I Am Free Of Pain

Topless sad woman holding head down with both hands

Positive Affirmation: Mental Pain

“I am free of mental pain because I have learned to manage my negative emotions and redirect my attention on the positive things in life. Whenever I feel sad, I allow the pain to surface without any hesitation, as I know that if I try to fight back, the pain usually persists even longer. I give my pain room to breath but I do not identify with it because my pain is not really mine; it just comes and goes like the foreign clouds in the sky. Just as I cannot feel the clouds in the sky but just observe them, the same applies to my emotional pain; I can’t physically touch it but just observe it from the sidelines. Just as I can’t make a storm go away, the same applies with my emotional pain; I let it take its course until it evaporates into the distance. I am free of pain because I have learned how to respect my mental health and take care of it on a daily basis!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stuck In A Sad Loop

Selective focus photography of sad woman surrounded by people in the street

The Same Things Every Day

How many of you feel tired of the same things happening every single day? No matter what you do, you feel like your life is repetitive as if you’re stuck in a sad loop that keeps playing over and over again. The worst part of this loop is that you have no idea how to get out of it. This loop is not necessarily bad, but it slowly eats away at your happiness because it prevents you from experiencing new people, places and things. You keep searching for a solution but end up no where new.

So what is the solution? You have to make a change. Any change; it doesn’t matter what it is. Change is the process of breaking old patterns and habits and instilling new ones. Change is the gasoline for your vehicle, in this case, your life. You are the driver of your life; not the other way around. You need to make a change and no one can tell you what that change is; you have to discover it for yourself.

Change is not always easy because we often hold ourselves back. We know what we have to do and change about ourselves, but we often don’t because we are comfortable with our present reality. See the irony? How can we be comfortable if we just admitted that we’re stuck in a sad loop? That’s the point! You’re stuck in a “comfortable sad loop” that is difficult for you to step out of.

Think of a hamster running back and forth on its wheel; that’s you in a nutshell! Many of us keep running on that wheel until we finally step off and realize that we’ve wasted five, ten, twenty or even thirty years of our lives. Don’t wait for tomorrow to make a change that you can make today! Even if making a change feels uncomfortable, force yourself to experience the discomfort. Oftentimes, once you get past the discomfort, you’ll experience a sense of satisfaction, something along the lines of, “I actually feel better now! Can’t believe this.”

We all go through this “sad loop” from time to time; it’s not something easy to escape from. But if you have the determination to step out of this sad loop and improve your life, then you are on the right track. But you have to make a change and only you can do it; no one can do it for you. We can each give advice to one another but at the end of the day, you’re the only one who can make the change.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Experience Your Sadness

Sad woman leaning on windowsill staring outside

Not Running Away From Sadness

Whenever we experience sadness, we tend to bury it right away rather than allowing it to linger. This is because nobody likes the feeling of sadness so it’s easier to just brush it under the carpet and clean it up later. The problem with doing so is that you are not processing what is making you feel sad in the first place. Even though sadness is an uncomfortable emotion, you want to fully immerse yourself in it and see what thoughts and feelings will come out of it.

For some, it’s not an easy process because they feel like their ego is being jeopardized. They believe that if they feel sad, their masculinity is being threatened. For others on the opposite end of the spectrum, they tend to spend too much time dwelling over their sadness, experiencing it all day and never letting go of it. You don’t want to be at any end of the spectrum; the happy medium is always best.

This involves experiencing sadness when it kicks in but also knowing when to turn it off when certain circumstances arise. If you’re at work, it’s better to suppress it for the time being and revisit it later on. But if you’re at home and have nothing important to do, you can try practicing mindfulness while also becoming in touch with your sadness. This will allow you to process the thoughts associated with your sadness and potentially help you recover from it.

It’s always better to process your sadness rather than leaving it unhinged. There’s almost always a reason that you are feeling sad and you need to get to the bottom of it. Don’t be afraid to reveal new thoughts and feelings which are foreign to you; this is the process of growing in life. And always remember that you are never alone in experiencing sadness; millions of people all over the world are experiencing it with you this very moment.

What are some things that you are sad about?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Paralyzed By Depression

Depressed man sitting on wooden floor with head down on lap

Day Consumed By Depression

Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows that it’s sometimes brought upon you by an unexpected wave that you never saw coming. It’s not like you wake up one day and you’re depressed; that’s not what we’re talking about. You don’t see the depression coming but you can definitely sense the bits and pieces of it trickling in. In other others, you’re not going to point at a calendar and say, “I’ll probably feel depressed July 4th.” It just happens.

But when the feeling hits you on that particular day, you’ll definitely know that you’re experiencing it. It feels like the inside of you is melting; you feel the pain spreading through your arms and legs and it’s especially heavy in the center of your chest. It’s as if your heart is pumping depressed blood and you’re slowing becoming paralyzed in mind and body; you can feel your soul kicking like the legs of a fetus in the uterus of a pregnant woman.

