Depression

Finding Hope pt.2


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So this is the next part of my road to recovery (read part 1), it was a long road and one that I wish I did not have to travel but I did. Actually, I am really glad that I traveled down it because it is slowly allowing me to grow and realize the important things in life which are to me friends, family and not letting things get you down (and God of course).
So let me get started, November was a month where I started to regain a large amount of my confidence and hope, which was nice. I started seeing a counselor and started to open up. Opening up in therapy was an interesting, but important step and I would encourage anyone who is reading this if you are facing a problem see and counselor. I used to have this weird idea that it was wrong to get help but in actuality, it is an amazing thing.
The hope I gained in these weeks was that I was ‘normal’; I learned that depression is a normal thing and that I was not alone. When depression sets in, one of the first things you face is this idea that you are not normal, that you are the only person to face this issue; however, once I started talking to a counselor about it, she started to show me that it is normal. Especially in guys and girls my age now where expectations are at an all-time high – we push ourselves into depression. She explained to me that we set such high goals for ourselves that are actually unreachable or are so long term we do not see the means of getting there.
For example, of these were my goals for 2010: I wanted to be CF, I wanted to have GPA of 3.6 cumulative, I wanted to have a business that would make 160K and profit 45.
Things didn’t turn out as I hoped, though…
I wanted to be CF, and I believed if I did not get the position, I would be a failure. The shocking part here, I ended up not getting it and I was mad, upset and frustrated this entire time. Why? because I wanted this and I thought it was something I deserved.
Right now my GPA is not great but to get my cumulative GPA to 3.6 means I needed a 4.0 each semester while taking 18-semester credits. On top of that being and RA then on TWUSA and titans soccer and this and that… Do you get the point?
And the business, well I set these unrealistic expectations and every time I did not meat them I felt like a failure – to myself, to my boss and to my parents. I felt I let myself down because I did not accomplish the goal even though I was trying hard, I felt I let my boss down because he was investing time into me and I felt I let my parents down because they always support me. That was difficult.
Maybe it was a perfect storm that caused my depression; maybe, in fact, my depression was not just caused by a few simple factors but rather a collection of things I considered personal ‘failures’. For as long as I could remember I have always push myself to be better, not just than the average person but better than everyone. I would push myself in school, push myself in sports and push myself in life. Something that contributed was that I started to lie about what I was able to do in order to make myself look better in the eyes of the people around me. Sad but true.
This post is focused on what I was starting to tackle in counseling so I will get back to that; It was a new experience to start to open up about problems I have never talked about. See, I tend to ‘talk’ about myself until things start going downhill, then I close-up. Well, that only works for a little bit before things start to go into a downward spiral. I started to face these unbelievably deep issues in my own personal life.
In light of this and my desire to move forward, I asked myself these questions (and I encourage you to do the same):
1) Why do I feel I need to prove myself to everyone??
2) Who am I proving myself too?
3) Why do I believe I am not good enough in certain aspects?
4) Why do I think I am letting people down?
These next questions are the ones I had to face about depression – they are a little bit different but kind of similar:
1) Why do I feel I am not good enough at all?
2) Who do I think I need to be?
3) Why do I consider myself a failure?
The last three really hit the core of my depression.
So my hope that I gained this week was really understanding that I am getting help and that there are answers to these unbelievably hard questions that I was facing.
I challenge anyone who is reading this that if you are going through some tough times ask yourself a few of these question, ask yourself and talk about the answer do not just dwell on them. Furthermore, if there is something you’re dealing with that you cannot wrap your head around, ask for help from a counselor – they love to listen, heck its what they chose to do for a living!

Christian struggled through and recovered from depression. He likes to write so others can hear his story and know there is hope. His goal is that through sharing, people will be able to see their story within his own.

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