One Thing I Stopped Doing to Get Out of My Depression

Tom Handy

You need to know how to help you fight your own hopelessness

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With the virus, unemployment rising, and a forced change of habits this year, I want to share my story on how I broke out of my depression when I was a teenager. So you can get a better understanding, let me cover a few reasons that led me to feel depressed.

You go through life and nothing is ever picture perfect like you see in movies. Everyone has their good days as well as their bad days. The perfect script doesn’t always exist for you.

Growing up, my friends had both their parents who had steady jobs, lived in a nice neighborhood, and life was great for them.

While going to school, I tried hard to keep it together after everything I had gone through. Some days I could but other days I couldn’t and broke down.

Here’s a quick summary of the events.

  • At the age of 8, my brother and I received one Christmas gift and it was from a friend of the family. The gift was the game Battleship. That was the only gift I received since my parents were struggling financially.
  • My dad was fired from his job and I’m not sure of the exact timeframe if that happened before or after Christmas.
  • When I was about 9 years old, my parents separated.
  • My dad smoked and drank. I got mad at him one time when he took some change I kept in my closet to buy cigarettes.
  • At the age of 11, I moved in with my mom. My mom didn’t want me to have any contact with my dad. I lost touch with my dad for 23 years not knowing if he was dead or alive.
  • I transferred to a new school in 7th grade so I was changing schools for the third time in four years.
  • Over the next few years, I was picked on and teased. That is what happens to most kids in school who look different than the rest. I transferred to a predominantly white school and I was the quiet kid in class. I was also the only black kid in my class for the next six years.

Technically, I’m not 100% black. I’m half Korean. My mom came to America after she met my dad in the Army which he was stationed there for two years.

When she came to America, my mom was learning English. She never taught me Korean so I became her translator. I helped her understand different events and letters she received in the mail that she didn’t understand.

One day my dad sent me a letter. This was a few months after I started living with my mom. He said he missed me. I meant to write him back but lost the letter and searched everywhere for it.

Personally, I think my mom threw the letter away.

Then I found a family picture of my mom, dad, younger brother, and me. I took the picture and put it in a frame.

One day I looked at the picture and notice my dad’s head was cut off.

I realized my mom must have done that. She always complained about my dad and hated him.

When I was around 16 years old, I hung around a group of friends from school. There were three of us and we did everything together.

One day after school, I started to get depressed and really missed my dad. My friends could see I was sad and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t open up and explain my problems to them.

I didn’t think they would understand. Every so often I would get sad and miss my dad. Occasionally, I would break down and cry. Usually, that was when I was by myself when no one was around.

I started doing something other people weren’t doing

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Jim Rohn

I’m not sure how I started doing this or what prompted me to. I found a routine that helped me get through school and life in general. As an adult, this may be hard to do but I will tell you a couple of ways that may work.

When you’re young, you are still growing and learning. It’s easy to make changes in your everyday routine. You can transform from Clark Kent to Superman and avoid the kryptonite to keep going.

The one thing I started doing was I would not think about the bad times. I started to block those events out of my mind. After all of these years, I still don’t think about the bad times or try not to dwell on them for too long.

It’s easy for someone to let the bad times get the best of them. Some people let the bad times affect them and then drown in themself alcohol or drugs as an escape. I never used drugs so I can’t speak on that.

When you try to block out the bad times, it helps you stay focused in life. There are so many good opportunities in life that outweigh the bad. When you sit and focus on the bad times, you’ll let your emotions and thoughts get the best of you.

My personal outlook on life grew through books and videos

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Socrates

When I stopped thinking about the bad times, I started to look toward the positive things in life. A little over 20 years ago, I started reading. Reading was another escape for me. This became an extension of my life as I drowned in the positive habits of successful people.

I started to read books on positive tips and habits. I became a junky reading books by Robert Kiyosaki, Darren Hardy, John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, and others.

As videos started emerging on YouTube, I would listen to these people as well. The motivational tips helped me and made me a stronger person.

Actions for you

“There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.”
Brian Tracy

You may have suffered through some bad times this year or in the past. To change that, you have to change your outlook on life.

Life is not bad no matter how bad you think it is. Someone in life has had it worst than you. Whatever you’re going through, someone else is having a worst time than you.

These are three steps you need to follow:

1. Start your day listening to a motivational video. Stay away from the news and social media. You need to fill your mind with positive thoughts.

2. Read a motivational book or the Bible or other spiritual material if you’re religious.

3. If you listen to music in your car, you need to stop. Instead of listening to music listen to a motivational audio.

Sometimes you have to change what you feed yourself. If you sit around and listen to the news, politics, and other doom and gloom, you’ll feel down and depressed. When you feed yourself positive information, your outlook is the exact opposite. This could be exactly what you need to have a positive outlook on life.

Do you watch, listen to or read motivational information every day?

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