When I was trying to heal I reached a point when I felt like my medications were as stable as they were ever going to be and yet something was missing. I still had suicidal thoughts and I couldn’t figure out why I was still so depressed all the time. Nearly everything in my life was going right and I felt terribly guilty for being depressed for no reason.
Near the beginning of the semester (of whatever year that was) I came across a book that talked about self-sabotage. One of the exercises was to write down all the ways you can think of that you’re sabotaging yourself. I brushed it off initially and figured I could do the exercises in my head, if at all.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I re-visited that chapter of the book and gave it a closer look. This time I decided, what the heck, I can use one sheet of paper writing down some thoughts. Maybe it will help.
So I wrote down every single terrible way I was sabotaging my health, my relationships, and my own recovery process.
Afterward, I felt so much better. I felt a sense of completion. An ending to something ugly.
After that point, whenever a suicidal thought or a thought of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m a worthless loser” came into my head, I told myself that I was sabotaging myself and that I wouldn’t allow those thoughts into my mind anymore. I decided that my mind was for pure thoughts only, and anything reminiscent of sabotage would have to be escorted off the premises promptly.
Each time I thought about how my depression would never get better or how I could never be around people without crippling anxiety, I pushed the thought out of my mind, recognizing that it was self-sabotage in its finest moments.
I replaced the negative thoughts with self love instead. If I had a suicidal thought, I would tell myself that I was enough as I was and that everything would be ok and that I would get better.
I cannot begin to tell you the incredible effect this had on my life. Recognizing my own self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors and replacing them with self-love and encouragement completely turned my life around and made me happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I went from suicidal to absolutely joyful (of course, therapy and being on the right medications helped too, but that alone was definitely not enough).
So I encourage you to, yes literally, write down all the ways your thoughts are actually sabotaging you being happy and then cutting off your thoughts mid-stream and replacing them with something positive.
You can do it.
If you’d like more depression tips, you might also be interested in our 30 Day Negativity Detox. 🙂