“IF only I hadn’t made that mistake…”
“IF only he hadn’t slept with that woman…”
“IF only I had been more careful…”
What do these three sentences have in common? They’re brooding. They’re analytical. They’re unnecessary. They’re dependent on the PAST. And what happens if we get stuck in the past? It increases the probabality of depression. You know why? Because we cannot change the past, and anyone who lives in the past knows the feeling of helplessness in not being able to change it. Wondering what would have happened if this or that had happened is pointless. Will it change anything? Fix anything? No. Don’t set yourself up for INEVITABLE disappointment. Having depression myself, I realize there is no easy fix, as some would believe. But MAYBE, if we ridded the word “if”….
Now, there are two dirty demons who wreak the most havoc in the brain–one we’ve already covered, meaning lucky #2 must be…. ANXIETY.
“What IF he doesn’t like me…?”
“What IF I end up going crazy…?”
“What IF I have a panic attack and my friends think I’m weird and don’t want to be my friend anymore and then I’m alone with no one to turn to and then I kill myself?”
And what do these three sentences have in common? Read above answer, but replace PAST with FUTURE. How many nights have I wrestled with that small, insignificant, fragile two-letter word? I have to admit, the epiphany for this post hit me last night, and I was too excited to start writing it. Because it makes so much sense, doesn’t it? It makes the problem sound so simple. All anxiety/depression-related issues stem from the word “if.” And, ya know, like chemicals and stuff…
Clearly, this post is meant to be a bit humorous–I realize getting rid of a word won’t take away the feelings associated with depression and anxiety. But doesn’t recognizing the connection give you some perspective? Doesn’t it prove we’re our own worst enemy? Again, I am not implying that depression or anxiety can be cured or should be taken lightly. But as a victim myself, I think it’s important to start the conversation…
If only we could figure out a way to wholly dedicate ourselves to the PRESENT, we might start living…