Can I laugh even though I have depression?
Three years ago I found it hard to laugh, to joke around, to have a good time. I WAS DEPRESSED and I thought laughing wasn’t befitting of someone who was depressed.
“What if someone saw me laughing?”, I’d think to myself, not realising how bound up I was in the ‘IDENTITY OF DEPRESSION’.
I was uptight. Self conscious. And serious. Very very serious.
I JUDGED other people who were light hearted and silly. I felt uncomfortable in social situations. I avoided anything without an agenda.
Again, not knowing that we JUDGE most where we need to HEAL most.
When the lowest of the low moment came and I decided “I WANT TO GET BETTER” I realised that I had to change my association with depression.
I wasn’t depressed. I just HAD depression at that MOMENT in time.
It’s a subtle but crucial distinction.
I AM NOT DEPRESSED. I HAVE DEPRESSION RIGHT NOW.
YOU ARE NOT DEPRESSED! You might just be suffering with depression right now. It’s NOT WHO YOU ARE, it’s not permanent and you can get through it.
This is what I had to tell myself over and over: “THIS ISN’T WHO I AM. It’s just how I’m feeling right now”.
So I asked myself: “Well, how do I want to feel?”.
Happy. Inspirational. Energised. And FREE.
And I went in search of help. Not from doctors and medicine, but from speakers and writers: people who had overcome depression to find happiness; people who had changed their lives and were inspiring others.
On my journey, it’s fair to say I TRIED EVERYTHING and in doing that I found some stuff that worked for me:
- Practicing gratitude – writing down and focusing on what I have and what I’m grateful for
- Journaling – getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper
- Exercise – changing my physical to change my mental state
- The power of vision – focusing on what I wanted from life and not on what I didn’t want
- Affirmations – writing an affirmation that empowered me to drown out the voice that didn’t
I learnt from Gabbie Bernstein and Wayne Dyer that I can’t stop a bad thought from coming up but I could get better at REPLACING it with a better one.
I learnt from Tony Robbins that running could change my mental state and give me ENERGY.
I learnt from Les Brown and Tim Ferris that reading two pages of a MOTIVATIONAL book in the morning was far better than coffee and the news.
I learnt from Rhonda Byrne that affirming WHAT I WANTED rather than what I am is a powerful way to change.
I learn from Lisa Nichols to STAND ON MY STORY and not in my story.
I learnt from Marie Forleo that building a business TAKES TIME!!!
Three years on and I no longer have depression. But more than that, I’m PRESENT, I’m MINDFUL and I’m CAREFREE. In fact, I FEEL FRICKIN EPIC. UNSTOPPABLE.
I’ll laugh, and joke around and just this weekend I said YES to a crazy adventure in Wales with people I’d met THROUGH MY ONLINE COURSE.
I feel so GRATEFUL for my journey. I feel so grateful for what I’ve overcome. Without the obstacles I never would have dared to grow, I wouldn’t have a course to teach and I wouldn’t have met these wonderful human beings.
THANK YOU LIFE FOR THE OBSTACLES. They give us all the resistance we need to grow into the wonderful people we can be.