I thought I’d share with you today an experience I had yesterday.
If you’ll recall I recently posted about mood drops and how there is always a reason for them.
Yesterday we celebrated my adult son’s birthday. It was a nice time although he was kind of quiet.
By the time we got home, my mood had dropped. I started evaluating the “kind of quiet” and gave it meaning that had no basis in fact. I took it personally even though there were five other people sitting at the table.
I saw the future and if something happened to my husband, how I would be alone. My son would ignore me. (I have a daughter and we are very close but she lives about 2 1/2 hours away.) I saw myself as uncared for, unloved.
(This is the same person who lovingly cared for his grandfather (my father) as he grew old, visiting him, taking him out. Who moved his mother-in-law close by so his wife wouldn’t have to travel every time she was needed, etc. Who this last weekend allowed his nephew with Down syndrome “examine” him with his “doctor’s kit” for a long time.)
And all this because he was a little quieter than usual.
Do you see how ridiculous that is?
I know I can be super sensitive and I was a little tired as thunderstorms had kept me awake the night before. That’s two strikes. I should’ve reminded myself of that but sometimes I forget to pay attention to these things.
As I’ve posted before, I worked hard to overcome depression and I know that catastrophizing and over-generalizing is something I do very well. I immediately began to examine my thoughts in the light of reality.
So I chose to remember all the family trips he’s invited me on when my husband has been gone on a job, the times I was asked to accompany him and my granddaughter to the movies, the times he’s asked me to run errands with him, etc.
He is the superintendent of a school and it is a tough job. There are weeks he puts in eighty hours because he believes in being totally involved in his school and his community. So I should’ve asked him how his day was but instead I took his “quietness” personally.
But do you see how easy it is for someone prone to depression to take something as minor as this and blow it up to something major?
Depression can be selfish. It becomes all about us. Someone says something and we negatively react to it assuming it’s about us. We’re in a group and feel we are ignored because no one is talking to us even though it’s as much our responsibility as it is anyone’s to converse. Once again, it’s all about us.
All of us, depressed or not, would fare so much better in this world if we’d just let things go and not take innocent remarks as those they ar were arrows meant to pierce our souls. We protect our vulnerabilities as those they are precious gifts when in fact they are millstones around our necks.Rebecca Platt
When you sense your mood dropping, think about this example and see if you can follow my process.
Remember, just because you think something doesn’t make it so. Thoughts are not necessarily facts.
God bless and have a good day.
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