Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Not What It Seems

I did It... It was changed... It became new, saying goodbye to the old, stale It.

I've come to realize over the last few weeks that I can change It ~ if, and only if I make a conscious decision to do so. My It needs to stay private for now, but I will tell you I thought It was going to be with me forever, unable to become new and different. I didn't think I had any control over It, making me hostage to It's behavior (and the behavior it created inside of me, making me lash out at those I love).

Sound familiar? Does your It feel similar?

It has been slowly growing, becoming somewhat out of control... or so I thought. "Out of control" is an illusion, though, as I've recently learned. It could, and will be controlled, therefore saving a hugely important part of my life. It was making me ugly, and making me look ugly to specific people who are close to me. Up till now, I simply thought,

"It's how It's going to be, so live with It... or move on."

I no longer think this way about It. I understand It CAN be wrangled, but It must be a conscious decision every single day. It can be weight loss, depression, alcohol and drug abuse... whatever is handcuffing us.

I have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic and heroin addict, who hit rock-bottom, living on skid row for many years. He said it only took him a week and a half for his body to come off the drugs, but it was his mind that held him back ~ his conscious thoughts. His day-to-day battle, he says, is to consciously make the correct decisions. He emphasizes consciously!

A few years ago, I battled through depression. It rendered me useless, making me feel like a robot: Wake up, go to work, come home, communicate with my wife with zero emotion, and go to sleep. I felt totally out of control... until that one day. It was the day I said enough ~ CONSCIOUSLY said enough. This was the day I decided to take back control, beginning with my thoughts, my conscious thoughts! No one could make this decision for me, yet everyone continued to tell me everything was going to be o.k., don't worry.

"Shut-up already! Let me be sad!" I thought. "I'll sleep as long as I want... leave me the hell alone!"

People ask me how I got to the point where I could stop being depressed. "Stop being depressed..." Funny sounding, now that I look at it this way. My answer: I would ask myself questions about my state of mind. First, how this happened. Second, what was I going to do about it. The second question (after asking it a million times) made a light go on in my head. If I could consciously ask myself what I was going to do about it, then maybe I could consciously do something about it... just maybe. That was the start of my end... my end of depression. I consciously created a new mindset. Depression would not, and could not dictate my daily actions.

(I'm not qualified to give an opinion on the use of medication for diagnosed depression, and am by no means discounting it's effectiveness).

My It was as strong as any alcohol addiction, drug or weight problem, because It controlled my every day thoughts and actions. I said to myself that what I was doing was inexcusable, and needed to be stopped, but it continued... why? Why did It keep on, even after I told It to stop? Until now, I never consciously made a decision TO stop it... to create a new way, a better way. When I made that decision, It instantly changed ~ not totally gone yet, but becoming gone, disappearing slowly with every conscious thought.

What's your It... and what are you going to do about It?


Erica Cano said...

my IT is thinking I'm invincible. i need to realize that i'm actually breakable and that i can't take sevenhundredmilion things on at once. Also i need to realize that I am the leading role in my own life movie and that i need to put myself first some times. my conscious decision needs to be believing I'm worth that happiness.

i love the questions you ask because they make me think about the answers. I think the key thing I want to take away from your blog is that there can be no answers to questions unasked. i miss the weekly monday texts i used to get asking me all kinds of questions that were fun to think about

Dayne Gingrich said...

Very good, Erica.

Now... whatcha going to DO about it?!


Midnight Whisperer said...

I love this Dayne. You are a fighter, so I have no doubts you will be able to battle whatever your It is; and you have such a wonderful support team to get you through It. Realizations are wonderful, powerful, sometimes angering, but always beautiful things.

I'm sorry I have been gone for a little while, but am glad to see that I have a lot of catching up to do on "Coach your Mind" : )

Going to get busy reading now...

spldbch said...

This is a fitting post for the new year -- making a CONSCIOUS decision to change something. I also like what you said about changing mindset. That's something I stress to my patients. The way we think strongly influences the way we feel. If we tell ourselves we can't do something then we're already defeated.

Deborah said...

This is a great post and I'm going to have a few of my family members read it. My brother who is a recovering alcholic for 20 plus years now just told me when I get up in the morning tell myself that I'm going to have a great day and he assures me it will work! I have done a lot of reading on positive reinforcments, happy messages to your self, as I say in layman terms!
I hope you and your famiy have a very Happy and healthy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Great post...and so true. I totally believe we can change alot of things with our mindset and what we tell ourselves. I don't think alot of us realize the negetive things we tell ourselves until we really listen.

Bendigo said...

Ahhh...I'm sure glad I read this post today. My IT is procrastination. It gets into every facet of my day to day in some form or another. Good intentions are not good enough sometimes. I do believe the conscious decision is imperative to make a change. I'm printing out this post and putting it on my desk, as a constant reminder of what I WILL do. Good Stuff

Dan Gurney said...

Good post. About depression: it can be helpful to notice that the awareness of depression is never itself depressed.

By stepping away from depression, or anger or whatever afflictive emotion you wish to deal with and looking at that emotion carefully, you can gain some space to maneuver and move towards happiness.

Dan Gurney said...

And, oh, my IT is a them, going by an acronym, SAFE. S for Sugar, A for Alcohol, F for Flour, (greater moderation in all of these) and E for Exercise, and more of that.

Anonymous said...


Phil-theincredibleshrinkingman said...

What an incredible post as always, an one that I can relate to such much, this time last year I was heading on a course of action that had many friend worried; until I got things straight in my head, had that ahh moment nothing my friends or family said would divert me even if what they were saying was perfectly reasonable.

Our emotions are so complex, so unpredictable sometimes that there is no simple solution other than to look inside ourselves, accept that we are flawed and open up to those who love and cherish our presence.

Thanx for this post Dayne.