Depression & How to Heal

Beyond Depression

Depression and You

My intention for this hub is to give you valuable tools to use, for those who suffer from depression or living as a shut-in. if you are a shut-in, plus experiencing depression. The majority of these suggestions have arrived from my own experiences in both areas. I created four agreements for myself to live by, which have been a major advantage in my recovery.

Depression was not a stranger to me. It is a condition that I have dealt with the majority of my life. Most of the times, depression crept in because of a life altering change, other times there was no reason. I have struggled with this for decades, but recently I have become medicine free. I am not allocating this for anyone. Medicines have their purpose, and I would never advice one to stop them. My last major bout with depression occurred during the year my husband was dying, and the six years that followed. The depth of my depression resulted in his death, the loss of all our possession, and me losing everything of value to me three times within that period. Eventually, I did move near my adult daughter, but a situation came up and I found myself living isolated. She moved out of state, and I knew no one. There was no transportation where I lived, and I do not drive. With the blessing of one neighbor, I was able to buy groceries for the month on one day. My life becomes bleak and my heart was filled with an ache so deep, because I was yearning for human contact. Life was dismal for me, and at that moment there seemed to be no way to exit my lonely situation.

I decided to seek interaction with others via the Internet. At least there was this venue, and I could have conversations with others. This, in my opinion would help my days go faster, but this proved to be a faulty decision. There was always someone to converse with, but what I discovered was that most of them would spend hours speaking only of their problems. Their day to day living activity seems to never reach my ears, just the echo of their pain. Coupled with my own physical ailments and depression, visiting on the Internet eventually started to make my nerves raw, from the overwhelming consistent verbiage of others disturbing events. They didn’t wish to speak of anything, except how they have fallen victim to this person, thing or event. All that I was getting from these conversations were others’ pain, which soaked into my own misery. This was not what I wanted or needed. I was seeking to find a way to live a quality life, which I did through trial and error. This I accomplished through my four agreements. The outcome was my ability to embrace this period with love, versus disdain.

My Four Agreements to Myself

  1. 1st agreement was to become selective each day on what I choose to focus on.
  2. 2nd agreement was to embrace my past, but to not life there anymore.
  3. 3rd agreement was to make healthy choices on who I would associate with each day.
  4. 4th agreement was to re-invent me.

You can change yourself

Depression and You

Have you ever had depression that lasted for a few months or more?

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Learning To Value Now

My 1st Agreement

The first agreement placed my focus each day on what is healthy for me. This agreement resulted in my ending friendships on the Internet with those who wanted to dwell in their misery. The belief that any company is better than no company had to be reprogrammed. I came to realize, by associating with those who dwell in their victimhood, would only encourage me to do the same. In making this decision, I had to find other people on the Internet to chat with, and I have discovered there are plenty who seek growth. Like attracts like was one adage I have learned well, and made sure that I did not lead conversations with my own sorrows.

I also had to creatively discover areas to focus on that brought me pleasure and joy. Even though I spent 24/7 alone, excluding a couple hours once a month, I knew I had to find ways to make each day enjoyable. This area was what led me into re-inventing myself, which I will discuss in the 4th agreement.

The Past is gone

Source

My 2nd Agreement

The 2nd agreement was to embrace my past, but to not life there anymore. This has been my hardest agreement to honor, and one I still wrestle with. However, it is getting easier to not sit for hours reliving my past. Our past is over, and only the memories remain. To live in those memories only though will prevent you from writing new chapters of your life. This is cheating you out of living. I have many lovely memories regarding my late husband, with our daughter and our friends. These memories are cherished, but cannot be relived. He for one is gone. I am in a different state from our friends and my daughter, who lives in a different state, is now a grown woman with her own life. People have moved on, and if you remain in your pages of the past, you will miss the present and future moments with them. An important key here to remember is you do not want to hold them prisoner of your memories. This is manipulation, and if you wish to be happy, manipulation will always work against you. Leave the past behind and begin to write new chapters.

Loving Me more

My 3rd Agreement

The 3rd agreement was to make healthy choices on who I would associate with each day. When we are at this vulnerable state, we must protect ourselves by making healthy choices of who you will have in your life. If a person only sees you as someone to confine it, think hard about that. Yes, it may seem like an honor at first that they trust you, but if nothing else is shared, and then what really is the dynamic of this relationship? When you are a shut-in, it is even more important to be picky on what you will allow in your life. If a friendship or love relationship is so unbalance that all it brings is negative emotions to you, than ask how this really serves you. Yes we all need someone to talk to about our problems, but we need so much more. We cannot afford to live constantly in a world of troubles, for eventually your days and nights have become consumed with pain. As you choose your friends and relationships, remember too that they are not there to hear only about your problems.

