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Sunday, September 8, 2013

I Need the Reassurance that I will Be Happy Again

Ms. Curtiss:

I am ever so grateful to have been able to discover and purchase and read your book, Brainswitch Out of Depression.  It has already helped me redirect my thinking even though I only purchased it less than a week ago.

I was in the midst of a depression when I purchased the book and your techniques are helping me climb out more quickly than I would have on my own.  In fact, I'm sure, without the book I would be sliding further in.

I do remember reading the part about how some people told you your techniques were helping them manage their depression but that they still didn't consider themselves happy.

I have some happy times in the last few years that I hope I will have again but right now I feel like I need reassurance from you, for some reason, that I will attain and maintain the happiness I have felt in the past.

I have a supportive family, husband and group of co-workers; I am taking fish oils and B vitamins daily; I am exercising daily; I am eating well and trying to limit sugar; I am meditating daily (using the Jon Kabat-Zinn program)...so that + the Brainswitching seems like a good plan to stick with.  Being patient is hard and last Thursday night I felt the most hope and inspiration I have felt in a while...and then today not as much; so I find that hard.

Any thoughts, advice or reassurance?

Thank you SO MUCH for writing your book.  I have never understood depression before and now it makes total sense in the way you describe it.

Thanks for all your help thus far. M

Dear M

I haven't had a depression hit for quite a while. Last night, for no reason at all, I felt hopeless, helpless, useless, pointless and the world was not a beautiful place anymore. I thought immediately to myself. Crap, I'd forgotten how horrible this is.

And I got immediately busy doing whatever was my chore at the time. It is an ingrained habit of mine, for a long time now, that I automatically spend no time at all in the ompany of the depressive thought or feeling. I don't fight it by refusing  o think it in an aggressive way. I acknowledge it calmly, not really with a yawn, but with a sense of I've been here before and pardon me I'm not interested. And I recognize my depression when my depression is triggered in the earlies possible stage now. Since I am so used to being completely okay, I immediately notice the downward shift. This time I just said Yuk, and kind of turned away like you might do if you saw a bit of dog poo on your path that you didn't wish to step in.

A thought is basically what most depression is, a thought that you don't have to think. Anxiety, or PTSD caused by drug use (doctor prescribed or street), where you can't get out of the fight-or-flight mode is a little different. It's agonizing whether you think it or not. For this you need serious nutritional supplements to restore your endocrine system.I've had experience with that as well though I haven't written about except on my blog. However, once cured, that seems not to repeat itself. I guess as long as you keep up the nutrition, which I have.

What was always helpful to me, when I used to get depression hits more often, was recognizing that I was not the only one. That millions of people felt just as bad as I did at that very moment and I would pull myself up and get going to help all the others as well as myself. You must immediate reconnect with  "the other," if not physically then at least symbolically. You could say something to yourself like, okay me and you can do this together.

You can also pray to God, if you have that going for you. Even if you don't pray to God to enter your heart, you can even recognize your own heart, your own perfectly okay center by putting your hand on your heart and bringing you awareness out of your thinking to just being there with your own heart. It is very calming. Try it right now. Just
put your hand on your heart, close your eyes.

If you really concentrate on doing that and relax into it you will find that your whole body bends forward and relaxes and you sense new connection with life, with everything.. Even with another person over the Internet showing you how you are already, deep inside, okay..

About happiness. Striving for happiness is putting your psychological system under undue stress. Happiness isn't something you can strive for. Happiness is your okay self being freed from your anxiety to get happy.. Happiness is a feeling, it is getting something you want. It is not essential like your essential okayness that, now and then, in its calm acceptance of "what is" is the very center of love itself. You don't want happiness if you really examined it. What you want is to be able to connect to life in a loving way. To see life as beautiful again. You, yourself are made of the very love you
seek. But it is covered over by your anxiety that you don't have it.

I would suggest you also read my book Depression is a Choice. You can often get that
for a dollar or two on amazon. And meantime I will always answer any specific question you have. And I do not charge for that.

The difference between me and other people just starting to steer themselves out of depression is that I don't get upset or alarmed if it hits me. Anymore than I would get upset at some dog poo in my path. It's there, okay, walk around it don't rail at it and ask why it's there and think about it and wish it wasn't there. All of this attention just makes it stronger and stinky, you end up trying to stomp on it and you get it all over your shoe.
A. B. Curtiss

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