"The world around you passes by,
In blurs of colour and sound.
Nothing around you making sense,
As you continue your plummet down.
You can't remember how it started,
And you don't know when it will end,
But you know that you'd give anything,
To stand upon your feet again."
Excerpt from SADNESS by Erin Hanson
Have you ever felt like you've been hit with a mack truck and can't get up? I've been there. Convinced I would never be happy again, never find joy. Depression had crept into my heart and taken over. I wanted to be happy. I tried to be happy. It wasn't working. Depending upon which survey you look at, depression is either the Number 1 or Number 2 most undiagnosed mental health challenge in our country.
Some very notable people have struggled with depression: Mark Twain, John Adams, Winston Churchill, the Queen of England. One lawyer in the 1800s was so depressed his friends removed all the knives out of his house for fear he would kill himself. That man wrote, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I am afraid I shall not." He did get better. He went on to become the sixteenth president of the United States - Abraham Lincoln.
So, how do I get from depression to happiness? Sometimes it is counseling. Sometimes it is medication. Sometimes it is both. But it is ALWAYS changing how you think. If you constantly think negative thoughts, you are going to have a negative outlook. Do I encourage a "Pollyanna" attitude? Of course not! More of a realistic attitude. It might be a bad situation, but could you think of anything positive about it? Say I lost my job. If I constantly bemoan the fact that now I have no income, it's going to get me down. But, positivity happens if I tell myself, "Yes, it sucks that I lost my job, but I'm smart and capable. I'll find a new job and it will open up new opportunities for me. I will get through this." The situation hasn't changed, but my attitude about it has. My positive attitude protects me from depression grabbing hold.
The depression period of my life only ended when I stopped fighting the situation, stopped trying to control what I couldn't control anyway, stopped expecting life to be fair and chose to just look for the good. My attitude changed, my depression lifted. Watch how you think today. Be intentional about looking for the positive.