Another major area, especially for shut-ins on the Internet is we can become easy prey for predators. It happens, and you must be aware of it. It happened to me, and by the grace of God, I survived. Predators are very smooth, and they seem to sense us, so become informed. There are articles on sociopaths that are worth reading on the Internet.

Taking Risks

My 4th Agreement

The 4th agreement was to re-invent me. This has been the most creative and pleasurable agreement. I had to pull deep within me what areas interest me. The challenging part was I forgotten what use to excite me, because my passion in life for decades was being a wife, mother and the areas that underscored that. One passion though still remained, and one I knew my husband tried to get me to develop. I always wanted to write. There were other areas that I discovered as well through my journey of self-discovery. I love making collages on @Picasa. I would make them for friends and send via email, place a few on Facebook, as well as creating vision boards (picture affirmations) for my goals. There were areas that I still wanted to learn, so I started to read all I could via the internet. A year ago, a girlfriend gifted me a Tablet, and now I have books at my disposal. I am in love with Amazon’s Kindle.

Helping yourself out of depression

Have these steps inspired you to heal yourself?

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Making me Happy

Living My 4 Agreements Today

I do hope that these four agreements that I made to myself will help
you, as you cope with being a shut-in. They are just a beginning, and it does
take time, allocating many small steps. I have physically moved, a year ago,
yet there are still some areas that I am still adjusting too. Walking is not an
easy task for me, but I have been passionately involved in healing my own knee.
There has been definite progress. I do have a mild case of social-anxiety,
which use to not be so mild. I have been using techniques to overcome this.
Each day I am still using these agreements, as I move forward in my life. The
majority of the days are still spent alone, with the difference being in my
perspective. I have embraced being alone, because I can devote enormous amounts
of time to my writing projects, as well as other projects. There is one major
difference though, and that is I do have friends here, who do take me to the
store weekly, and I go over to my neighbors for a couple hours a week to play
Dominos. I am able to get out a little more with friends, yet if I do too much
socializing I tend to become ill. This is a reminder to me to take things
slower. I cannot catch a bus yet, because of my knees, however I am fine with
the amount of independence I do have. It comes down to how one perceives their
life. Even if you cannot change your living conditions, I believe these four agreements
can still aid you. They will help you to change your perspective on life. When
this is done, you will attract new and better opportunities. You will start to
have more days filled with the passion to live your adventure

More by this Author


Comments 7 comments

roc6 profile image

roc6 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

Thanks for an interesting hub, my dad had surgery and this year they both rely on me for most things. Lately he does not even want to drive, but it is his choice. It has been quite a strain on me, as people get older they tend to think of themselves only.


Renee Abbott profile image

Renee Abbott 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi roc. i am sorry to hear about your dad. I am older, actually 60 and hate relying on my daughter. Perhaps your father is still in coming to terms with his limitations. Perhaps you can help him remember his positives? It is a hard position for you both and i do have the understanding regarding the frustration behind it for you both.

I do know a lot of people in my age group and older who do not enjoy being dependent on any one, especially there children. Just sometimes, they forget there might be other options. Best of luck to you on this, and thank you for presenting your viewpoint on the other end.


seedplanter 5 years ago

You've raised such good points. I have had older friends throughout my adult life, who were shut-ins. You are SO right about the importance (and necessity) of human contact. There's nothing worse than feeling like nobody cares.

I can tell you have a loving heart. It's a pleasure to find you here and to read such a tender-hearted hub. Bless you!


Renee Abbott profile image

Renee Abbott 5 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you very much Seedplanter.

Sometimes human contact is not possible and it is even more important during those times to stay in the positive and get involved in something that makes you feel like you are living.

Thank you again,

Renee


Renee Abbott profile image

Renee Abbott 3 years ago from Arizona Author

I have updated this, so I could add how life is now, as I continued on the same process. I also explained more of the process that I used.


sabina_canada 2 years ago

what a wonderful wonderful website. I had been looking up the definition for 'shut ins' and found your site. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and steps with us. I am not a shut in but have had a rough time recently plus I believe my daughter is leaning towards being anti-social. Great ideas. I will print it out and pass it on.


Renee Abbott profile image

Renee Abbott 2 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Sabina

I wish you well with this. It saved me:)

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