When the episode has begun, it’s very hard to just snap out of it and turn your day around. This takes a lot of strength and past experience and who wants to be that guy who has a lot of experience snapping out of depression? It’s not something that you necessarily want in your arsenal. It’s difficult to snap out of depression during that day because like I previously said, you feel paralyzed and out of options, as if riding the wave is the easiest thing to do.

If something exciting happens during the day, it makes snapping out of the depression much easier, but let’s be honest, how many of us have random exciting things that we can rely on to snap us out of these episodes? On second thought, even wealthy people who have tons of things to be excited about often can’t snap out of their depressive fits; the wave is just too powerful.

So what you’ll end up doing is trying to hold on for dear life and avoid drowning. If you can get to the end of the day near your bedtime, you’ll know that you have made it. I want to make clear that the depression that I am referring to is not the psychiatric diagnosis of “major depressive disorder.” I am referring to a general feeling of sadness that you can refer to as feeling “depressed,” but it’s not the same thing as major depression, which involves symptoms such as decreased sleep, interest, appetite, concentration, guilt and suicidal ideations for at least two weeks in a row.

We all experience sadness, but it’s one thing to be sad for one hour of the day and another to have your entire day consumed by depression. The latter involves your day psychologically going to waste. You may have accomplished chores and tasks and even have done fun things, but nothing was truly enjoyable because depression was eating you alive from the inside out. Sometimes talking to someone may help alleviate your depression, but keep in mind that it’s quite difficult to surf your way off the wave when you feel like it.

Oftentimes, when the wave arrives, it’s fair to say that you’ll be riding it all day. Your goal is to alleviate the falls and try to maintain as smooth of a ride as possible. If you can coast throughout the day without falling, consider yourself having experienced a minor depressive fit. When you wake up the next day, make sure that you maintain positive thoughts from the moment that you open your eyes, so that you don’t give depression and its associated wave a second run for its money.

You are not in this alone. Always feel free to engage with The DSM Ready Community for help and support!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am The Master Of My Depression

Depressed white woman wearing bunny ears outfit with hands covering face

Positive Affirmation: Controlling Depression

“I am the master of my depression because I don’t deny its existence when its wave comes upon me. Rather, I experience its associated symptoms and do not attempt to fight back, and realize that I am truly in control of it by reminding myself that I am stronger. Depression may strike at any moment, but it is I who still hold the keys to my mind and it is I who am the master of this ship!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Isolated Heart

Isolated sad man sitting on brown wooden windowsill across buildings

Searching For Connection In A Time Of Crisis

The alarm rings precisely at 8:00 am. Your eyes open to the same four walls surrounding your physical presence. As you sit up in bed and look outside, not much movement can be observed . . . you’re still in a state of quarantine. You start to wonder if your mind or your heart feels more isolated. You quickly feel it in your chest, “My isolated heart at it again.”

You wonder if anyone else is feeling this way: isolated, broken, lonely, sad, miserable, hopeless and anxious. Does it even matter if anyone else is feeling like this? You can’t reach them anyways. Texting and calling feels superficial at this point. Your interest in virtual connections has been saturated; it feels superficial and distant.

You just want someone who can understand and share your pain. But why would you want others to share your pain? Isn’t that evil? Perhaps at this point in time, social distancing is making you bitter and you no longer care for others. But then your mind starts rationalizing on how your heart has gone crazy.

Usually it’s the other way around; your heart attempts to correct your mind which is prone to experiencing evil thoughts. But during this coronavirus pandemic, your isolated heart is becoming susceptible to evilness. Your mind is already affected by evilness but it tries to salvage your heart because it knows that without a pure heart, it will let you down.

And there you are stuck in the middle of three components: a fragile mind screaming for substances as a form of entertainment, a depressed heart that is now bleeding tears rather than oxygenated blood and you. You are the third component who has to quickly get your mind and heart under control or you will go down with them.

But how do you avoid going down? You stay positive during times of adversity and you connect with people who can understand your pain and who are going through a difficult experience themselves. When we connect and share hope and love, nothing can bring us down. This is one of the goals of The DSM Ready Movement.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Depression Dripping From Your Heart

Depressed man with hand on face sitting in front of chessboard

Tired And Depressed

Daylight saving time kicks in at 2 am. You wake up and think to yourself, “Is this supposed to make me happier?” You roll back to sleep in a different position as you entertain what might possibly go different today. Immediately, a negative thought pops into your mind, “Nothing will go differently cause you’re lame and have nothing to do.” You close your eyes as depression drips from your heart.

You finally get up, wash your face, brew a cup of French Vanilla Starbucks coffee and eat some honey crunch cereal while watching more negative coronavirus news on the television. You actually get a kick out of the increasing numbers of coronavirus fatalities, thinking to yourself how you’re not the only one suffering.

