How I Dealt with Depression
Please note, this is what worked for me, this may not work for you. You need to find the best path for you and please seek help from a medical professional
My coach challenged me on the use of the word ‘depression’.
I was challenged to not refer to myself as having depression. He showed me that the word in itself is sad and heavy. So when you refer to yourself as having depression, you feel heavy and down. He shared a great story with me about a war veteran that was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) versus another war veteran diagnosed with PTG (Post Traumatic Growth). The second person was taught by his doctor to look at what he was feeling (the depressed thoughts) as something to grow/learn from. I wish my father was diagnosed with PTG!!!!
My coach helped me do the same. He allowed me to consider that maybe this sadness/loneliness was an opportunity to heal myself from the wounds from my youth.
To let go of the scared child that never feels safe.
So maybe consider the fact that right now, your depression is actually an opportunity for you to grow/learn something about yourself.
Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?
Maybe there is something amazing about to come your way?
What might happen if you stop seeing yourself as someone who is depressed and start seeing someone who is going through a growth/learning phase?
I learnt to embrace my life for what it was, not what I thought it should be.
WOW – this changed everything for me. I realised that the current life I was living was not the life that I expected.
I thought at 25 I would be madly in love, have a pumping business, be super happy and just kicking butt in life…
How wrong I was!!!
In fact, I was $300k in debt, my girlfriend had just cheated on me and I was single. I felt isolated and alone.
My coach really helped me understand that I was not accepting this current reality. I was rejecting it. This just made everything feel worse for me.
I worked very hard at letting go of the expectation that I had created, and started to embrace my new current reality.
This was hard work but it made a big impact for me. It’s not easy falling in love with the life that I was living at 25, but I did it.
I started laughing at my situation and realised that I was a very lucky person.
It’s like the quote by Helen Keller “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet”.
I got over my misery and came back to a place of ease.
I had to spend a full day on the beach writing out everything in my life that I love.
I became grateful again.
I also lowered my expectations and let go of the goal that I was going to be retired by 30.
If you haven’t watched it, I highly endorse a documentary called Status Anxiety.
Here is the link to watch it free on YouTube: Status Anxiety
I learnt to start giving again.
It’s amazing how caught up in myself I had become over the previous three years (22 to 25).
Everything was about me, me and me!!!
I stopped caring about my friends and family, then I couldn’t understand why they stopped calling me (it felt like they had stopped caring for me).
I began to make an extra big effort to go and focus on others. To see if there was someone else I can add value to and help.
It’s amazing how quickly you can feel great when you actually add value to someone else.
I started concentrating more on others than myself, and this was just bloody brilliant.
I slowed down…WAY DOWN.
Please consider this one.
I had been going full throttle for 3 years.
Yes, I had a few holidays, but all I could think about was work.
This just created more stress on myself. My system was run down. I was cooked!!!!
I didn’t want to do it, but my coach advised I take a 10-day retreat and heal my body. Just like a car goes in for a major service, this was a major service for my mind and body and boy, did I need it!
I signed up for a retreat in Bali at an Ayurveda Centre. Here is a link to it if it resonates: The Ayurveda & Yoga Health Centre
And rest I did.
I averaged 16 hours a day of sleep…I was exhausted. Mentally and physically.
When I came back to Australia, I felt like I had a new lease of life!
I was so excited, youthful and even playful.
I couldn’t believe how much I needed this break (again I did not want to do this).
Please note, I took 10 days out away from the world – no telephone, no coffee, no alcohol, no friends, no family. Just me and loads of rest (and multiple massages every day).
Sometimes we confuse depression with just being exhausted!!!!
I’ve been back to the same place 5 times (I like to go every two years if I can – it keeps me in check). I know the feeling now when my body and mind tire and I need the space to reset.
Finally, I did a lot of work on my mindset.
(This is what I teach in Flip Your Life).
By changing my thinking from scarcity to abundance, changing my energy from focusing on what I didn’t want to what I did want, and becoming super clear on all of the fears that were trapping me (fear of failure, fear of being a fraud, fear of losing control) allowed me to realise that it was the fears that were making me feel so small and trapped.
I did a lot of work rebuilding my self-esteem (I felt like a loser so I needed to work on my mindset again to feel better).
I listened to a self-esteem booster almost every day for 12 months – you can listen to it here: Instant Confidence Guided Hypnosis
It worked for me…but I needed this as I didn’t really like myself.
I also started scheduling things that give me joy (hanging out with my old mates who make me laugh was a BIG one).
I’m sure there were more, but the five lessons above really helped me. Please note, it took me approximately 3 months to feel like the table had turned. I also exercised and looked after myself – and stopped drinking (not completely but I pulled back from the bottle of rum a night).
I still get the blues, but I am quick now to see it for what it is, and make the necessary changes (implementing some of the above always works for me).
As I mentioned in the introduction, I feel this article is amazing and will really help you if you are going through any form of mental health issues right now.
It’s more common than you think, and I would argue 70% of business owners experience it at some stage.
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