time on hands.
When I got to the symptom of Depression and read that one of the coping tips was to use positive self-talk my mouth gaped open, my eyes widened and in my head I thought, “Are you for real?” Obviously I was speaking to the person who wrote the tips and not the piece of paper.
As a psychotherapist I completely understand what the writer was getting at. Positive self talk is always a good strategy.
But in the moment all I could think to myself was that obviously the person who came up with this tip has never been depressed. Because when you are depressed and people say things to you like, “Think positive thoughts. Just get over it,” and my favorite, “What do you have to be depressed about?” it’s laughable.
I know because I’ve been there. I’ve spent years in what I call my “blue” period and one very long year in deep, dark depression. That year I held down a job as co-host of a morning radio show. When the ON AIR sign flashed on I was all “Hey hey everyone,” jazz hands and all that. But the moment I left the radio station it was all I could do to move myself from the bed to the sofa.
That year I slammed down the phone on friends and family who were checking in on me. I would go out and medicate myself with booze and come home crying. That year on Christmas morning when my uncle (who is like a dad to me) came to my apartment because I refused to be with anyone for the holidays, I wouldn’t let him in.
If someone told me back then to have positive self talk to cope with my depression I would have laughed in their face.
When you are depressed there are no positive thoughts about yourself, your situation or life in general. And if by chance you are able to hold a positive thought, it is so fleeting because the negativity held by the mind swallows it up in a instant.
It was only through time and eventually my own journey of inner healing which allowed me to escape the grips of depression and emerge into the positive and encouraging Soul that I truly am. I did find the light and it’s a much better place to be.
So if positive self talk isn’t the answer, what is you ask?
For me it was about going to the core of the depression and addressing the issues buried away. Connecting with the parts of myself that felt unlovable, unwanted, abandoned, fat and ugly and unsuccessful. I had to re-engineer my deeply held beliefs that the world was against me, that nothing ever goes my way and that everyone else has it easier and better then I do. I had to rekindle my hope.
As I worked on the inside healing these issues held by my mind, the cloud of depression began to lift and positive thoughts of self began to anchor themselves deeply into my psyche.
Positive thinking doesn’t work when what is underneath is negative and deeply engrained. The negatively always rises to the surface.
But when you at your core are healthy and whole, positive thoughts flourish. Positive self talk is natural. It feels right and real.
The method I used to change my life is Core Belief Engineering. From the start I saw how powerful and transformative it was.and quickly decided that this is what I wanted to do in my life. Be a practitioner and help people just like me, heal themselves from the inside so that they can move forward living the life they want in their outward reality.
If you are or know someone who is depressed, know that there is hope. Change is possible and it all starts on the inside healing yourself at the core.