I NEEDED CHANGE – NOT SYMPATHY (Source: http://solutionstoallmyproblems.com)
Every week, the therapist would start the session by asking how my week had been, I would present my current complaints, and she would give me sympathy. And the sympathy was nice. I lapped it all up. But it’s not what I needed to get out of the funk.
It was never stated this bluntly of course, but here’s what I now understand the mental health establishment was telling me: There is nothing really wrong with your life. Your depression causes you to not like your life. Here, have some tissues and a phone number of a good psychiatrist who can get you a prescription.
But the thing is that I was unhappy before I was depressed. I became depressed because I felt stuck and didn’t know how to fix the things that I was unhappy with. My work and relationships were not meaningful. I had entered adulthood full of hope and then been slapped in the face with the unpleasant reality of it all. I felt hopeless because I had no clue what to do about it. I was too young – too short on life experience and self confidence – to know that I had options. That I could change things. That I could follow a different path.
And that is what I needed to learn.
I didn’t need help learning how to love my current life. I needed help learning how to change my life.
If you have lost your will to live, let that life go. Create another life that is worth living.
You can change things. You may not know how yet. It probably won’t be easy. It probably won’t happen overnight. But you can learn how. And you can nudge your life in a different direction little by little.
Nowadays I like to see my depression as an alarm. An alarm that rings from my brain telling me that something isn’t quite right. I’m in an environment that doesn’t work for me. Or I have a need that is going unmet.
Depression is now an alarm that propels me to seek change and to improve my circumstances.