An entry from my journal on February 1, 2007, one week after I had changed psychiatrists and was meeting almost daily with a psychotherapist.
“This depression is worse than anything I had thought. My thinking is so distorted, I don’t know how it can ever change. I am living in a nightmare.”
I learned so much in three weeks with the psychotherapist, and the new psychiatrist treated me as a person and not as a body to experiment on with “witches’ brew,” as my previous psychiatrist called the concoctions he was prescribing for me.
What I learned is that I needed to work on four stops and four starts.
The four stops:
- Stop inordinately thinking about myself all the time.
- Stop trying to figure everything out.
- Stop defending myself.
- Stop always needing to be right.
The four starts:
- Start giving up obsessive control over my own life and the lives of others.
- Start being less intense and more laid back.
- Start replacing excessive pride with humility.
- Start accepting the universe.
One doesn’t make such drastic changes in a day…or even a year. It took three years to incorporate the stops and starts into my life on a consistent basis, until I could finally say, “I have triumphed over depression.”