Sunday, May 06, 2018

Making Peace With Depression

So many people I know are struggling with depression.

To me, depression is like the weather...good days, bad days, good seasons, bad seasons. Some people live where the weather is always bad. Some get away from it for mini vacations.

For what it's worth, this is my perspective on depression:

It's like a bad mother-in-law that you're stuck living with. You try to live together despite your dislike of her. Some are in constant conflict with their mother-in-laws and it takes their energy so they can't really enjoy much else. When they try to enjoy other things, they're still stuck with the hangover of the argument with mother-in-law early that day.

Some are lucky enough that their mother-in-law moves out, but how does one make peace with a mother-in-law from hell?

1. Stop struggling to think of ways to get her to move out. Don't give up on the idea, but don't let it fill your thoughts when other good thoughts and feelings can fill you instead.

2. Introduce her to the people close to you and people you trust. We fear that others won't like our mother-in-law either and will make excuses to avoid us. This is incorrect. No one hates you because you have a bad mother-in-law.

3. Make peace with her...even when she doesn't want to make peace with you. Acknowledge that you don't like each other but that you can also enjoy doing things in each other's presence...a nice cup of tea, a walk outside where you don't have to talk to each other

4. Don't share your bed with your mother-in-law. She wants to keep you there and will tell you things to make you feel so weary that you can't get out of bed. She hates alarm clocks, so put one beside your bed and turn it on. As long as you abide by the alarm, she won't come to bed with you. Warning: she does like the snooze button, so don't let temptation prevail.

5. Don't listen to your mother-in-law. She is mean. She will tell you terrible things about you to make you stay with her. You will believe some of her words, so you need to acknowledge some of them and make peace with those words.

5b Those words are much like mini-mother-in-laws. They are words like "worthless" or "useless". There's a trick here when dealing with these "minis". Do NOT challenge the mini words. For example, do not say "I'm not useless". Minis have a way of taking away the word "not" so you actually end up hearing yourself say "I am useless." Instead, say something without the work "not", like "I feel kinda useless at times but that's OK. Everyone feels useless at times." Then, to kill the mini, say something good about yourself, like "I'm an OK person and I'm OK with being OK"

6. Manifest your fairy-godmother. She is skilled at keeping your mother-in-law quiet and in a room away from you. Yes, mother-in-law finds ways to get out or speak up at times, but not as often. You can manifest your fairy-godmother when you do say and do things for yourself that you think your fairy-godmother will say or do. Speak kindly of yourself and others. Find beauty in your surroundings and every day things. A cup of coffee, the smell of a flower, the feel of soft clothes on your skin.

7. Find your inner warrior. Envision them as big, strong, and beautiful. Although you can't get rid of your mother-in-law, your warrior will help make sure your mother-in-law can't get rid of you.
Finally, if you read this and it made your mother-in-law a bit smaller, have joined the club of recovering owners of mother-in-laws.

I'm in that club too. My mother-in-law is currently gagged and sitting in the corner of the room staring at me. I just stuck my tongue out at her and will now go into the kitchen for a lovely cup of coffee.

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