I will be the first to admit that, occasionally, I get a little negative. It’s hard to be in pain every day. It’s hard to feel unwell every day. Waking up to brain fog and discomfort wears on you, eventually. I am not proud of the days that I let it get the best of me but I am only human. I accept my faults and I know when I need to apologize or straighten myself out.
However, I learned something in a therapy session a while back that has stayed in the back of my mind. I learned to question my thoughts. When I say, “Everything is terrible” is that really the truth? No, its not. My family is wonderful and understanding. My friends are supportive. I have a warm bed to climb into every night next to my snuggly husband. The cat is kind of a jerk but she allows me to pet her head without biting me once in a while. So no, everything is not terrible.
Now, I have to redirect my thought. The pain I feel is terrible. The depression that results is terrible. These things do not need to pull my entire life down with them. Am I always in pain? Yes. Is it always so bad that it ruins my day? No. So I break it down even further. Today’s pain is terrible but tomorrow will probably be better. I’m feeling excessively down today but it’s because of today’s pain, and since tomorrow’s pain will be better, so, maybe, will tomorrow’s depression.
Redirection is more than just positive thinking. It’s actually taking the time to analyze your thoughts and expressing them as truth instead of exaggeration. I often find myself saying, “I hate my body” or, “I’m always depressed” but neither of these things are true. Yes, I hate the pain I feel in my body sometimes. I do get depressed but I have just as many good days as bad days. As an added bonus, taking the time to break my thoughts down distracts me a bit from the negative thoughts circling in my head.
There is no one way to help with depression or pain. Depression from pain is likely to happen when it’s a chronic happening in your life. If you can catch yourself using words like always, never, everything, nothing when speaking about negative things in your life, and can remember to turn those thoughts into truths, at the very least you are giving yourself some small bits of positivity you probably need.
As always, if you are feeling depressed or hopeless, please don’t hesitate to seek help. There is no shame in seeking advice from a medical professional when you aren’t feeling your best, and not feeling your best mentally is no exception.