It's been not quite six months since I've even touched writing here, and I'll be honest - it's been because I've been depressed. Not just depressed. There have been a few bouts, say, most of February, where I'd say I've been at my worst since college. When I went into therapy, took anti-depressants, and slept away semesters. Losing weight and being healthy wasn't at the forefront of my brain, because mostly I was struggling to even get out of bed. To put one foot in front of the other.
Having a few people express being worried about me, enough so that I knew it was time to do something, well, prompted me to do something. I'm working on it. With someone. Not therapy per se, but more introspection than I've done in years. Two of the biggest things I'm working on are the depression, obviously, but how it manifests. One is of course in my issues with food. And the other is just out and out self loathing. It's a rare day that I like myself.
One of the books I've been working through is Regina Brett's Be The Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible. It is a quick read - Brett is a journalist who demonstrates life lessons through short vignettes, stories of people she's met, experiences she's had. She is a cancer survivor as well as a Christian. I didn't truly identify with all 50 of her lessons, as I don't identify with a traditional religion, but one could easily extrapolate her admonishments to "mean the prayers" to "mean the meditation" or some other analogy. I'm going to list out my notes from the book, mostly as an exercise for myself, but also to have something to readily reference back to during my next low point. Plus, I love lists.
1) Every person is important, no matter how menial they're perceived, including yourself. Treat everyone you come across as a human of value.
2) Take the time to do something well. Be curious and solve the puzzles. Don't just do the job to get it done, to cross it off of your list. Do it the best that you can.
3) Do it with a smile. Make everyone you cross paths with feel like you are happy to see them and that they are valued.
4) Take control of your emotions. You can't stop how outside influences happen, but you can stop how they make you feel.
5) Put yourself first once a week, even if it's just for an hour. Pamper, be selfish. Indulge.
6) Listen to what people want, not what you think they need.
7) Every day is a new day, and a conscious choice for happiness. Wipe the slate clean.
8) Find the joy in every day.
9) Put your disadvantages in relative context. So many have it worse. Count your blessings.
10) Confirmation: Being late shows you don't value others' time. It makes people worry (at least in my family). Stay early!
11) Listen to your body. What does it tell you that you need? What does your body say yes to and what does it say no to?
12) Be present in the moment. The now. Don't dwell on the past or worry for the future.
13) As you climb a ladder, don't do it alone. Bring along those who support you on the climb, for your good and theirs.
14) Write your own job description (in life) and grow into it every day. You're more than a job title.
15) People will shake the snow globe of your world. Let the chaos swirl, knowing that it will calm and settle around you.
16) Your place in life doesn't belong to anyone else. Quit coveting theirs, find yours.
17) Don't wait for a tragedy jump start you into living. New Year's isn't the only time for resolutions or clean slates. It can be, and should be, tomorrow.
18) Every time you think badly of yourself, think "would I be friends with a person who thought that about me?"
19) After something bad, don't just aim for normal again, aim for better.
20) Assuming the worst of people at the first impression is a way to protect yourself. But you also build a wall against good people who might change your world.
21) Live your life as the legacy you want to leave Don't be embarrassed by a boring obituary. What will you be remembered for?