Having depression, anxiety, or any other mental disorder often brings us to our all-time lows. We are self-destructive. We lash out emotionally. We end up burning more than just bridges. Though it may be a huge roadblock to your healing, it’s not impossible to get past it.
Accept Your Situation
The first step to dealing with any problem is to acknowledge it. Don’t treat it like it’s taboo – own it and own up to it. Start by retracing your steps. Recall what you did and analyze it. Ask yourself why you did that. Pinpoint what specifically happened that lead you to do that. Did that person say or do something that made you feel bad? Was there something else that was bothering you that day?
This can help you break down the situation and figure out what the real problem is at its core. This can also help you identify what makes you tick, making you more aware of your attitudes and actions.
Now that you know more about yourself and your situation, you can begin the process of forgiveness. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. The important thing is that you rebuild step by step. Take it slow. Find an outlet through a hobby or one of your passions, and just relax. Show yourself compassion and kindness. Give yourself permission to enjoy. Let go of what happened and realize that what’s done is done. Realize that all you have control over is now and tomorrow. According to Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D., “The strength of forgiveness has been shown to have a powerful buffering effect on stress. Those who are highly forgiving of themselves and others have a far less chance of having a mental illness.”
After you’ve come to terms with what happened, you can now start doing something about it. You can start with the people who are involved in the situation. Ask them out for lunch or coffee, and personally run through what had happened together. “Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful.” Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist says. Explain your side. Help them understand that there are certain things that bother you. Afterward, listen to theirs. Be as understanding as you’d like them to be to you.
You can also have them break down the situation so they can figure out what really happened from their point of view. Now that you both understand each other, apologize. Say, “I’m sorry I did that. I’m sorry I made you feel that way.” Once you’ve both said all you’ve needed to say, you can start to move on together. Talk about how you can change the way you treat each other. Figure out a system to solve your differences.
Move towards a direction that will lead you to a better way of life. Create a support system for yourself. Seek counseling. Surround yourself with supportive people. Find resources on self-healing. Always remember that we are defined not by our mistakes, but by our resilience. “Self-care is what we do for ourselves in order to better manage our stress and maintain a sense of balance. It is an on-going process and something we should be implementing daily rather than waiting for stress to completely overwhelm or overtake us.” Melanie McNally, PsyD, LCPC explains.