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Monday, September 27, 2010

I Have so Much Catching Up to do with the Normal World

Dear A.B.,

I've made it through three full weeks at work full time and to be honest, it's been extremely hard.  I thought it would get easier but I seem to be struggling more.   I do give my best shot at earnestly applying brainswitch or mind exercises and try to focus on work, but those damn old patterns always make a way in.  Now certain project deadlines are approaching and it is causing a lot of anxieties.  I intellectually understand everything you teach, and that I should have the power to choose every thought or choose not to follow downer thoughts: not to give them any power over me.  Yet, I cannot seem to brainswitch most of the time. 

I come home completely shattered ( and yes, I refrain from thinking I'm tired ) and cannot do anything but lie in bed like a zombie.  Still, I know this is better than not working, staying in bed and ruminating in depressive thoughts, but I just wish or pray that it would get easier, that I would succeed in brainswitching,succeed in getting off that depression track.   I feel like I have so much catching up to do with the so called non-depressed "normal world".  I realize how much I was stuck in a dark hole for a while.  I do have moments where I feel the switch work, and feel the bliss and relief of "normalcy" but most of the times, despite the effort to brainswitch, it feels like Im just pushing through or forcing through the day in a very depressed state, hence its terribly exhausting and nerve wrecking. 

Would you have any advice to make brainswitch work better or more often?

I so want to make this work and alleviate the pain, and follow through with my commmitments.
Regards, Y___________

Dear Y________

It is a start to brainswitch by choosing nonsense exercises so you can escape the depressive thoughts and feelings for short spaces of time. It is good that you have learned you can escape the agony as an act of will. It is a first step to be able to escape those thoughts for a few minutes to interrupt the depressive patterns. You have started to build a neural pattern that you can count on. It will always be there, even though you do have to do the work of activating it, over and over. Yes, it is hard work for awhile. But remember how many years you have spent in depression?

You can learn brainswitching in a short space of time but it takes a while to build yourself a new life to take the place of the old depressive life.  In addition to just switching out of depression you have to start building more extensive nourishing life, focusing on some work or community activity or creative project or some normal entertainment like a book or a movie for longer and longer periods of time. Depression has been your life for so long that it is a good part of your brain's make up. 

Remember the story about the lawyer who started selling newspapers?I wrote about him in the book Depression is a Choice:

A Kansas lawyer says he healed his depression with “the power of work,” after being on a steady regimen of antidepressants “from Prozac to Serzone” for almost five years. He now sells newspapers  for a living and says, “the truth is, this job is saving my life.”13 Except for some side effects, he said, drugs “have been my safety net, stopping my free fall into madness.” But no more.  Not since a friend “threw him a life-line” after he had lost his law practice and offered him a job delivering newspapers.  To his surprise the lawyer found the hard physical work cheering. When he left the warehouse to deliver the papers to vending machines, gas stations and supermarkets he began to “catch glimpses of small joys.”
“With friendly greetings and idle conversation,” says the lawyer, “these people (customers) whose names I still don’t know began to draw me out of my darkness...For all the insight and help I’ve received from drug therapy and psychotherapy, I still have feelings of worthlessness.” But with this new hands-on, physical work that hard grounds him in the routine workaday world with his fellows, day by day, little by little, the lawyer-turned-paperboy begins to feel more and more “confident.”
You can do it too. 

A. B. Curtiss

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