Changing The Habits of a Lifetime
Changing the habits of a lifetime, what does that really mean? when I set out to make some major changes in my life, I had no idea it would mean changing my entire life, neither did I expect to come under so much opposition.
To the latter part of last year I got to a point where I realised, as much as my life had changed for the better in so many ways, there was one particular area that needed a complete upheaval, shift and shove in the right direction, the problem was I had no idea what that area was.
I guess what kicked started things was the relationship I am presently in. As we sat discussing life and a possible future together, I realised there were some habits in my life that could potentially ruin the relationship and others I could not take into a marriage. Whatever this thing or things were, that was keeping me back, they had to go.
I was desperate and scared. Desperate for change and scared things would remain the same. I had come a long way from my days of doom and gloom, but still, something was keeping me back. And so I set out searching for the thing that had no name.
It was a tough year, to begin with, one I thought would take me out, but as November kicked it I was soaring at a peak I had never risen to and amazed at how good it felt. As a result of all the above, the business course, in particular, my attention was drawn to the size of my mind and the fact that the root of my problems was the habits my mind had become accustomed to. Unlike in years past, the problem was not what was running through, but more lack the thereof.
Losing My Mind To My Past
My mind had spent so many years filled with negative thoughts it had become stunted and shrunken. I lacked the capacity to dream big. The space between my ability to think and the ceiling that capped my thoughts was almost non-existent and my capacity to plan and execute was something I had never heard of.
I was gobsmacked, stunned and speechless when I realised the damage my negative and depressive thinking had caused my once healthy mindset. I didn’t lack the capacity to dream, I could dream for the entire world. I lacked the capacity to dream big and go after my dreams. Every opportunity my dreams brought me were met with a bombardment of obstacles I allowed to dominate my head-space until there was no space left to think.
If I was going to change the negative habits of a lifetime, my lifetime, I would need to do some things I had never done before, and so that’s what I set out to do. I started to think, dream, think some more, dream, read books, think about what I was reading, read some more, all in the hope of changing the way I think while stretching my thinking capacity.
Focus, Focus, Focus
I was soaring, growing and expanding, but it came at a price. Most people want to change without being the change. When it comes down to it, if you want your life to change, you’re gonna have to put in the work and remain focused. Being focused can be hard when you lose sight of where you are going and losing sight of where you are going is easily done when you are not used to being focused.
I wanted this, I needed it, more than I first realised, not so I could hold on to the man in my life, but so I could hold on to life itself. My 35 years of depression with no reprieve or respite has left me desperately fighting for life. Where others can afford to feel a little low and bounce back in no time, I have to fight the very sight of discouragement like its the plague!
Sometimes I get accused of being too sad or sounding dreary, which is hard to digest because people don’t realise how much it takes to keep going when what should cause you to be a little discouraged feels like the emotional weight of the world pulling you down to its level.
Some days I get up and I’m full of life, excitement, and energy. I can see my goals, my dreams seem reachable, and I’m operating in my new good healthy habits, other days I am having to fight the heaviness and keep it at bay. Keep it from stealing my hope, drive passion and motivation just so I can breathe. I can’t help the way I feel, all I can do is fight it, so that’s what I do.
Changing My Mind
I am presently utilising every ounce of strength I have to change the thing that has the power to make or break me, my mind and the habitual ways that control it.
Changing the habits of a lifetime involves me changing the way in which my mind, digests information and departmentalises it. On days like today, I hate my past and my upbringing with a passion, wondering what life would be like had stuff never happened to me causing me to become engulfed in a world of depression.
35 years is a long time.
In changing my habitual thinking, I plan on changing the habits of my lifetime, and I’ve never wanted something as bad as I want this. There are many that feel I still suffer from depression, to whom I have to explain, no, I manage my depression. When I suffered from depression I became paralysed under its spell unable to function or carry out simple daily tasks such as washing, eating or brushing my teeth.
Where I am today is like heaven compared to those dark dismal days, in as much as I am functioning, however, the emotions still come and go at their leisure, which leaves me having to work, live and breath with what often feels like a bolder of heaviness on my chest trying to suck the life out of me. During those time it literally is a case of mind over matter, faith over doubt, hope over hopelessness, life over death and smiles over tears.
Mental health carries such a negative stigma, such lack of understanding, patience or empathy. There are times when I have wished those who lack patience or understanding with its sufferers could be injected with the emotional mental trauma it brings just so they could see what it feels like, then come and talk to me.
It’s one thing suffering or having suffered from mental health, its another thing being a Christian suffering from mental health. You are either being told Jesus can heal you, you have no faith or worse still you are not a Christian.
Mental Health and The Church
I am a Christain. I believe in God. I have faith and yet I suffered for 35 years, 29 of them as a Christain. Today I have come to a place where I am able to manage my depression. What that means that despite how I am feeling, I get up, I push on and I keep going as opposed to laying over and being controlled by my thoughts and emotions.
I have to work at it and a lot of work goes into managing something that given the opportunity has the capacity to talk you into feeling so hopeless you want to take your life. Some people don’t realise how discouraging and heart wrenching their dismissive attitude can be. The church is supposed to be a place of love and understanding, I am still waiting to see this fully manifested within the Christian community. If those suffering cannot come to us what does that say about what we stand for?
I for one suffered in silence for far too long, all the while surrounded by a huge church family, why?
Why is mental health such a taboo subject in faith? My research shows it is not just a problem within the Christian community but other religions too.
Looking After No 1
This is just me speaking out and working every day at conquering the thoughts that stimulate the emotions that try their utmost to lead me astray, taking and claiming the higher ground one fight, one thought one breath at a time. I do this by intentionally reading and applying, I know we all want a quick fix to our problems, however, unless the application of information is applied, and by application, I don’t just mean for a few days or weeks, I mean for the rest of your life. YES, the rest of your life because that is what it is going to take to change the habits of a lifetime.