There is a therapy skill called broken record and it basically says that if you tell yourself or someone else something over and over, you or they will eventually understand. I have heard it being used for things like when someone doesn’t listen. Just tell them over and over until they understand. But I have noticed that the other way works wonders. This way is telling yourself something until you understand it…until it saves you. So in therapy I have spent a lot of time listening to professionals telling me that nothing is bad or good. We all have different opinions. I know I have been talking about that a bunch in my blog about how we are all different and beauty is the eye of the beholder, but I thought I’d share with you how I got that attitude. I thank broken records for that one. So basically, if you read a book you think is bad, it’s not “bad.” Some people think it’s good and some think it’s bad. Dr. Suess was rejected 27 times before he got published. They thought he was bad, I think he is good. Not only is it helpful, but it makes sense too! I’ll give you an example or two on how it has affected my life. I was told by someone that something I did was bad. (Vague, I know, but it wasn’t meant in a malicious way and I don’t want it to seem that this person was trying to hurt me, so I don’t want to go into details.) Instead of thinking, “Oh my gosh I did something so wrong!” My brain was too occupied with the thought, “Wait, you used the word bad. That’s not a word anymore. I wonder why she is saying that when that word doesn’t make sense.” It even works for good things as well. I volunteer sometimes and our team leader said thank you to me and said I’m a good volunteer. It was a nice compliment, but again I was confused, as the words good and bad don’t make sense. We are taught to use the word effective. “With the volunteer work I am doing, I am doing everything I am supposed to do in an efficient and effective manner.” And with the person who said I didn’t do something correctly, it could have been said, “I do not like it this way, please do it this way from now on.” This is really helpful because it gets me distracted from negative things being said to me, and it makes sense that nothing is actually good or bad. Now, thinking that things aren’t good is a hard thing to make yourself grasp. I understand that this one might be hard to pull into a loop over and over again in your head. But taking away the word bad doesn’t work unless you take away the word good. Saying I was a good volunteer made me feel good, despite thinking that the word good makes no sense. I knew what she meant and I was still happy.
Now let me break the records for you.
“Good and bad do not exist.”
“Good and bad do not exist.”
“Good and bad do not exist.”
I had always dreamed of having children and getting married. When I was 15, I began having this fear that seemed all too real. This was the fear that I was so unlovable that I would never find anyone to fall in love with me, we would never get married, and I would never have children. This is still something I still feel today to a much less intense and real degree. Now, I am much better with my mental health even though I am still very insecure, hence still having this fear. But I actually had to find the beauty in growing up with only my animals. I always wanted a husband, children and animals, but in order to not go crazy with my future predicting of my dreams falling apart, I needed to create new dreams and find the beauty in my biggest dream falling apart. Now, I know it sounds bad to accept that I will never find someone to marry me or having children, but it’s also bad to dwell on it. So, I was able to find the beauty in living my life for animals. But there is something that still bothers me and it is judgments. Judgments about being childless. These kinds of judgments, about how your life went wrong because you never had children need to stop. These are kinds of judgments that cause my eating disorder to take over again, because I get too depressed. I just want people to know the beauty I see in not having children, while also telling about the pain I feel from these judgments.
Having only animals for life: I see a savior. The savior of creatures still alive. The savior of creatures that are sometimes all too often abandoned. I see the dog I love getting all the attention he deserves and having more time than I would to be with him. I see nights after work coming home to a dog. When I picture coming home to humans and then coming home to animals, I see the same. I see a beautiful picture.
Judgments are painful. We do not need to look down upon people for not having children. I have found beauty in whichever way my life has gone and I want people to treat me the same and feel happy for me. Happy for me and my animals. I have had negative words said to me by friends my age who have had children and it hurt extremely. But then I asked my friend when her sons first birthday was. She told me and then asked when my dogs second birthday was. It felt like she knows that my dog is my child, and it made my heart soar. I am taking care of something. Something that needs my help and needs me. Instead of asking when I’m having children or when I am going to be in a relationship, ask me about my dog.