But then you quickly correct your thoughts and remind yourself that it’s never right to wish bad upon others. But then you wonder, “I feel bad for others but who feels bad for me?” As you jump into your routine activities with the hope that today will be better, the feeling of boredom and sadness slowly resurface.

You also feel tired and it’s only 10:43 am on a Saturday. You just don’t know what to do anymore. You’re not suicidal and you would never take your life, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get out of this rut. You hope and hope that life will throw you a few milk bones and help you get out of this emotional disaster.

You’re sick of depression dripping from your heart; at least with a heart attack, you go to the hospital and hopefully recover within 24 hours. With depression, the feeling can linger for years at a time. This is worse than a heart attack! Depression is like being tortured 24/7 with no end in sight. Sometimes the only means of coping with depression is pulling out a bottle of Smirnoff. But then you remind yourself, “This won’t do anything either except make me more depressed in the long run.”

While some people require antidepressants or psychotherapy to improve from depression, not everyone needs these treatments. Don’t be quick to jump on a medication because there is no such thing as a “quick fix.” The true way to defeat depression is to dive within yourself and find out what it is that is truly bothering you.

Only after you make the identification, do you place yourself in a better position to defeat depression. Only then can you squeeze the remaining depressive juices out of your heart and urinate them away forever.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Feeling Lonely On Friday Night

Silhouette of lonely man standing on railing of building in front of body of water and city

Lonely Feeling At Home

One of the worst feelings to experience is coming home from work on a Friday evening to an empty apartment. After working hard the entire week, the last feeling that you want to experience is loneliness. But loneliness is very common; more common than you would think. But some of you are not buying it, thinking something along the lines of, “I don’t care how other people are feeling, I’m the one who is suffering. For all I know, other people may be doing fun things, while I’m home alone!”

This is a common mental battle which we all experience: believing that others must be living their lives while we’re at home suffering by ourselves. This is a misconception that you must remove from your mind today! Never assume that others are having fun or are happy; this will only make your situation worse.

So many people are in the exact position that you are in. They wish that they would have a group of consistent friends or a significant other who they can happily spend time with on the weekends. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. Life takes you through many different cycles.

These cycles can change at any minute: one day you are in college with your closest frat bros; the next day, you’re 30 years of age and single at home on a Friday night. It’s just the way the world works. But sitting and moping around won’t change your circumstances.

What will change your circumstances is a positive mindset, a strong belief in change and actions! Without a positive mindset and strong beliefs, it becomes very difficult to see any meaningful changes in your life. But positivity and beliefs aren’t enough; you need to implement your beliefs and turn them into actions.

Actions are probably the hardest to apply because it involves changing your habits and ways. And the older that you get, the more difficult it becomes to implement new actions. When you’re young, you have more curiosity, energy and drive to have fun, meet new people and go out to new places.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still do all those things when you are older; it just requires a bigger effort. If you are feeling lonely on a Friday night, then remind yourself that you are not alone! We are all in this together. Learn to put aside the negative chatter in your mind and enjoy your company. This phase shall one day pass too!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Feeling Sad During The Holidays

Portrait of sad man's face in the dark during the holidays

No Pleasure During The Holidays

Sadness is not at the level of depression, but can still be painful enough to cause you to feel no pleasure, especially during the holidays. If one is depressed, they’ll usually have their appetite, sleep, concentration, energy level, movements and thoughts affected; many can no longer attend work.

But if someone is sad, they feel unhappy, lousy and do not find much pleasure in the activities which they once enjoyed. Many people feel sad during the holidays for various reasons:

  • They have no family to be around with
  • They have no friends to be around with
  • They are lonely and not surrounded by good company
  • They are battling an injury that is providing them with great physical pain
  • They are sad about other events in their lives
  • They are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder

. . . and so on. There is no one universal reason for feeling sad during the holidays, and there is no psychiatric diagnosis that combines sadness with the holidays. But sadness during the holidays does not necessarily mean that it’s a coincidence. The holidays are meant to be a time when close ones gather together to laugh and have fun!

Someone may know in advance that they will be spending the holidays by themselves, causing them to feel sad from ahead of time. When the holidays do arrive, they find themselves deprived of their spirit and joy; it’s as if they have turned into a living mummy. Their self-esteem goes out the window, and any motivation to derive some pleasure from the current situation is killed on the spot.

If you are experiencing sadness during the holidays, know that you are not alone! There are many people in your shoes experiencing the same feelings. Do not start to entertain suicidal thoughts due to the belief that you are a “loser” and by yourself; do not give depression power.

Even those who are around a boat of friends and family members may feel sad. A lot of times, sadness has nothing to do with who you are around with. Why do we hear stories of wealthy people and celebrities dying from drug overdoses? They had everything at their fingertips.

When feeling sad, find a way to become comfortable with your own presence; especially if no one is available for you to talk to! When you learn how to become comfortable with just “you,” things will start to feel better. And you can always contact The DSM Ready Community for love and support!

Happy holidays!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)