Attitude of gratitude..

Basically since the start of this year I have been trying to manifest this attitude of gratitude. It started out as an assignment my therapist gave me. I had to list three things that I am grateful for every day. In the beginning this seemed to be near impossible to me, as I have been feeling negative and low for the majority of my life, having struggled with clinical depression and anxiety for a good decade or so. But the more I made this little list, either in my head or on paper, I really started noticing a difference.

I started seeing the positive things in life again, but I also realised that the world wasn’t against me or that everyone was out to get me. When you’ve been so pessimistic all you life it’s really difficult to look at the little things and get happiness out of it. After the death of my mother back in 2014 I grew numb and cold to everything around me. I lived my life on autopilot, without any sort of goals and dreams ahead of me anymore. Breaking a pattern like that seemed like a huge mountain to climb and it still isn’t easy at times. It’s ups and downs, falling and getting up.

But after having made this little, tiny and seemingly insignificant list every single day, my life did improve. I opened myself up for good things to happen again, realising that I’m only 24, and being alive, just waiting to die, isn’t a life I want to live. I know for a fact that my mom wouldn’t have wanted that either. So I made the promise to myself and to my late mother that I’d start living again. And so I did. I had forgotten what it is like to live again or what it’s like to genuinely be happy. But I’m getting there. And I am pretty darn proud of myself.

So today I’m grateful for:

*The fact that I got to sleep an hour longer
* The fact that I actually understood things in my math class. I am not a mathematical genius, so every time I manage to solve equations or put into words why I solved something the way I did is a win in my book!
* The fact that I get to meet up with one of my best friends today.

Manifesting this grateful attitude is one of the hardest things I had to do to improve my mental health, but also one of the most rewarding. So if you, like me, are also struggling with depression or just a pessimistic outlook on life, I’d definitely recommend you’d give it a try!

Thank you so much for reading.

What are three things you grateful for today?

– Naiyee

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Overcoming adversity

Today is the day before going on an adventure in another country, the lovely country that is Finland. Today is also the day where I had a very tough exam prep for history, which I’ll be having exams for very soon. And today was also the day where I saw my psychologist.

I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember now, and after having seen different therapists in the course of the past decade, I finally feel like the psychologist I’m seeing now really gets me. With the death of my mom, the big changes in my private life, exams coming up and changing schools, this past month or 2 have been difficult to get through. I’ve been doubting my judgement, consumed with self loathing and over all just very insecure about my schoolwork. Vet school is something I’ve wanted since I was little, and now that I’m actively working towards it, I find myself very discouraged at times, as if I’m not smart enough, or worthy of getting in.

My psychologist used the movie ”Inside Out” as a comparison of the different versions of myself living within this head of mine. She asked me to sit down on a chair and tab into the depressed and dark side of myself, and once I’d gotten there, I’d have to tell her how that version of myself made me feel. At first it felt very weird to me, to get to a dark place in my consciousness while I’m actually having an okay day. But then she made me sit on another chair, the more positive and empathetic part of me. She told me to drag myself out of that deep, dark place and find out what the empathetic version of me would tell my depressed version.

It was very hard for me to actually face myself, my depressed self, and tell myself good things about myself. I’ve been dragging myself down for so long, that it’s basically all I know. I’m not good at telling myself that I deserve to be happy, or that I’m worthy of having good things in my life. For some reason I always felt as if bad things were about to happen, and because of that, I convinced myself that getting excited about anything, would only result in disappointment, so it’d be better to just be miserable. My mom’s death is a prime example of that. Why bother getting married or having kids when she won’t be there to witness it all? All of my milestones would be pointless without her there.

But since seeing my therapist, I started realising how flawed that logic actually is. My mom might be gone, but I’m at the prime of my life. It’d be stupid to deny myself nice things just because she’s gone, or because I got told once by a bully that I’m disgusting and worthless. I’m slowly opening up to the things that I denied myself for a long time, and surprisingly enough, I start feeling things again, instead of running on autopilot. For the first time in years I chose myself over someone else, and to be quite frankly here, it’s hard. My depressed version still comes out often to tell me I’m selfish, and that my choices hurt other people. My psychologist told me to train my empathetic version to be stronger. To tell myself that it’s okay to choose yourself over others sometimes. So I guess that’s another part in my recovery process that I’ll have to work on.

It’s not easy doing this alone. But eventually I’ll get there. Babysteps.

 

  • Nen

It’s been a while

Whoa, it’s been a while since I’ve last written something on here. It has multiple reasons, which I might write about at some point in the future. Since the death of Hayley, my life has been a rollercoaster in terms of mental health, relationship and school. Let’s just say some big changes have occurred.

So as I’m sitting here in an empty classroom, I started thinking. My mind has been doing it a lot lately, to the point where I’d be lucky if I get 4 hours of sleep a night. Today, on May 4th, my mom would’ve turned 45. It’s still an insane idea to me that she was so young when she passed away. I’ve been holding up fine so far, but I can sense the big black wolf that is depression looming over my shoulder. I honestly don’t even know if I can manage to stay concentrated, or even make it through the day at school today, which would suck, considering I already missed 2 days this week, but at least this is a valid reason. At least I’ve tried if I end up breaking down, right? 🙂

My exams are rolling around, and in 2 weeks classes will officially be over. I decided to be selfish and go away to Finland for a week, because I’ve been feeling very stressed. I need a break, and I think it’ll be good for me. I also found out that the school I’m currently attending doesn’t offer all of the courses I’d need to get into vet school, so I decided to meet up with a counselor at a new school, closer to where I live, which would make things a lot easier if I end up getting in. I’d still be graduating around the same time as at my current school, so it’s no big deal really. Usually I’d be anxious about my exams coming up. I have crippling exam anxiety, but I’ve been pretty numb to it, probably because of all of the changes going on in my life as of lately. Let’s just say I’m happy that I have a great therapist, because otherwise I don’t think I could’ve made it through.

Funnily enough though, I’m quite happy, despite the uncertainties in my life at this point. Life is this weird, fragile and exciting thing. I used to just be living, waiting for the end to happen, but lately I’ve been looking forward to the things yet to come.

Today is just a bad day, but it’s not a bad life. Not at all.

– Nen