Searching online for resources about mental health, I came across a group in the UK.
They offer many free downloads of handouts and offer workshops if you live near them. I downloaded their “7 key points to achieve a resilient mindset.” Click the link and you can get a copy.
This got me thinking about how I am scripting my thoughts about my daily focus.
I have been spending time thinking about what the rest of my life will look like. How can I frame it so there will be a purpose? With a chance to create any lifestyle I want, what does mine look like? What will I look forward to when I wake up in the morning?
#1 of the handout’s 7 key points is to “rewrite your negative scripts.”
Recently I realized that I had written a negative script about getting back to the gym. My script said if I couldn’t go back to the gym with the same 4-day a week minimum commitment, then I should NOT do it. And I believed this script because the depression made sure I only saw all or nothing.
So, I asked a different question. Could I commit to going one day a week?
The answer turned out to be yes. And so, I went. No big deal. Once I re-scripted my thinking, there was no longer a block in my mind. I was able to see a different way of thinking about the gym.
Even better, I was able to take action. Once I wrapped my head around the unhelpful thinking, I was able to rescript my thoughts about the gym. I came up with a much more reasonable plan. One I could commit to and would get me started.
Then, I did it.
So many times, recently, even if I could come up with a better plan, I wasn’t equipped to act. In fact, inaction was the action I would usually take. Not having a re-scripted plan was part of it, but not being able to go forward was the rest. Until I was ready to move forward, the correct script wasn’t helpful.
Action. That is what’s missing from just re-writing the scripts.
Once you act, the endorphins start to kick in. This leads to more action, more endorphins, more action. Before you know it, you have changed the situation in a positive way. There are most likely several reasons I can finally take action on some things.
After eight weeks on Prozac, I am getting the full benefits of its ability to combat depression, and to some extent, anxiety. This has been huge. I’m still human, I still have my moments, but I can tell a big difference from even just a few weeks ago.
I am going to three meetings each week, where I can connect with others in similar situations. I can share and see that I am not the only one going through this. Many people are in my shoes, carrying the same types of problems that depression spreads around. And I have regular appointments with a therapist.
I have devoured books about mental health and depression.
I’m reading “I don’t want to talk about it” for the second time, having gone through it cover to cover in just a couple of sittings. It scared the mess out of me as I read it, but it is a clear picture of the challenges and rewards of taking the time to address the underlying issues that create or intensify the depression. I find I am still challenged by the idea that this process of recovery could take years. I will do what it takes, but I’m ready to be better, now.
I’m all about creating a resilient mindset.
You can see that I am putting a lot of thought into this. I want my days to be rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful. Other people ideas will be different. I recently talked to someone whose father retired and he loved it. He spent time gardening, and time with his HAM radio, talking to people everywhere. This was his personal vision of rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful.
My version is something else. My friend’s father was very clear on his vision and stepped into that role with gusto, enjoying every minute of it.
I’ve got the stepping towards it, the running part figured out.
My problem is I don’t know where I am running too. I don’t have a clear idea of what will be rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful. I thought I knew when I retired to give my business my full attention. It is hard to say if my business is fulfilling, mostly because the depression has made it hard to focus.
The depression also has skewed my vision and twisted my understanding of what is happening. It had me thinking that going back to a day job was the only way to get my positive stores of energy recharged. That talking with clients on the phone was only draining my batteries.
It turns out that isn’t true. Depression lied to me.
Once I re-scripted my thinking, it was easy to see that I could get the same benefits from speaking with someone on the phone, as I could in person. I can feel the connection in their voice as we talk. So that means there is something else going on.
I will keep applying this re-scripting exercise to my thoughts about what my day will look like. I know the answer is out there, I just haven’t asked the question yet that will yield the answer.
It’s a good thing that “I’ll know it when I see it.”
I am blessed to have the chance to figure this out. My goal is to not waste this opportunity. Once I figure out the script, I will act.
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