Quote by RuPaul
Unlike RuPaul, much of the time, I don’t have a high opinion of myself.
There is so much I haven’t done. My life with concealed depression has forced me to have a public face and persona. I have spent years developing a brand that shows strength, stability, and reliability. Being the go-to guy is important to me. I can solve problems and de-escalate situations.
Yet all of this comes at an enormous emotional cost.
Being ON all the time can be exhausting. My high-functioning depression needs me to tamp down my emotions and ignore them. Having emotions to me means I cannot be as effective in a given situation. When I let someone get me to wound up, it is my problem, not theirs. After all, just because you are given a gift, it doesn’t mean you must take it.
I wish I was better at not letting other people push my buttons.
Protecting my brand means always being on. I think of evergreen. Letting my guard down can be disastrous. Keeping up the façade of correctness and propriety means I can craft how I am perceived by others. In the end, I guess it is just a control issue. If I cannot control how you think, then I am not good enough. And unhelpful thinking gives me the tools of the fortune teller, creating an outcome without ever talking to the parties.
I can envision the outcome, without having to speak to anyone.
What a great time saver. And the byproduct of this is that it makes my depression very happy. This leads to keeping secrets. My depression gets very excited when I start to pull away from people. It is especially happy when I give up my support people and try to do everything myself.
Buoyed by my depression, I slip and slide around the drain, awaiting my plunge into the abyss.
This supports my thought that I am not giving myself enough credit. And as a result, I do not love myself as I should. There are times when I am close to loving myself. But this is only until I start some unhelpful thinking style. Suddenly, I am back to being not good enough. And then it’s the, “if I only….”
I am an expert at pouring water on my fire and putting out my own light.
Depression loves all of this. It goes out of its way to inject enough self-doubt into my thoughts, that I end up not impressed with myself. As much as I attempt to ignore these thoughts, I entertain them far too often.
“There ain’t nothing I can do about it now.” Willy Nelson
I have a Willy Nelson channel on Pandora. I switched from the CSNY channel while I was on the elliptical at the gym. Soon after that, I heard Willy singing this song. Thinking about it, this is the logical next step. Everything that has happened in the past, is now the past. Even feeling bad about what I did or did not do cannot change what happened.
What I am left with is my attitude toward these past events.
And it is up to me how I think. Now my depression has ideas about what to think. All these ideas center around one or more unhelpful thinking styles. Depression mixes up the suggestions it sends me. All of these suggestions are unhelpful, but each one can send me closer to the drain.
And from there, I am one bad day away from the abyss.
But having the option of thinking differently about the past, I can decide to leave it there. Then I can focus my attention on the present. I can live in the moment, basking in the event, whatever it may be. Bad, good, dull, exciting, it could be any of these.
There’s nothing I can do about the past.
So living in the moment has a better ROI (return on investment). This is my manager’s side coming out. But the point is I can choose how I spend my time. And I can choose what I focus on. I want to say I can control what I think, but this is not always the case.
But I can always decide if I want to entertain that thought, or just let it float downstream, away from my mind.
I am going to stop here and make some decisions. That will be my plan for the next few days, I will let you know how it turns out.
[…] (Or, how can you love someone else if you can’t even love yourself?) My list yesterday was just another way of me controlling my actions. It was a way for me to focus my ideas on what needed to be done. And it set me up to crash and burn when I did not do everything on the list. […]