In the last week or two, I sort of took my eyes off the brass ring and found myself struggling mentally. Not really a “true” depression, but I believe if I had not re-focused my thoughts it probably would have led me down the road to a full blown depressive episode.
I know the cause of this mental struggle. May was Mental Health Awareness Month. I really enjoyed the opportunity to help bring awareness to the stigma that surrounds people with mental health issues and things we can do to eliminate that stigma. The best way I found I could do this, was to share my own struggles and challenges. The problem is I have only been in depression recovery for a year, and the experiences, thoughts and feelings that I shared are much rawer and closer to the surface than I thought they were. I started concentrating on the negative and that is when I took my eyes off of the prize.
Fortunately, I am blessed by an abundance of people who, without even knowing they are doing it, remind me that life is good, and that I should take stock of my blessings so that I can turn my focus back to the positive. One way to stay focused on the positive is having realistic goals for mtself, and Chere Michelle’s blog post about Realistic Goals reminded me of that this morning.
My prize, (or brass ring) is a feeling of satisfaction, and feeling good about myself. I know that sounds incredibly selfish, but without those feelings I am no good to anyone. Without those feelings, I start concentrating on negative thoughts and feelings, and withdraw from the people who mean the most to me.
What I decided, after reading Chere Michelle’s blog post , is that I would set myself five goals or objectives. Each of these goals will be obtainable, but at the same time, they will provide me with enough challenge so that I will also learn something. I will be able to use these goals to keep my focus on the positive, and I will have something to feel good about.
One thing I am going to set as a goal is to get to know my parents better, especially my father. I have been awesomely blessed to be able to create a new and positive relationship with my mother and have started to get to know her better. It has been beneficial to both of us, because we now have a friendship that never existed before. We also help each other out in ways we never did in the past. Since I have allowed my mother into my life, it feels as if she has become my greatest supporter. I want to create something similar with my father.
He is getting older and his health is not as good as it used to be. I do not want any regrets when it comes to our relationship, so it has become important to me to work on it. That means, I need to start devoting some effort into getting to know him. Not only will accomplishing this goal make me feel good, I think it would also make my father feel good.
Kicking my anxiety disorder in the butt and not letting it control certain aspects of my life anymore is something I want to accomplish in the next few months. I really think this is a realistic goal because I have the tools and know what to do to conquer it. I just have to get the motivation to do what needs to be done. I have been putting off tackling the anxiety order head on because it makes me feel uncomfortable. It is time that I choose to be a uncomfortable, so I do not end up being stuck in the house again because of my fears and anxiety.
As difficult as it may be, I want to strive to get at least one paying writing job. It may take a long while for this to happen, but I am Okay with that. I really enjoy writing and I would love to be able to start a career that I can do from home. More importantly, being able to make money doing something I enjoy would be a dream come true.
Becoming more proficient at using positive words and phrases when I talk is something that I want to accomplish. I have become very aware of how powerful our words can be. I have noticed that if I cloud what comes out of my mouth with negative or even passive words , then my thinking lines up with that. My thoughts start heading toward downward spiral. If I can keep the words that I speak more positive, then my thinking will be more positive and I can ward off a depressed state of mind much easier.
I believe the most difficult goal I have set for myself is accepting that the people I love are going to do what they are going to do, and there is nothing I can do about it. I just need to accept their decisions, no matter what I think about them, and move on. I need to stop worrying about other people’s decisions and actions, love the person unconditionally, and be there to support them if the decision they made causes things in their life to go awry.
As I review my list of goals, I see I have some work to do. That is good. Putting effort into accomplishing my goals will allow me to appreciate and take more pride in them than if they were easy to obtain.
I will keep you up-to-date on how I am doing with my goals.
What five goals would you set for yourself? Why did you pick those particular goals?