Friday, September 3, 2010

Depression is a choice. With the exception of some kind of biochemical imbalance, run of the mill depression is a choice. It is. admittedly an odd choice, but it is one we seem inclined toward making. Depression is sort of the default option. It is what gets selected when no other option is consciously selected. If I am depressed today and do nothing to change my disposition, the chances are very good I will be depressed tomorrow. Not doing anything to change my disposition is, actually, an active participation in the indulgence of depression. This choice thing goes for all our dispositions, by the way. Resentment, Jealousy, Discouragement.... We do not, especially when we are in the troughs of a good depression, or resentment, want to admit it is a choice we are making. We want to blame it on someone or something. That is what makes it so appetising. The blame thing. There is always some one or some thing to blame for our disposition. The truth, however, as undesirable as it sometimes is to contend with, is that we are the ones in control of our disposition. If we are depressed and are choosing to do nothing about it, we are fully responsible for that choice. If we are making it, we are clearly getting something our of it. That something may be sick and twisted, but we go out for a lot of sick and twisted things for some reason. Here is something I do that helps me remember that my disposition is in my control. I go through a little exercise of putting my self mentally right exactly where I am. For example: I am in the exact location on earth that I am suppose to be. I am in the exact body and mind that I am suppose to be in. I am in a specific moment of time right now. There is no other place I can be than were I am. There is no other body or mind for me to inhabit. And there is no other moment to be in other than this one. Everything that has transpired up to this moment has created the circumstances of this exact condition. Nothing about the past can be altered in anyway - because it is past (with me so far? seems kind of depressing to this point. it's not really. It is intended to bring me into the present moment and help me come to terms with the "I am what I am" mantra of self acceptance. I find that a lot of my depression is passed in a dissatisfaction with what I am, where I am, stuff like that) Then I try to get my mind around the concept that the next moment is completely open to possibility. It may seem predetermined by the preceding moments, but in fact is not. The next moment has not been experienced yet and remains completely ripe with potential. This is where the choice thing comes in. I can choose to let the next moment be determined by the past moments. That is a valid and easy option. But, (importantly) I can also choose to create the next moment differently. maybe very subtly different, or maybe radically different. That is all optional. The point here is that If I have the choice to make the next moment different than the preceding moment, and I choose to continue on in my depressive funk, than I am clearly choosing to be depressed. But now I am conscious of making that choice, and I know I can choose differently if I want. Once I know this, I can begin to ask myself why I would choose depression from all the alternative dispositions available to me. What could motivate me to do that? Usually when I examine that question, there is no good answer. Being a reasonable person, for the most part, it only makes sense to me to make another choice. It amazes me how easily I forget that this is within my power to do. But I am absolutely certain, and have tested this conclusion, that I it is.


John Franks IV said...

Great Post, Much truth to it!

Now if I can take control of the chemical imbalances, then I can have the choices you do....

Not very likely but a noble goal nonetheless. I am on the edge of control of it most of the time. mostly the closest I ever get.

Funny how this works. The blame game works for everything in society any more.

No one is willing to take responsibility for their own actions. To admit one is to blame is a failure. So, Most in society adamantly search for someone/something else to blame.

Anything to avoid the truth and own up to their actions.

Self integrity, acceptance of our own imperfections and most of all the realization that one IS in fact responsible for one's own actions / feelings.

If this was the norm the world would be a far better place.

Those like myself who are (i hate to use the word) Disabled by a chemical/mental imbalance are at odds with this. I try not to blame my condition on my condition. I realize I am an anomaly. This does not give me the right to be completely irresponsible by any means.

It does allow me to understand that there are things I am not in control of. Dealing with them in a reasonable fashion is a horse of a different color.

Anonymous said...

I'm catching up with you. This post dovetails nicely with your first post, "Focus". I wonder if being present isn't an excellent avenue for avoidance. When I function only in the moment, the sticky strands of issues begun somewhere before & continuing unresolved have a lovely way of fading into the wings. Hi Randy.