Claiming my power; a huge step toward healing depression

Written by Amie on June 24, 2010 – 4:37 pm -

The gift of learning to question everything

I have always had a rebellious streak (which I was led to believe was negative, but now I see what a gift it is to be able to question everything!!!) inside me, but there were more times than not that I shoved it down just to go along with other people. I used to be a peace keeper. Of course, I am still for peace, but I am not THE peace keeper. I learned to not “make waves” so to speak. It felt easier at times to just go along with others so that I didn’t risk being vulnerable by stating the way I really felt. I have written so many times on here about how I believe depression comes from repressing your truth, or ignoring who you are. Lately, I have come to see it as giving away my power. Whenever I don’t speak up on behalf of my truth, I am giving away a part of myself; I am giving away my power. When I give away my power, it seems natural to feel depressed.  I have been  doing this for most of my life, which makes sense that I would suffer from depression for a very long time. The more we teach ourselves to repress our truth, the more power we loose. Bit by bit, the power gets buried. Each time you give some away, your true power gets pushed down further inside you. After giving away most of ourselves, depression feels permanent. It feels like we may as well just give up on thinking we can feel better. I want you to know that it is not permanent, you can heal and go on to feel strong and powerful. Your power is just buried, but you can dig it out again.

You are not responsible for what happened to you as a child

When children are forced to give up their power because the adults in their lives do not have the skills/energy/knowledge to nurture and protect them, children learn that there is something wrong within them. They learn to hide their deepest emotions and feelings so that the adults in their lives will love and accept them. This is when children begin the process of losing their true self and their true power. When you are a child, you rely on adults to help you navigate the world. Children need adults to nurture them for exactly who they are. I am saying this because  I want people to realize that they had no control over this when they were children. When you don’t get your needs met as a child, it is not your fault. There was never anything wrong with you, and there isn’t anything wrong with you now.  Being a mother myself, I also want to say that I am not writing this so that parents beat themselves up for not meeting their child’s needs. We all do the best we can, and if we didn’t get what we needed as a child, it takes a lot of effort to change the path with our own children. But it is very possible to change paths, AND it is never too late. We are all here to heal and grow, and I do believe we are always exactly where we need to be on our path. This is where I am supposed to be; how do I know this? Because this is where I am. I think this quote by Maya Angelou applies here, “when you know better, you do better.”

I AM responsible for myself as an adult

So, back to claiming my power. I suppose it can be viewed as “re-claiming” my power. We all have this power within. It has taken me a very long time to see that I did not have power over my truth when I was a child. I hid the real me so that I could attempt to get my needs met. Of course, I did not realize what I was doing when I did this, I was just a child trying to cope with the circumstances around me. Children want to be loved, and they will do almost anything to feel loved, including hiding their truth. This is the most important point I am trying to make (finally, right?!) I realized for myself, finally (I say this without judgment because, if I was supposed to realize it sooner, I would have realized it sooner), that I am responsible for me NOW. I am an adult now, and even though I didn’t get my needs met as a child, I am old enough to take responsibility for my truth and power NOW. No matter what happened to me or to anyone in the past, we do not have to let that define us NOW. We can choose to do something different, we can choose a different path, we can choose to give ourselves the gift or nurturing ourselves or finding others in our lives who nurture us. On some level I have known this all along, but not to the extent that I get it now. I *feel* my power being restored each time I speak up and say my truth, each time I make a decision that is right for *me* even though someone else may not like it. Even though I have been doing things that feel nurturing to myself for quite awhile now, I was still practicing the coping skills from my childhood in some situations. I wasn’t always speaking up when I didn’t agree, I would still go along with some things even though that voice inside was screaming, “NO, you don’t really want to do that!”

The power of  your inner guidance

Listen to that voice inside, it always guides you to your truth. I can’t explain the power I feel right now. When I say power, I mean my inner guidance, my inner knowing that *all is well with me*. I have a beautiful friend that has helped me see that I have a right to claim my place here, and so do you!!! We all do, we were put here deliberately. There is a reason that I am here, you are here, each one of us. We  are all here to heal and grow and to help each other. We are all ONE.  As each of us heals and grows, we are helping each other, which helps the collective energy of the world. You are here for a reason, you deserve to be here, you deserve JOY, and it is OK to claim your place in this Universe.

Enjoy this video by Abraham-Hicks called Before you Became Physical

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Posted in Depression, Healing & personal growth, Mindful/respectful parenting, Self-love | 4 Comments »

Depression and choosing to be alive

Written by Amie on June 23, 2010 – 8:10 pm -

My experience that might help others who are in deep depression

I would like to share this experience with you because I think it might help people that are in the deep dark places where depression can take us. I had this experience awhile back, but I was recently talking about it with a friend, and  thought it would be helpful to write about it here. I’ve written several times about how I have suffered with very deep depression. I say this because I want anyone reading this to know that I didn’t just have a “bout” of depression, so I really understand how debilitating it is.  I want to share this “ah-ha” moment because it really changed my thinking about feeling so depressed that you think you don’t want to be alive.

