God has a serious sense of humor. I had full immersion in this topic just this moment. I had set an intention to write a very different post, and then within minutes got a phone call that spiraled me into a horrible mood. I could not even write for several hours, and I certainly could not write my intended topic.
I had already missed my scheduled time for my radio show, where my planned topic was to be shared. I missed my schedule because, having sat down to prepare, I had the phone call that abruptly redirected my focus from the show to being the very person needing to hear this topic I now share. I am surprised I have composed myself enough to actually write anything.
One thing is for sure, what I would have written before that phone call is very different to what I am about to write, and let me just say, I have no idea what my fingers are going to bang out because I am simply writing as I go. My original plan has been set aside and forgotten.
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Depression is a horrible emotion to experience, and this morning’s experience proves it takes very little to trigger that emotion. Beyond the experience of the emotion is the disruption of life because everything seems to come to a halt, and some things even reverse in progress because of the depression.
A depressed person lacks the energy and the drive to move forward or to continue, and worse, a depressed person does not even care that they don’t have the energy and look forward to sulking away in motionless, bottomless self-pity.
Let me tell you right now, taking pills will not do much to change your mood, and if the fine print speedily read off at muted tones in ads are correct, some of these mood prescriptions may even cause suicide to be a more prevalent thought than the originally depressing ones. Personally, I take no chemical mood manipulators.
So, while I will not share the news that caused me to stop all activity, miss my scheduled show, and be temporarily unable to prepare or care that my show was missed – I will tell you, that I allowed myself just that little while to wallow, and then I started writing.
I don’t want to write, but I KNOW that action is the ONLY consistently successful way out of this mood. I am too depressed to function, but I am functioning anyway.
Right now, this feels pointless, but I know that is just how I feel right now. Later, I will be glad I took this step, and even if you get nothing out of it, I will. Taking action at ANY LEVEL; functioning ANY WAY that I can is the one thing that I know without fail has worked for me and many others.
When I was a child, I learned this song I WHISTLE A HAPPY TUNE, and my father used to insist I sing the chorus and jump and click my heels every time I was in a bad mood. I was always angry at him when he did that. I was always thinking “What a callous Oaf!” to insist I sang this chorus when I was clearly in a bad mood. Didn’t he see that? Didn’t he care?
He would insist, and use his authority to force me to do it, and I would do it with a fake smile and with grinding teeth and hate him for it for as long as I could – but that was the magic! I could not hold that nasty feeling for long at all. This stupid action WORKED!
I smile as I remember that memory. My father is a wise man. This lesson has served me many times over many years in many circumstances; including this morning.
The tension is already leaving me although my situation and the conditions shared in that upsetting call have not changed. When I am done writing this, I will re-schedule my radio show and do it a bit later than usual today, but as we say in show business – “THE SHOW MUST GO ON!” (I actually updated this post and inserted the radio show above.).
If you are feeling too depressed to function, function anyway – and I mean ANY WAY! Take action! Tiny action. Do something. Anything! Many times, I go clean something; the half-bathroom downstairs is my favorite. It is small, and in a few minutes of tidying, I feel back in control because I took control of something that was within my power to do at that moment. The action created a sense of accomplishment in something small which gave me a distraction from my immediate issue, refocus, and confidence. Moments later, I am in a better frame of mind to address the offending situation with more clarity and distance.
Another strategy that works for me is to help someone. So I scheduled myself later today, to go help someone I am mentoring.
So, a bit delayed, but my day is back on track. I will not let this thing control my day. I control my day. You see, one thing I know is, I will not give more than a few moments to anything negative in my life. Those moments are just enough to assess the moment for what it is, and when something does not serve me I move quickly to eliminate it from my environment. Toxic moments lead to toxic minutes, leads to toxic hours, leads to toxic days, leads to toxic years, leads to a toxic life. I have no time for that. The moment I feel sick, angry, sad, annoyed, jealous, depressed -whatever! If it does not serve me, it has to go! I tell myself it has to go and it has no space in this place. If that sounds silly to you, let me tell you – that formula has served me well, and I use it often. I always shift from the negative to the positive and I do it as quickly as I can. I encourage you to do the same.
Flour by itself is not tasty. Butter by itself is not something we set on a plate to eat. Sugar by itself is not filling, however, you start mixing these and other ingredients together, and the result is often amazing! So it is with life. That depression right now is simply an ingredient in your life.
If you are a Christian, remember this Biblical promise…
Romans 8:28 “Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose”.
Take action in any way, and I mean at any level you can. Get moving! An object at rest stays at rest, but an object in motion remains in motion. Be in motion and acceleration becomes inevitable.