Last but not least, I was looking up quotes about why not having children can be okay and I found an article called, “Why your top ten reasons for not having kids are stupid.” This article tears down the beauty people see in their lives. There is a piece of it that says having children is the biggest deal ever. And that we are choosing to get rid of this idea because we want to stay home and watch netflix. This hurts. Because that is not my case. I was insecure to the point where I had to accept something pretty harsh. I found the beauty in not having a family for many reasons. I have kind of given up on trying to find my soul mate because I was insecure. And now that I am more confident, I just don’t go out searching because I have found the beauty in it. People who judge me for being single and possibly always childless will make me more insecure even though I have found the beauty in it. We all have our own opinions but please do not judge, because it hurts and judgments cause so much damage.
Look at someone who has aged gracefully. I don’t mean look at someone who doesn’t have wrinkles or an older person who looks young. What I mean is look how they handle themselves. When I was 12 I didn’t want to turn 13. I didn’t want to grow up. When I was 17, I hated the fact that I had to turn 18. When I turned 18 it seemed that time began to go so much faster. A year passed the fastest it had ever gone. Years after that I was mindful of time…the days, the months, trying to make myself believe that time wasn’t going that fast, and that I wasn’t aging. Then tonight I went to an event and there was an older woman there. The way she dresses and held her grey hair literally made me want my hair to start greying right now. I’m completely serious. I have been looking at how Meryl Streep ages gracefully lately and that has helped me as well. Just the sheer thought of aging gracefully or finding the beauty in aging with grace was enough to change my thoughts around on getting old. This changing your perspective thing is really something, because it got me to change my mind about a fear I’ve had for so long. But this woman, she had long grey hair that was tied into a low bun and she had a long black coat on. Instantly, I saw her elegance. I saw my future and I was completely okay with that. If you have trouble with growing up, look at age upon someone else…and you will be okay. It may take awhile to find it but once you find the correct person, like a soul mate to loving yourself, you will find the beauty in aging.
Disclaimer: I’m only on the beginning of season three so this post only has characters mostly from the first two seasons. This clip of Belle makes me okay with not being brave in the past, but now being able to be brave. Looking at this, I don’t have to be ashamed. I can look at the people who always thought of me as pathetic and scared while I do something brave for once and just say, “Well, I’m finally brave. I’ve always wanted to be this way.” When you grow up hiding from your fears, it is true that we always wanted to be brave. I hated being scared of public speaking the most, and I always wanted to be brave enough to do it. <-Seeing a piece of my own personality on someone else makes me okay with myself. My face turned bright red at a naive mistake a few weeks ago, watching someone else do it (Tinkerbell) makes me okay with myself because when we look at ourselves it is easy to hate. Then when we look at others it is easy to love.
I would love to be as strong as Emma Swan. <- if you can see this, here she is slaying the dragon showing me another vision of courage.
I would love to be perfectly in the middle of strong and sweet like Mary Margaret (Snow White).
Seeing Ariel made me love the way people say I smile all the time and my childlike nature, which I have been extremely insecure about lately. Again, it’s easier to love people while it’s so easy to hate ourselves.
I would love to actually be funny with Regina’s sarcastic humor.
If I was August, I could love myself for being a writer.
And then if I was Grumpy (aka leroy) I could love myself because I prove people wrong even though my name is Grumpy. I would love that I really am gentle and have a fantastic sense of humor.
These are pieces of my heart to pieces of every character (Or at least the ones I have for now). What would you love if you were each character?