I didn’t think I wanted to be alive

I have been in that place several times. I have been in a place that I felt so depressed that I just wished I would die. I didn’t make any plans on how to do it, and honestly I would never do it. But, the fact is that I have felt bad enough that I thought that’s what I wanted. One night I was talking to my therapist, and I was feeling really really low. One question she asked me sparked hope within me. She asked me if I want to be alive. She asked me to put aside my emotions and how bad I was feeling, and just ask myself, “do I want to be alive?” There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be alive, which shocked me. I thought I didn’t want to be here, I have actually said those words before, “I don’t even want to be here”. But when she asked me that question there was no hesitation, the answer came without me even thinking about it. After I said I wanted to be here, I added the sentence, “but I don’t know how to be happy here”. This is the part I needed help with. I hope what I am writing makes sense. It may not sound like there is a difference, but there really is. It gave me hope knowing that I want to be here in this physical body right now. At the time, I really thought I didn’t want to be here. After she asked me the question, I actually gained hope. I had hope that since I wanted to be here, I could get help so that I could find ways to heal and find joy again. I know there are people who think they don’t really want to be here. My brother was one of them. He committed suicide over three years ago. Knowing what I know now, I really think down deep my brother wanted to stay here, but didn’t have the tools he needed in order to live here without suffering every day of his life. He gave up hope that he could ever find what he needed in order to feel joy.

Conforming can lead to self-destruction

I want to share my perspective because I want people to know that there are ways to heal depression. I wanted to share this specific experience because it gave me a new perspective. I have healed so much since the realization that I do want to be alive. I have worked hard on healing my past wounds that were debilitating me. In my last post, I wrote about how we learn to hide our truth in order to fit in or to gain love and acceptance. It is not always easy to break out of these self destructive habits. For me, I had to remind myself VERY often that my negative thoughts were not true. These negative thoughts and habits were conditioned non-truths. As children we learn to conform to what the adults around us need. As we grow, we get into the habit of conforming to what our peers are doing, what our society is doing, etc. We learn to look outside of ourselves hoping to find what we need. We learn to quiet the voice inside of us that is revealing our truth. We conform to fit the mold of what others need us to be. Depression happens when our truth is completely buried, and we get to the point of barely having any emotions at all. We shut down. Often times, anger is alive within us, but we don’t allow ourselves to even express that. Anger is present because it allows us to hide all of the hurt that we repressed when we were busy blocking our truth. Many people finally explode with the anger, sometimes lashing out at others. Some people may internalize the anger and let it eat them alive until they can’t take it anymore. They lash out at themselves rather than let themselves *feel* the repressed truth within them. They don’t allow themselves to *feel* what is really going on in their body. It can feel overwhelming at first since many of us never learned how to express emotion in the first place.

Reminding myself that emotion is energy

When I first learned that I did in fact,  have other emotions than just anger, I was surprised to learn that emotions are energy. It is the *story* we tell ourselves *about* the emotions we are having that make things more difficult. When I allow myself to just feel the emotion (energy) moving through my body, and acknowledge what I am feeling in my body and where I feel it, the energy moves along. Releasing this energy is a huge relief. It is when I try to figure out *why* it is there, or what happened to make me feel a certain way that I complicate my experience. Let it flow! Most of us have learned to be afraid of emotions. We have learned that they must be bad since we were not allowed to feel our truth or express it. Expressing ourselves has everything to do with wanting to be alive, and allowing ourselves to *feel* our “aliveness”. When we repress emotion, we are repressing *who we are*. When we repress who we are, we are sending ourselves the message that we don’t matter. The truth is we absolutely *do* matter, and everyone has the right to express themselves and to be who they are.

Learning how to be who you are and choosing to be alive!

The night that I realized I wanted to be alive, I knew I needed to work hard on allowing myself the space to be who I truly am. I would no longer just agree to doing things if my body was screaming to me, “NO”. Each time I was asked to do something, or asked my opinion, I learned to stop and check in with myself first. Then I would give an answer. Each time I listened to what was true for me in that moment, I was giving myself the true messages that would replace the old negative untruths. It takes practice, so give yourself the space and the compassion and patience you deserve. Each time I allow my truth to be heard, I take back some of my inner power that was given away. This post ended up being longer than I thought it would, but I hope it helps to give hope to those suffering with depression. There is always hope, I promise you. I didn’t go into every single thing I do in order to restore my truth, but I have in past posts, and I would be glad to talk to anyone that wants more detail. Please feel free to e-mail me from the home page. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please get help right away.

Embracing your inner acceptance, “Affirmations”, by Harold Becker, The Love Foundation.

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