There is such a thing as being too nice, too giving and too caring. To overcome depression you must stop the habit of bending over to gain people’s approval. I know, it’s easier said than done. But no one said it’d be easy.
Those who are affected by depression tend to be people-pleasers. And yet, ironically, quite often their actions are viewed by others as selfish and self-centered. For over three decades I believed in that crap myself. I believed I was selfish and self-involved. I was convinced I had nothing to offer. I also thought that it didn’t matter what I thought. That my opinion was less important than anyone else’s. It seemed as if I was always living someone else’s life.
Finally, after two major brain seizures caused by a suicide attempt, I stopped living someone else’s life and looked deep within…
Someone Else’s Life
I was the child who was “too young to understand things” and therefore to make decisions. My life was run by the grown ups, who weren’t able to see the serious damage caused by the primitive belief such as; “children should be seen but not heard.” Then later, I became an young adult, clinging to any guy who’d find anything whatsoever appealing in me. At that time my looks seemed to have the only value in the eyes of others.
I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t who I am. I was a “slave” to anyone who was willing to have me in their life. The fear of rejection always steered my thoughts into the direction that led others to benefit from it more than I did.
How tiring was that!? How exhausting it is having to constantly put others before your own self! And how little reward you get at the end of it…
All this, so you can can keep deluding yourself that someone cares about you, at least enough to stick around. For a while, at least… ’til they get tired of it.
Then what do you do when the inevitable happens and when they leave? You blame yourself, of course. Consciously, or subconsciously, your already low self-esteem gets reinforced. It spirals downward in a lightening speed and you get even more depressed, thinking that there is no tomorrow for you…
Well, there is. And it’s a bright one, too!
You’ve heard the phrase: “You teach people how to treat you” but you’ve ignored it so far. Maybe because when you did try to stand up for yourself it always seemed to have back fired. You might even had finally snapped and told others to fuck off, which they deserved to hear, only to find yourself being labeled as too aggressive and not “lady-like.”
Well dear, who the f**k gives a damn? Who cares what others think and, or say? Let me just remind you – it shouldn’t be you. There is only one person in this entire world whose opinion should matter to you, and that is YOU and you ONLY.
There is only one person in this entire Universe that needs your pleasing, and that person is you.
There is only one person who needs your caring the most, and yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s you again.
Just remember this: if you care too much – others will care too little… If you remain too available – others will always remain too busy for you. Without even being apologetic about it, people will always make you wait for them, making you feel as if your time is not nearly as valuable as theirs. You get the picture…
You will encounter resistance from those around you when you start making those long-overdue changes, but that’s OK. Have fun with it. See that sense of amusement on their faces and that sense of disbelief… Stare back at them without blinking.
Be prepared to deal with the consequences of having the courage to do what’s right for you. In your mind let go of the fear of not having that job in case your boss decides to fire you. Maybe it means it’s time to do something else for a living.
Be ready to let go of your significant other if s/he continues to refuse to treat you in a new, more loving and respectful way.
Make yourself OK with being alone for now. Make yourself comfortable with being with… YOU. Get to know yourself. Find out exactly what your needs and desires are and then become unstoppable in fulfilling them! Be selfish. You’ve been accused of it so many times before, now it’s time for you to show others (and yourself) how selfish you can really be! Show them that you mean business…
Renounce the guilt. Let go of it. Completely. It’s time to release it.
Be your number one. Be bold. Be spontaneous. Learn to be yourself in every situation and around everyone.
This is how you start to love yourself…
About the Author
Now residing in Honolulu, Hawaii, Polish-born Elzbieta Pettingill is an author, former fashion model and survivor of depression. She suffered abuse and rape in her childhood, and was subsequently diagnosed with a depression that followed her from childhood through to adulthood. Let down by the medical and psychological establishments, Elzbieta finally realized that only she could change her mind, and finally overcame her depression in her 30’s through a process of conscious spiritual awakening.
Elzbieta’s story forms the basis of her book, “Life Realized”, available here on Amazon.com.
**This article was originally featured on Elzbieta’s wonderful blog The Gift Of Depression. If you enjoyed this article, please consider following her.