Learning what I value in life and studying how I’ve strayed from my own values has helped me understand where some of my depression comes from. I am accepting that I’m flawed and unable to manipulate my past to my own advantage. Coming to terms with who I am, learning the true meaning of being me, I press forward and accept myself. Seeing for the first time the flaw in my thoughts, that I am not worthless, but instead worth many things to myself and other people.
I alone have the power to judge myself for my past. Feeling guilt is a self-conscious choice that I alone have the power to feel or not. Emotions like shame, feelings of low self-esteem, self hate, and allowing self-abuse are all in my power to change. Accepting that depression is a natural part of my person is the next step in the progression of my recovery.
The idea that depression is an okay state to be in is alien. When I first heard the theory of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) it didn’t surprise me or seem hokey. Instead it made sense, much like in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) where I was trained to turn the negative thoughts around into positive ones, ACT asks me to accept the negative parts of my past. This acceptance further grows into accepting the actual depression and allowing myself to stay in the mood and understanding it as a normal human emotion.
I’m still learning about ACT and CBT. My social worker gave me for homework a work book to read through about ACT. I’m hoping to learn more about living in my murky mind. I know there is no handbook to life, I know there is no hope of magical recovery, one day waking up with no more depression is not in my stars. I only want to be able to manage it better. I want to accept both emotional sides of myself as normal.