When I was a child, crying in front of people was the most horrible thing I could think of. I used to refuse to go to school on time if my eyes were red. My mom would be late to work sometimes because I used to refuse to get out of the car if my eyes were red. I would ask her if they were red and if she said no, I would think she was lying just to get me out of the car. Then I would sit there until I believed I looked calm , cool and collected. I never tell people when they hurt my feelings and the I was twenty years old when I got over the largest part of my fear of crying in front of others. It’s funny though. Now, I am more open, just like I always wanted to be, and now that I am more open, I feel that I am bad and that I have always been a bad, open person, despite memories of sitting in the car so no one saw my emotions. I could let this bother me, or I could find the beauty in being open, then I could share my feelings I’m having today. So, I read a quote recently that helped me love being open which was something like, “I don’t want small talk, I was to talk about deep, meaningful things with my friends.” That makes me think about intensity. And intensity to me is completely amazing. Why talk about the weather when we can dig deep into our emotions and have an intense moment? Being open is the emotional climbing of a mountain in my book. It is perfectly wonderful to be open. Emotions are hard, showing them shows how strong you are as well. But it’s also okay to be closed off. While it is better for your mental health to be open, you can still find the beauty in yourself if you are closed off. For example, since I became open, my brain told me that it was only beautiful to be closed off. While this isn’t a great thing for my brain to tell me, I am left with the knowledge of why being closed off can be beautiful. If one day, you decide that you don’t want to share your feelings, that is okay. Think of yourself as being loving and protective over your emotions. The way I think of being closed off and guarding of your emotions is kind of a deadpan type of personality and I think acting like that is just as beautiful as when we show so much of our emotions. But remember, self of context, and we are not all the same all the time. Sometimes I can be closed off with a deadpan personality and sometimes I can be vulnerable, whether that be smiling and laughing a lot, or sharing my feelings. Luckily, I have found a way to like both of them. If my ways of finding the beauty in these two things doesn’t help, find some other ways to like being vulnerable and being closed off. This video of Taylor Swift makes me okay with being vulnerable. She looks like she is feeling so much with her eyes and that is one thing that makes me okay with my vulnerability.
So, to be open today I have decided to talk about something that has been bothering me. This is the thoughts of a treatment center I was in years ago. I was far away from home in a place for my eating disorder. I was distraught and I cried constantly. Needless to say, I was over my fear of crying at this point. I still think about the times I cried, the times I acted like a child, the times I made the best friends possible but lost them with my negativity. I cannot think of the place I was at without cringing to myself. When I start thinking about it, I feel myself getting taken down many notches. I wish I could speak to everyone who was there and tell them I am doing better and that I would never act like a child like that ever again. While I am able to see the positive in this experience, it’s still hard to think of. The other piece of this is that I was vulnerable while I was in this place. But I was ashamed of how vulnerable I was. But when I look at this video of Taylor Swift and how much emotion she portrays, I’m okay. As Meryl Streep said from Carrie Fischer, “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” I can’t write my songs without being vulnerable.
And it was just lovely. I stopped sulking and dwelling and I started being strong and doing what I need to do and more since this recent wave of depression hit me. I have decided to make an adventure book (like the one from up). I have already made one but it’s not too sturdy so I want another one. I am going to put my bucket list in for in case I am depressed and can’t think of something new to try to feel strong. The bucket list part is for following my dreams. My dreams though, when related to depression, are the epitome of the journey and not the destination. When I am depressed, I plan to get out of bed when I do not want to do even anything, and then I will do anything I can to chase my dreams. How strong I will feel when I do this. Chasing your dreams seems so much more empowering when you feel you have nothing left, not even the joy of reaching your dreams. Well, I’ll still try. People always say the journey is more important than the destination. A hard journey when you’re depressed seems like the journey would then be 10 times more important. I am also going to put in things that can go on a to-do list for when I am depressed. These things will just be guidelines for future to-do lists. These include finding at least one event to go to in public, visit with a friend, do laundry, clean, take the dog on an extra walk, write, etc. There was even something I did today. My