Over the last couple of years, there has been much more coverage on the issue of mental illness. Finally, a number of celebrities and public figures have come out and told the world of their inner struggle. The message is clear: when you are going through the darkest times, share it… there are many going through the same thing and many more still who will be there for you.
It occurred to me recently while talking to some close friends that for me there are two essential, indispensable qualities that really helped me when I have struggled with such issues. From the outside, I suppose I was being resilient but the way I think about it is that I was making a bet and I was being patient.
MAKING A BET
When I talk about making a bet, what I mean is that sometimes when you are feeling depressed, you do not see other possibilities. Like I have mentioned before: ‘You don’t think negatively. You believe negatively.’ By believing negatively I am referring to the fact that when you’re depressed or anxious, you are certain that the worst is true or the worst can happen. There is no doubt.
Now I’ve talked before about the importance of seeing depression as a liar. To me, I was betting that I was wrong in all the negative beliefs I was experiencing. I was betting that I would eventually feel differently. I was betting that everything was going to be okay. Whatever you are feeling and however much you are struggling, it is critical to bet on yourself and bet on the future getting better. Since the way you feel makes it impossible for you to be 100% sure, you sometimes have to make a wager. Making such a bet will result in you winning. The bet does not require you to invest any money. Instead, you bet hope on it. You choose to believe it.
In order to win, you also have to be patient. By patient I mean that you have to let yourself experience whatever you are experiencing and wait as long as necessary to come through the toughest times. Being patient ensures that you become able to hold on long enough to see your bet come to fruition. Basically, patience ensures that you invested hope wisely.
The darkest times that we face never last. To handle them, make a bet that everything will turn around and you will be okay. Then, be patient and bide your time until it is. With this attitude, you can start to take charge of your life and bend the will of the world in your favour.