Typically I don’t write about my “inside world” on my personal blog. A little ironic. I much prefer to pursue life outside my head. When you fight depression there always seems to be scenarios floating around your head. “You hurt me so I’m putting a wall up.” and that’s one of the more sane ones. You drive yourself mad when you spend time with people who bring drama to the mix. That’s a hard life lesson for anyone but when you fight depression it’s excruciating. We tend to over think our responses. “Am I being too sensitive?” Here is what has taken me 48 years to finally learn:

1. Listen to your instincts when first meeting people.

That means your heart not your head. Don’t judge people. (Interesting fact: we sometimes judge people’s traits negatively when those traits mirror our own exact traits) Your instincts aren’t your conscious thoughts. Instinct is an inner feeling that we quite often ignore. Have you ever met someone and instantly there was something you could’t quite put your finger on but it felt like a warning. Of course we over think things and assume that’s our “insane brain” speaking. So we continue making a new friend. At some point, later in the relationship, you realize there was a reason for that warning.

2. It’s better to have a few good friends than a long list of acquaintances.

Seriously most people want to be popular. We want to be accepted. You show me one popular person and I’ll show you ten of their good friends who will run them down behind their backs. Does a person who’s fighting depression really need this? How do we live with this? WE DON’T. We cultivate the good relationships and have a fleeting contact with the poisonous ones. Or no contact if possble.

3. Always be kind.

That doesn’t mean be a pushover. It means think before you speak or act. When you fight depression this is so important. Take a minute…. 1…2…3… OK. Did this person actually mean this or is this my reaction? Insane brain doesn’t always know the difference. Before my diagnosis and treatment for depression I embarrassed my kids, and myself, terribly on many occasions. Hell, maybe I still do..LOL!

4. Beware your own expectations!

In a relationship what we expect from people is often not realistic or fair. It happens and we don’t even realize it. We are attracted to certain people in our lives not only for our likeness but for our differences too. How does this relate? We have all been raised and lived differently. The common thread in our lives is that we have all been taught to “treat others as you want to be treated”. Is that not full of expectation? Be aware of yourself and the people you care about. My hang-up is manners. It’s a simple social nicety that shows your consideration for those around you. It’s shows respect. I was always taught, and taught my children, that you never eat around someone without offering some to them. It’s pretty simple. Probably goes back to the Depression Era…but who knows. I digress.. LOL. My point? This one simple thing is just an example of how misunderstandings happen. Suppose I have a friend who was never taught this way. Do I take great offence? Do I act or react? Who owns this “problem”? See…expectations? On the flip side: Never miss an opportunity to celebrate someone who exceeds your expectations. Enjoy it!

5. You reap what you sow!

This is the most important point. Hypocrisy doesn’t become anyone… just saying. During my most trying times I tend to cocoon. I don’t want any more drama. I have had enough. But at what point does it become extreme? Am I just wallowing in an ocean of self pity? The only way out of a pity party is through the front door. Just get up and walk. Much harder than it sounds but it’s a sound principle.

When the fog starts to clear again you realize that if you want to change your issues you have to work at it. Your money situation sucks. Do SOMETHING. Want to brighten your day? Smile at all the people you encounter. Just a simple smile. No matter how you feel. It may brighten someone’s day and it is certain to brighten yours. Trust me on this one. The point to my rambling? If something is making you unhappy do something about it. Maybe you can’t fix everything but you can make changes to live with it.

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