During the years I took psychotropic medications for depression and anxiety, I continually felt out of control and held a negative attitude about my situation. No amount of pill popping could fix my general dissatisfaction with life. They didn’t make me want to stick around and make things better so I settled on a menial existence. The thing I wasn’t getting, that wasn’t sinking into my mushy medicated brain is that I’m responsible for my own happiness and creating the life I want.
I still needed to do the work in therapy. I still had to figure out how to be happy and actively participate in my life. Not sitting around waiting for a drug to magically kick in! The medications could only help so much. I had to let go of stinking thinking and the idea my therapist, psychiatrist, pastor, parents, friends, guru, etc…was going to fix me or make me all better. At the end of the day, every one is responsible for themselves, their own happiness and direction of our lives. I can be inspired by someone else’s story or inspiration but I need to do the work for myself to make my life better, peaceful, loving, or whatever it is I am wanting. If I want love and peace then I find loving and peaceful people to be with who lift me up. I let go of those who are toxic and only see my flaws. I look upon and read about those who are living a happy life to get more inspiration.
In my book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself!, I have a chapter called “I Am Not My Illness” because for a long time it was all I could see about myself. Because I was so depressed and anxious, I could not see myself any other way but it simply wasn’t true. The mental illness was a symptom of something greater that was broken in my life. Yes, it took a lot of people for me to reach the other side but mostly it took my own strength, will power and passionate desire for change. My invitation for each one who reads this blog is to find out what makes you happy no matter your circumstances. Look inside of yourself, what do you really want to do, say or be if there was nothing holding you back? Find a way to do it! Start by accepting and loving yourself today. Give yourself the love and acceptance you crave. People will love and accept you, but love and accept yourself even more!!
The holidays are upon us! For some it can mean heaven or hell! Whether I spend time with family or alone, I know there is one thing I can do to put my mind and self at ease. Yes, it’s meditation and it’s magical! Sometimes I’m anxious for no reason or something has triggered me and I need to retreat. Rather than letting myself spiral down, or go into negative thinking, I will take a miniature time out. Close my eyes, take some deep breaths and perhaps chant some words like “peace”, “harmony”, “love and light”! It really works for me. It helps me to stay calm or calm down and find my center. Sometimes I might need to get away. Step outside or visit the restroom. Some place to have a moment of peace or silence to gather myself. Whatever it takes. Sometimes people are celebrating a bit too much with the alcoholic beverages. Perhaps a difficult conversation comes up. Yeah I could get uncomfortable, try to change the subject, engage as long as I can and also remember to relax, breathe and enjoy myself. I try to remember the reason I am with family is to enjoy and celebrate the gift of life with all it’s ups and downs. It’s to make merry and enjoy one another’s company. To share love, peace and harmony with each one I come into contact with. Meditation really helps and it doesn’t take long to do. Just close your eyes, and take some deep breaths. Another phrase to say, “All is well.”
I spent so many years wishing to be loved and accepted but feeling rejected. I had this inferiority complex and felt dejected all of the time. I had many reasons for it. I didn’t have a strong sense of self and frequently didn’t speak up for myself. I had preferences but I thought I needed to do and be anything and everything for everyone else in order to be liked and loved. In the end, I was very lonely and hated myself.
Today I give myself love and acceptance. I speak up with what I want or what I like. I do little things for myself which for a long time I wished someone else would do. I be the friend to me I wish I had. I be the love I crave. I give myself time alone when I need it and when I want to be with others I go out and do that, too. I recognize my sensitivity. I don’t like a lot of drama. I like quiet. I can do noise but I can only stand so much if it’s not a noise I enjoy! I don’t plan to grow thick skinned either. I’m also an Army Veteran so I am tough enough.
It’s been a wonderful wake up call, getting to know myself and loving all that I am. I am all for love and acceptance now, starting with myself. It is a basic human need, and to love others, I need to fill my own cup first. I shine brightest when I’m my authentic self, not seeking the approval of others. If I’m down, feeling lonely, neglected and unloved, I remind myself I came from love. I surround myself with positive people who celebrate my uniqueness and awesomeness. Also, those who are aware of their own amazing self. I want to live in a world where we accept and love each other for no reason. I shine my light no matter what. I love myself. I am love.