Getting rid of the emotional silent Stalker
Copyright 2016 Shannon Malaka
You've decided that you have been struggling with depression long enough. Today is the day you finally get help even though you've been to doctors and therapists, looking for answers. The high cost of health care, taking time off work and just seemingly spinning your wheels is not something you want to repeat. You want help. You know you need help. But where to find help? There has to be an easier and alternative way to be free from the silent monkey on your back that is invading your every waking moment and space of privacy.
Getting healthy shouldn't be so expensive and hard should it? And then there's the times when you did take the prescribed meds that seemingly took forever to work. When they did kinda, sorta, uh maybe work, you had side effects to deal with. It didn't matter that the meds came with a waiver, but the lung pangs were scary enough to make you rethink your decision. Talking to therapists helped a bit, but finding time to talk was an issue for you all on its own. You are a wife, or a mother, in a relationship and your time is not always your own. Your job makes enough demands on your time as it is. No, there has to be a better way. Is there a better way?
Is there even a cure for depression? That's all you really want. You want what you want and you want it now. That's not to much to ask is it? Isn't there somebody out there who knows? Can't anyone help? Talk is cheap and you are weary of those who talk the talk, but have they actually walked the walk? Your attitude is put up or shut up. Your therapist wanted you to talk, and you don't want someone blowing smoke up your assets so they gain a leg up in the world off of your emotional turmoil. Okay so now the solution seems bleak. Your attitude begins to convince you that hope is not to be found.
Just wait a moment please.
know you are depressed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure
out your symptoms and yet all the things you've tried so far are not
allowing you to succeed and punch through the barriers that hide hope.
Doctors are doctors for a reason, but come on! why doesn't their
expertise help? All you want is to feel whole again, to get over the
slump, to rid yourself of the ho-hum feeling that quickly has turned
into an empty void of nothingness in the hollow pit that's left inside
I get that because guess what? I've been there too. A cure would be good right about now as you are on the edge and can't take another moment of negativity your heart is drowning in. You are slowly being robbed of your happiness, your right to life by this intrepid senseless unseen marauder.
The people who do take the time to notice don't offer the help you need. They take your issues as a stab in the dark and offer a dart that feels more like a dagger dripping in honey. This is the hope they offer: Chin up things will get better. Things are always calmer after the storm. or You will get through this, the troubles are only temporary. How are any of these helpful? You know they mean well but in all honesty it would have been better if they didn't say anything. Their words are patronizing when you know they aren't intending to be, but that's what depression is like; one sees life from only the side of negativity. Happiness is feigned more than it is authentic.
You know what you are, and yet it , this depression is becoming who you are. You are in need of help as you do care, but depression is winning the battle to dictate to you that you don't. It's an oxymoron and a part of the merry go round of apathy; the emotional silent stalker's modus operandi.
"GOD! WHY WON"T YOU HELP ME!!" You suddenly scream out in desperation. Silence. You are always answered by His silence. The silence is what convinces you in that moment and every other moment that maybe you are beyond hope. Help is not for you, not from Him anyway. It's time to embrace your destiny and try to survive another day, this is your awakening mantra.
Just wait a moment please.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?
You are not alone. Many of us women (and men and children) suffer from depression at some point in our lives. In fact 1 out of 6 people are diagnosed with depression but it is believed the numbers are much higher as many people suffer depression in silence and are not clinically diagnosed; I was one of those people who suffered in silence.
Depression is a mood disorder and is not a life sentence. I call it the emotional silent stalker syndrome as it is what I believe to be a natural response to specific demographics within our personal environments. These specific demographics come from outside ourselves or within. How we cope with these demographics comes from a precursor response within our upbringing. This doesn't need to be complicated. The basic understanding that I've learned in healing myself of depression is that depression doesn't just happen. Depression begins in a subtle way. It happens because we do not take care of ourselves because we don't know how to. While we may have had wonderful childhoods, somewhere along the way we've lost how to or never have been shown how to nurture ourselves. This makes the reason for depression our fault. We are the reason why depression exists within us as we are the problem. Because we are the problem we also are the solution; with God's help of course. Before you become offended, let's look at this objectively. No one else but you is enduring what you are living through. All the actions, and reactions you undertake through out the day are yours and yours alone. Would you agree to this statement?
If you are in a relationship of some kind, this can be a business partnership, a marriage, a friendship, even a romantic relationship, you and only you have the experience of that relationship from your personal point of reference. Only you can meet the needs of you and your partner from your perspective. It is unrealistic to assume conflicts will not arise, but it is equally unrealistic to assume a solution to those conflicts from the opposing role. In order to do so you have to step out of your frame of reference to meet them in theirs and this is absolutely impossible to do. Trying to meet unrealistic expectations will always set one up for failure that can and often leads to depression. Conflict with any individual can be addressed in one of three ways:
- How can the other person right the wrong?
