Man, being depressed sucks.
It sucks your energy, your patience, your hope, your confidence, and your optimism into a void of nothingness.
It sucks the life out of you.
As I sit here to write this, I think “no one cares about how you’re feeling”. Comparatively speaking, the issues (and please forgive my vagueness) that are happening to me, my family, and our future are quite small potatoes. But they affect me, nonetheless. They make it difficult to sleep. They make it difficult to ask for help. They make it difficult to clear the mental fog and maintain composure. They make it difficult to keep anger at bay and keep grace in my pocket.
As current issues descend on our household, I have picked up a nasty habit: Worrying.
“The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter” ~Sir…
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I have been reading a fascinating book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. First published in 1944, the knowledge is timeless and, if anything, hearing stories of how people coped with, and overcame, their worry during the Great Depression is humbling. The book outlines easy questions to ask yourself when ANY situation comes up that might have your head spinning. I LOVE black and white solutions to grey problems.
3 Steps to Not Worrying
1) Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and figure out what is the worst that could happen.
2) Accept the worst that could happen, if necessary.
3) Calmly devote time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which has already been accepted mentally.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Page 12
My Little is a strong-willed child, and about 2 out of 5 visits to the gym childcare ends with a report of her being aggressive, screaming at other children (usually trying to enforce the rules with younger kids. Age means nothing to her, even if the child can barely walk unassisted). On occasion, I am called away from my workout, which quite honestly, pisses me off. In fact, it upsets me so much, that I haven’t been consistent in going to the gym and taking care of myself because I am worried that she will have an episode.
Yesterday, I was running on the treadmill. I had made it through my weights program (designed by the amazing LeAnna from Train with LeAnna) with no behavior reports, but while on the ratwheel, I had a flash of Little pushing some poor child because he sat in the chair she had been sitting in 5 minutes prior (because that happened last week).
Instead of cutting my run short, I asked myself, “what is the worst that could happen?”
Answer: She could be asked to not return to the gym childcare.
As I ran, I found myself accepting that scenario. I accepted it with my whole being, as hard as it was. I envisioned walking down the steps, and them pulling me off to the side to give me the bad news. I attempted to think about the steps I could take to improve upon that outcome, because, in all likelihood, it wasn’t going to happen on THIS day.
When I picked her up, and she’d had a good day (yay!). I was not only relieved, but I also took steps to improve upon the possible worst case scenario. I praised her for her good behavior. I was playful and engaging with her as we walked out to the car and she began to assert her strong-will. I made the whole encounter a positive one, so that she would enjoy coming back, and would (hopefully) want to behave.
I couldn’t believe how such simple steps could remove the anger, the anxiety, and resentment that has been eating away at me and feeding my depression. Think of all the opportunities I’ll have to practice the steps in the coming days, weeks, months, and years as I navigate the unpredictable waters of life!