Saturday, February 1, 2014

Proof that talking through your problems really does help you

The other day, Craig and I were talking about my returning depression symptoms.  He recognized some early warning signs and brought his concerns to me.  Remember the Google doc I linked up last year?

I am so thankful to have my husband.  I know he does not understand completely.  Yet, he still makes an effort to understand the best he can.  He is a hundred percent male; he thinks, talks, and acts like a man…obviously.  But he does not summit himself to stereotypes.  Because he loves me and wants what’s best for me, he continues to die to himself and to his own desires.  He is patient.  He will listen when I need to talk.  And he constantly offers loving support and affirmation – not only just during the tough times.

During our conversation, I was lamenting that nothing was working anymore – none of my coping skills were helping me cope.  I felt broken, hopeless, and discouraged.

We came to the conclusion that I need to update my list of coping skills.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Clearly, if they’re not working then the list needs updated, right?  I love my sensible, logical husband.

After this a-ha moment, I realized once again how important it is to talk through my problems with other people.  Sometimes, all my focus is on the road block and not necessarily how to get past it.  Talking to other people helps put things into perspective, or helps to get a new perspective altogether.

Craig and I discussed many helpful things to try.  For starters, I’ll come up with some new coping skills to help me deal with my depression during the winter months.  Most of my really good coping skills are centered around being outside and sunshine…things everyone is lacking right now.  But if I can come up with a list of five or six things I can do inside during the winter, it could dramatically reduce my anxiety about my depression.  (Wait, what?  Who talks like this?  …reduce my anxiety about my depression?)

Below are some options I am going to try.

New Winter Coping Skills List:
Hot Bath or Shower
Listening to music
Confession or Spiritual Direction
Exercise DVD
Going to the Library
Reading or listening to a book on CD
Watching a funny movie
Make a cup of Tea/Coffee

Well, it looks like I’ve got more than five already.

It’s been a cold winter and exercising outside is unrealistic.  Yet when I need it the most, it’s too difficult to get myself to go to the gym, the YMCA, or anywhere else where I could exercise inside.  I have a few workout DVDs (Pilates and Stayball routines), but they only make me more irritated.  To get that endorphin high, I need something that keeps my heart rate up and gives me a good sweat.  I was talking to a friend about this exercising dilemma and she offered her Insanity workout DVDs for me to borrow; more proof that talking through problems helps you solve them.  (If you’re not familiar with Insanity, the name alone should clue you in.)

I also met up with a good friend who has been through a lot of the same things that I have been through.  It is always reassuring to speak with someone who understands what it’s like, first hand.  From time to time, I need that affirmation that I’m not going crazy, I’m not losing my mind, and it’s not the end of the world.  There is no comparison to solidarity in suffering.

On another occasion, I met with a different friend and we exchanged good book recommendations.  Just the thought of having a list of new good books to read makes me smile.  She also helped me tap into the abundant digital library resource where I could have new books with the click of a button.  Um…where have you been all my life?!?!

The reason all my friends are getting shout outs today is because I’m trying to prove a point that talking to other people really can help you deal with your problems.  I am saying this to myself as much as I am saying it to whoever reads this silly blog of mine.

I could not have come up with these solutions on my own.  My brain gets stuck like a broken record, a one track mind kind of thing, and I can’t move past it.  Only by talking to other people can I move beyond the problem and work toward finding an answer.

If I keep reminding myself that I am not being a burden to them, then I will be more likely to reach out to others when I need it the most.

1 comment:

  1. It's such a blessing to have helpful, caring people in our lives, and I'm glad to hear you're feeling a little better with the help of your loved ones. We are truly made to be in community with others!