- How can you right the wrong?
- How can you both right the wrong together?
This conflict resolution assessment can be applied to any area of one's life as it is helpful in gaining insight and alternative perspectives on problematic situations.
Depression is extremely isolating. The silent stalker isolates and separates you from anything wholesome and healthy. To rid yourself of this intruder you have to become your own personal advocate. It is up to you to address the conflicts that only you can address.
How do I right the wrong?
Most of our outside environmental factors we can't solve on our own. We do what we can through compromise. However compromise is a two way street that most often times we misunderstand. To compromise is to mutually agree with the other party. Both of you have to make some sort of concession. What this means is that in compromise an individual's needs cannot go ignored. But that is what we do; we ignore or forsake our own needs in order than another's can be met and this is the main reason why depression sets in because in compromising ourselves completely we become the problem.
In order to nurture yourself, you have to do one of two things:
- Not compromise
It is up to you to see the value and benefit of compromising and when not to do so. It is also important to recognize that what you once thought of as compromise; by putting another person's needs before your own in a manner that was unhealthy is what it means to enable, placate and coddle someone's behavior. It does not allow them to take responsibility for their own actions but leaves you instead shouldering the burden which is directed at you.
All you are responsible for is what you can immediately change. It is your obligation to effectively alter your environment in such a way that better helps everyone's needs involved; including your own. You are a part of the equation and never should you be omitted out of it. Sometimes you have to force a situation into compromise in order that your needs are somewhat satisfied. It's okay to do this. Being assertive to a certain degree allows you to make healthy decisions that help to set up healthy boundaries.
"Problems that involve YOU always have a solution. It just takes time finding out that solution that satisfies your needs."
- Shannon Gilmour
Sometimes the outside demographic that we assume is the source of our depression is not. In fact most often times outside sources are merely triggers for what is deeply rooted within. What appears to be an outside of ourselves problem is actually an inside of ourselves issue and can only be solved looking inwardly. No one likes to be told that they are the source of the issue, it hurts to be told that we are to blame. No one said this form of healing would be pretty. It's going to get ugly, but we are in this together so don't count yourself abandoned- ever. Words may hurt, but the truth is, the truth does hurt. It has to. It's a necessary benefit because living a lie has been what has been placating the core of your being and it isn't working. It is helping the world around you and the people in your personal environment to get away Scott free while you fall to pieces. Today is the day you discover your freedom and I am really happy for you!
In order for your depression to retreat into remission, you have to take a look at you; your actions, your reactions and your expectations on life, people and yourself because this is life's requirement of you. This is your inherent natural responsibility. It is required of you as it is required of every person. You have to measure you by your own moral standards. You have to self assess frequently in order to maintain a healthy mental and spiritual balance. The fact that depression has a grip on you shows you that you have not been an effective or active participant in maintaining your own self maintenance regime. That's okay. It's not too late to start. Once you establish a routine, it just becomes a part of you as this actually establishes a foundation of inner trust for yourself and of yourself.
PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER:
Step 1: Make a list
- At the end of your day set aside some quiet time to reflect on your day's activities. List the things and people whom you have made compromises with where your needs were NOT satisfied.
Step 2: Conflict resolution
- Now with each item ask yourself how the wrong could have been made right.
Step 3: Boundaries
- Write down some possible solutions that involve areas where you could compromise and areas where you couldn't ( or shouldn't.)
Step 4: Taking responsibility for yourself
- Look at each scenario and ask yourself if you were enabling, or placating. How could you have stepped up and owned your voice in these times in an assertive way?
With consistency you will begin to see subtle changes in your interaction with others and how you perceive yourself along with the situations around you. We all have to start somewhere and sometimes making the smallest amount of effort produces monumental achievements. The important thing is to remind yourself not to focus so much on why you are depressed but how you have become depressed. Why seems like an impossible question to answer especially if there is not one specific item to address your depression with. How involves action; why leads to assumptions.
Now that you have begun to address key behavioral issues that took away your boundaries, it is time to focus on reclaiming them and making them stick. Boundaries should be glued to you like your shadow. You are the keeper of your boundaries and no one gets in or out unless you sanction it. This is what advocacy means. To become your own advocate you have to literally stand up for yourself and take a pro-active approach to your needs. You have to do this while being assertive, while remaining polite and respecting other people's boundaries also.
