I have posted on this subject before. It is relevant in my life again, but perhaps at a healthier level. I have grown in my ability to press past fear and pain, and just do things anyway. Do them while you are scared and/or hurt.
This advice came to me from an unlikely source, at an unlikely time, when my life was falling apart. I was paralyzed by fear and would often stay in bed for days, feeling I could not face the day or anything in it.
The advice was simple, “Why don’t you just do it scared”? By ‘it’, the teacher was referring to whatever life task you were dreading at the time. Whether it be brushing your teeth, working, exercising, going to an appointment, or whatever.
I had never up til that time thought of the notion of simply doing things scared or hurt. I always figured that fear or pain were indicators that what I was doing was a mistake.
Fast forward to a couple years later when ads for the anti-depressant, Cymbalta, started airing. Now, I am not on Cymbalta, nor any other pharmaceutical anti-depressant, nor do I even know much about it. But the ads jumped out at me with their amazing representation of what depression looks and feels like. The blank stares, the pain, the preoccupation with darkness, the loss of interest and motivation in pretty much everything.
The pics in the this post are all from Cymbalta ads. Why? Because I related when I saw them. They described verbally and visibly what I felt.
Thank God antidepressants didn’t work for me. The numerous side-effects made me a bigger mess than not taking them. But this ineffectiveness forced me to look for other answers. Most of them non-chemical.
My strain of depression turned out to be largely cognitive. Non-medically speaking, my thinking sucked. And I had rehearsed these lousy patterns of thought until they were embedded deep in my subconscious. They became my defaults and I suffered because of them. So did my family around me, not unlike the image of the child onlooking his depressed parent above.
I revisit this topic because I am fighting some negative thinking these days. So I am going back to basics. I am making sure I am eating and sleeping the best possible. I am filling my mind with positive thoughts. I am keeping positive company. I am taking some natural supplements that help me a lot.
And where some hurt or depression work their way in still, I just do it scared or do it hurt.
It is amazing when you confront an enemy how puny he becomes. A line from an early episode of the TV series Mad Men was, “Our greatest fears lie in anticipation”, speaks to this point.
Pressing through the pain, and just doing it even though you hurt, or are twisting with fear, is probably the way of many a great achiever.
I am grateful today for the coping tools I have picked up in my journey of recovery. And for how quickly they are effective if I pick them up again.