When my depression was at its lowest, I was a very negative person. I was easily angered, frustrated constantly with public situations, traffic, slow pedestrians – annoyed if my dog was walking too fast, or too slow – Impatient with everything around me. I was also a jealous person. I would find myself looking through Facebook or Instagram, or seeing couples walking down the street, groups of friends laughing together, families out for dinner, and I would become furious with how every other human seemed happy, except for me. I would become jealous of friends in their success – if someone got engaged or married, maybe got a promotion at work, started dating a new special someone, bought a new car, adopted a pet – literally anything that changed their life for the better, I would isolate myself from that person. I couldn’t be around people who were growing and evolving because I was not. I hate to admit this, but I would even find myself feeling secretly happy when a friend confided in me that they had a bad day at work, or thought their relationship wasn’t going so well. Not because I didn’t want my loved ones to be happy, but because I didn’t want to be alone in my misery.
I am telling you this, because recently I have become aware of a shift. A change in my daily perspective, and how I feel about the environment and people around me. Now, this didn’t happen over night – it has been months of therapy, practicing of mindfulness, learning to be more self-aware, and learning that I cannot control a situation, but I can control how I react to said situation.
Here was my first realization in the shift: I saw an old friend on Wednesday evening – a girl from my past, who I cut off contact with because she was happy and I was not. In my eyes, she was perfect – educated and smart, beautiful, had a terrific family and significant other – really just “had it all”. I was very jealous of her; I deleted her from social media because I couldn’t even stand to see her photos. (This is a lot for me to admit right now, but I think being able to talk about this stuff is a step toward healing). So, we have recently reconnected, and she invited me over to her house, to enjoy the sun in her backyard and catch up. After an hour or so, I had this overwhelming feeling of happiness – not for me, but for her. And I told her – Friend, I am so happy for you. Really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, I am happy for your successes, and I am happy that I am able to celebrate them with you.
In that moment, with absolutely no trace of jealousy or envy, I felt whole.
These are a few things that I have been enjoying lately, as I become more aware of myself and my surroundings:
-green spaces / nature / blooming flowers
-spending more quality time with family and loved ones
-feeling grateful for having a roof over my head and food on my table (this is something I have struggled with in the past, as sometimes people who don’t understand depression can say “why are you depressed, it could be worse, at least you have food and shelter”, which makes a depressed person feel terrible…)
-my loved ones enjoying their lives in what ever capacity they choose to share
-listening to music
-noticing that my mind is a little quieter
-not feeling jealous / angry / sad
Thank you for listening today. Happy Friday ❤