I’m Listening

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This year has been one of the hardest in my life. My father passed away and I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I had my first psychotic episode at the same time. July was the mid-point of the year for all of us, but for me it was the lowest point of my life. I literally lost my marbles. It’s hard for me to explain what exactly happened.

Since then I’ve been struggling to pick up those marbles and reconstruct my life into something meaningful again. These are early days but writing helps. It allows me to collect my thoughts into a coherent theme and it allows me to practice some of the lessons that I’m learning through my journey.

I was given a book on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy while I was in the midst of my episode. It sat in my bag for some time. Then it sat on my book shelf for another few weeks. Today I opened the book.

The first part of CBT is understanding how your thoughts are impacted by situations. Beneath the surface of what happens in a situation, a person’s assumptions and core beliefs shape the thoughts associated with that situation. So if I have inherantly more negative thoughts than positive thoughts it’s because my assumptions and core beliefs tend to lean toward the negative rather than the positive.

With CBT, the goal is to actively change those thoughts by recognizing the assumption or belief that is shaping the automatic thought that pops up when a situation happens.

This is easier said than done, of course and, as I said, these are early days. But I’m opening this book because I want more positive thoughts in my life than negative and I need to learn how to nurture them.

Other places I’m looking right now to help soothe my soul are:

Tiny Buddha: I discovered this website just this morning when I Googled overcoming self-doubt (of which I have too much of, thanks to this awful depression.) The internet in its infinite wisdom and probably thanks to some awesome search engine optimization, chose to introduce me to Tiny Buddha first with How to Overcome Self-Doubt: 8 Tips to Boost Your Confidence. From there I went down the rabbit hole.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Author of Eat, Pray, Love. This woman has gone through her own spiritual journey towards happiness and she’s really come out on top. She’s inspiring in her unwavering belief that everyone can overcome their personal pain to become happy, healthy people.

I would love to find more places to gain inspiration for this journey and if you have somewhere you regularly read for the joy and happiness and inspiration it brings you, please feel free to share it with me. I am a humble student ready to learn.

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2 thoughts on “I’m Listening

  1. Sarah Begin August 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply

    As someone who has struggled depression and also lost someone this year, I just want to say that I understand what your going through. Personally, I find that using my hobbies as a focus helps me get through rough patches. It’s one of the reasons I started my blog. Planning out meals, trying recipes, researching vintage clothes, working on my makeup, hair and nail design skills… These things give me focus and goals. They create something for me to look forward to; An end result I can be proud of.

    I can only speak for myself, but I hope this helps. If you never need someone to talk to, I’m always here. Thanks for sharing this personal story.

    • Olga August 31, 2013 at 11:48 am Reply

      Thanks Sarah. Your hobbies are top-notch. I’ve been trying to do the same myself but I haven’t been documenting it on the Punnery. Perhaps that’s an element I need to add to the mix to help boost my mood. Part of it is trying to get myself to actually care enough again about my hobbies to want to do them. These days I feel like a sad sack who’s not good at anything. Not really the best place to start a hobby, right? But I must keep trying because life continues on and I need to participate in it if I want the full effects. *raises pom-poms half-way up and shakes a little*

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