“You deserve to have a good life! Being kind to yourself means that you follow your bliss, stand up for yourself and live a life that would make you jealous. Being kind to yourself means that you treat your heart with respect, forgive your errors when necessary and punish yourself only when needed, only when encouraging. Bing kind to yourself means getting up each and every day and leaving the shit out of your life…..I know that some days are cold, rainy cowards and I know that some nights are twisted, vile adventures. I know that sometimes, somewhere, life will gain the upper hand, push you down and wind you up. It has happened before and it will happen again, but don’t fret. Don’t worry. Don’t surrender. Keep your chin up and keep you hopes high. Keep going, keep moving forward and through all of the storm clouds and strong doubts, through all of the heartaches and mistakes, through all of the love taken away and through all of the obstacles and oblivion that you overcome, keep in mind to just be kind, just be kind, just be kind…” – Long Distance Love Bombs
My doctor has said to me for many years that I am very good at looking after others but very bad at looking after myself, which means that it is very unlikely that I am ever kind to myself. It is hard to be kind when you are depressed and you are feeling lousy, when your heart is heavy, your negative self-talk is constant, when its easier to give up than keep trying, when you always want to punish yourself because in your mind you are always to blame. It should definitely be easier if us depressives could just be kind to ourselves and I am sure if we could we would.
Respecting ourselves, forgiving our errors, and not punishing ourselves is some of the hardest tasks that a depressive can do, because it is these very things that are at the forefront of our minds when we are depressed. If we could get up each day and leave the shit out of our day and out of our life we would be a long way down the path of recovering because these very things would be the foundation of positive self-talk, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
Even if the sun is shining it seems like for us every day is cold and raining, every night is filled with twisted and vile adventures brought on by our nightmares, insomnia, and the constant self-talk in our minds. It always feels like life has the upper hand upon us, pushing us down, and winding us up adding to our depression, and making life seem so unbearably hard and it never seems like there is ever a reprieve. We might be to tired and depressed to worry but we have most certainly surrendered to the Black Dog, and allowed a dark fog to shroud our work in darkness.
To tell any depressive to keep your chin up and keep your hopes high maybe in kind, but to us it isn’t that simple, it is the same as telling us to snap out of our depression, you just cant do it, that is the life of being a depressive. But what we do inevitably is keep going, we might not do this very well but we do keep going in some form, we do survive, and we can recover despite how hard it is too move, how great the storms are, how much the doubts consume us, no matter how much our hearts ache, and the mistakes burden us. We have felt love only for it to be lost, even the love for ourselves, but we have always managed in some way or another to get over the obstacles eventually.
What we all must do is just to be kind to ourselves, we are kind to everyone else so why can’t we just be kind to ourselves, and it definitely should not be so hard to do. Our greatest enemy is ourselves, our biggest obstacles we make in our own minds and the one pushing us down and winding us up the most is ourselves. Yes we are our own worst enemy.
So how can we be kind to ourselves? I wouldn’t suggest that you aim for the sky, think you can move heaven and earth to be kind, but I do suggest that once every day you do something, no matter the size, something that is kind to yourself. Your mental illness does enough to you without you not being kind to yourself. Stand in the sun and let it shine upon your face, sit down with a cuppa and a good book, go for a short walk in the garden and smell the roses, hug your kids, go to the shops and buy something special, or have a nice meal. These are just small things, to be kind is just that, to do the small things that bring you a positive, enjoyable feeling.
You are probably sitting there like I do often and thinking I can’t do that it is just so hard, its too exhausting, I am too depressed but if every day you try to do one kind thing for yourself then it is the start of the baby steps to feeling better, to reaching that road to recovery, and losing that bloody Black Dog that just, at the moment, wont leave us alone. I have been where you are, there days when I am still there, I am harder on myself than I should be, and rarely do I do something kind for myself, but I am going to try and take my own advice and do something kind to myself so the burden of depression and the tiredness of my day doesn’t consume me and my negative self-talk can in some way turn a little positive even for a short time.
Just be Kind. Just be Kind, Just be Kind.