dietician told me I need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist and I’ve been so busy that thinking about it kind of stresses me out. Normally, I would just say I would do it, then hope everyone forgot. That was the first thing that popped into my head when she told me to make this appointment. “I’ll say sure then we’ll both forget, right?” But then I called the office. (They were closed so I’m calling tomorrow). Just that made me smile. How underrated strength is to your own happiness. This should be shouted to the heavens that strength has the power to make you love yourself even for a moment. The thing about the cure for this wave of depression for me was all about the view I have of strength. Now, I have wanted to be strong for a long time, but this is the first time I have applied strength to when I am depressed. I have thought I cured my own depression before, and sadly I did not. This new ‘cure’ might not be permanent, but now that I want so badly to be strong, being strong during the depression has actually made me happy. Strength is a universal good thing. (Yes I know I’m not supposed to use the word good and bad anymore but I feel this is an exception.) Being strong is motivating to others and it helps you be more happy. This is good. So when I know how bad I just want to sulk I’ll think of my quote I have that always puts an ever better light on strength for me. A quote that always puts a vision in my head of how I will be when I am strong. The quote at the top of my page. “She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her writing ‘yes’ in the sky.” When I want to give up, I will picture myself forcing myself to do things that always in the end make me happy no matter how depressed I feel. Then once I feel the happiness that I had to ‘climb a mountain’ to get, that’s when I’ll be able to imagine birds fluttering around me, writing ‘yes’ in the sky. All I need is a genuine smile and glowing eyes that came from the core of depression and numbness. That grew from there out of strength and it will be easy to picture in my head, these birds flying around me like I am free. I challenge any who read this to find a quote or picture that represents an amazing view of strength to you. Then when you feel like giving up, remember how amazing it will be when you are one with this quote or essence of strength that you so love.
I have fallen down to a wave of depression recently. I must remember though, that depression comes in waves and it doesn’t last forever. To me, depression looks like not being able to feel joy in anything. What is especially upsetting is my hobbies that do not interest me anymore. Throughout my life, my hobbies have been so much to me and when depression started getting bad, I decided not to give up on them. This may sound like a good thing, but it leads me to not being able to do things that I need to do. When I am depressed I spend all of my time doing something I used to love, over and over until I feel joy in it again. This is also from anxiety. I get so anxious that the depression will last forever, that I spend time on my hobbies just to see if I feel anything again. If I don’t, I just keep trying. However, I need to do other things beside this. I need to do laundry, I need to study, I need to go out with friends, not only obsess about enjoying things in the way that I do. Going out with friends and being productive always helps but I never feel I have the motivation when I feel this way. Also, spending time “having fun,” isn’t really all that fun, when fun is just an experiment to see if depression this time will last forever. So I have decided to channel my depression and use it to make me feel good about myself. I am going to stop obsessing over this, and start doing the things I need to do. When I feel this way I want to stay inside and not speak to anyone until I feel joy again, but now I am going to suck it up and go out. I vow to do everything I need to do, and more. This will help me feel stronger. I will be able to tell myself that I can feel so depressed but I am strong enough to get through it and thrive on it. I think I will thrive because it is motivation now, my depression. Everything will feel like climbing up a mountain and this makes it more motivating. I also love this idea because it will make me feel respected as an adult. I used to hate the idea of being an adult. It seemed so boring. But now, being an adult means respect. For this wave of depression I am going to make a list of things I need to do during the times when I would rather not. I am going to continue my longer walks with my dog. I will continue trying my hardest to lucid dream (which I have been trying for awhile but haven’t succeeded and have almost given up). I am going to give my all to school and studies, and I will continue writing and doing yoga every day. My hope is that I will feel empowered and happy just by defying the depression and I will feel respected and strong. Maybe that is the cure for me.
Ps. I can’t believe I forgot the most important part! I’m using this depression as a way of telling me I have more potential. If I stop obsessing on things that I’m never going to pursue, then I need to do other things that will unlock my true potential! Think of your depression like that! It’s getting you to not enjoy old things, in order to try the new!