Attention to detail:
How well do you know yourself? You may assume you know yourself pretty well. This maybe true but how much do you really act on the things you know about yourself? You may like a specific hobby, but do you actually participate in that specific hobby? If you don't participate in that specific hobby then you are not allowing yourself room to grow. You can't know yourself when you are stagnant. Depression breeds in stagnancy; it thrives in it. The fact that depression uses you against yourself to build up walls around itself in your heart, shows you that depression always intended to take up residence and occupy your living space for as long as you allow it to live there. Depression is the silent stalker turned squatter and now it's time to tell it to vacate the premises. You can't just tell it to leave; you have to give depression the opening with an escort. You have to be the one to open the door and lead depression out and you have to close the door behind it and lock it. 'click'.
Standing in front of a mirror ask yourself this one important question:
"How can I help you today?"
This may seem a bit weird to do, talking to yourself, but there is nothing crazy about it, unfamiliar, perhaps but crazzzzzy? no. This is actually calling to your attention to be mindful of important boundary keeping that goes overlooked with constant neglect. If you are still apprehensive or do not know how to answer, reassure yourself with these words while looking at yourself in the eyes.
" I am here for YOU."
It is important to honestly reassure yourself as you begin to believe in yourself once again. You are strong, you are worthy and very capable of achieving greatness by standing in your authenticity with integrity! You go girl! Be present and stay present. Make you your focus for AS LONG AS YOU NEED TO. There is no time limit on getting your health back. Sometimes being honest with yourself initiates intense feelings of resentment where you want to address past issues and lay blame on yourself. If you feel yourself retreat back into the past, now is not the time. There will be a time to heal past wounds but right now, it's best to stay in the present and address the now. How would you answer yourself? How would you like you to help you? Keep in mind the information you have already learned from this article; the key take away points to be mindful of are:
- How can you ask someone to take ownership of their responsibilities and right the wrongs?
- How can they help you right the wrongs?
- What can they offer for advice that will enable you to take ownership of your responsibility that will help right the wrong?
- How can you be assertive in a compromising role?
- What kinds of boundaries are you willing to put in place and not allow yourself to compromise in the way of loosing your wants and needs?
If you notice, taking back you from the hands of depression is about placing healthy defense mechanisms in strategic positions that protect your heart, mind, and body from getting hurt.
" Self empowerment rids one (over time)
of the defeatist attitude."
Self empowering personal discussions allows you to address personal issues that are hidden below the surface of your awareness. These issues are locked away in your memory that you may not be able to recall. Your mind has a personal defense mechanism; conveniently 'forget' but in forgetting your heart hangs onto the emotional attachment as emotional baggage. This is where you feel something deep within emotionally but do not know where that emotion comes from. Sometimes people and situations have a way of triggering that emotional attachment within us. If you find yourself more agitated about a situation more than what you should be, or if someone has a way of pushing those proverbial buttons to which you react in a way that is out of character, these could be triggers. How to call out triggers is to address these reactions in front of a mirror and speak out loud the first thing that comes to your mind. This can be painful so do this only when you have put a bit of distance between you and depression.
You have decided you have been struggling with depression long enough. I agree with you. Depression is a silent stalker that doesn't make itself known until you are well into its debilitating effects. I can't begin to describe the horrible feeling depression forces you to feel; it's like you have no control over your mind as your thoughts are not your own. You are trapped in your thoughts and you want out, but when you reach out no one understands. I understand and I truly hope this article on my own self help discovery has helped you to understand that depression is not a life sentence. It is intrusive yes, but you can take back your power and force it to leave just by taking back control of your heart and mind through personal emotional self investment.
Today, I have shown you some key steps in healing yourself of depression and by daily committed effort, depression will subside and you will be free from the dark thoughts, the bleakness and your journey of self discovery will replace hopelessness with hopefulness. You will find a renewed bounce in your step that is authentic and truthful and there will be no faking it. You will feel like you again reborn and oh, those days where you have questioned God, you will suddenly discover that you can hear His voice! Today is the day you have decided to take your life back by taking charge, and I am so very happy for you! Congratulations!
About the author:
Shannon Malaka is your spiritual coach and mentor helping you to posture yourself in life upright with the word of God. She is an independent author using writing as an outreach tool to help those who are struggling through life's issues. It is Shannon's endeavor to make a positive impact by leaving moments of clarity and deep self awareness through biblical insight. By sharing with the public her own struggle's in life, Shannon desires to reach the hurting and help them come to know the love of God in a way that is both inviting and secure.
Aside from the teachings of Christ, her next greatest influence is the life of Paul. Shannon desires to become an effective leader and teacher like him to help spread the message of love and peace for God's children.