Okay. Time for an admission. Just like Facebook, this blog is private so nobody gets the privilege of rubbing it in (laugh). If you want to come clean on your own admission, be my guest. I won’t rat on you either. That said, here’s the truth: I talk to myself and sometimes even out loud, of all things (but I understand it’s okay unless you ask yourself what you said). It’s been going on for years so don’t tell me it’s senility.
Some years ago and as it happens, just before my son died, I attended a seminar on the topic of Depression. I wasn’t thinking about my son, but about myself. Another admission: I have suffered from depression in one degree or another for many years and after loss of my son, it deepened. I am reminded every time I read the warning signs listed in black on white that I have most of them. But depression is not greater than my God. In fact, it is the other way around!
I wish to share something important I gleaned from the seminar ~ maybe one of the few things I remember. Pessimism predicts anxiety and stress. Negative thinking increases depression. Here is a quote from Depression the Way Out, the textbook used in the seminar and authored by Neil Nedley, MD: “Many depressed individuals have a tendency to look at the down side of life. We are all well aware that there always will be things in this imperfect world to complain about. We are helpless to personally do anything about many of these negative things or events. As soon as a conscious awareness of an unconstructive negative thought is realized, a positive thought should immediately replace it. The human brain is both flexible and trainable and as positive thoughts become habitual, depression will likely become a thing of the past (p. 89).”
I have had a head full of noisy “shoulda, woulda, coulda” or “you are bad for what you did, shame on you” negative phrases. It’s not truth and should be stopped at once and replaced with positive thoughts. It is difficult to turn that “locomotive around” while in the throes of grief, but it is something to be aware of as we walk this journey.
In spite of ourselves, we learn and grow, even when days seem long and dark. It’s better to tell the mind positive things over and over to replace the negative things that so easily take root. I call it “trash talk” and I have been guilty of this ~ dwelling on the negative and even repeating it to myself which, according to Dr. Nedley, encourages my depression to continue. I want it to stop.
So it’s time to replace trash talk with God talk. He’s easy to talk to, don’t you agree?
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. Isaiah 58:9