Monday, June 6, 2011

Welcome Summertime!!

Lately, I have been running off an average of 4 hrs sleep every night, getting lots accomplished, feeling super happy, yada yada yada. Is it because of the warmth and longer days of sunshine? Maybe, but whatever brought it on, I'll take it!!

I have felt midly to severly depressed off and on for as long as I can remember but it really took a bad turn when my dad died and Tori was born in 2005. I tried everything to get better during that next year, but now looking back, I think it was just something that had to run its course and I couldn't change much about it. Finally mid 2006, I started taking anti-depressants. They were a godsend and finally turned my funk around. I won't go into any more dark details about that time in my life other than to say that I did feel better and able to function but never completely happy or optimistic. I really thought that maybe I would never know what it is like to feel happy.

Also at this time, I started running long distances. I have always been into excersising and being active, but never really considered myself a runner until Tori was about a year old. Running had a magical power to make it so I could cope with the rest of my day.

Fast forward 5 years- In February I noticed that I felt not sad or depressed but super irritated and angry all the time. Anything I couldn't change myself would just eat at me and bug me to no end. I felt short and rude to the kids. I hated my teeth, my weight, my color of hair. Some of my favorite people would bug me for no real reason. I couldn't sleep at night from nervousness. The list goes on.

I decided to dump the anti-depressants. Now, I am not saying they are bad or people shouldn't take them. I loved them when I needed them, but I think that once I didn't need them anymore my body started to notice the side effects of them. I went off cold turkey (which they say is not reccommended, oops.) A major side affect of the brand I was taking was anger and nervousness. Within a week, I was falling asleep immediately, I had so much more energy, the kids seemed so less hard to deal with, etc. I was loving this new me.

A few weeks after this I ended up not being able to run due to an injury in my back and glute. Adam says now that he kept waiting for me to have a complete breakdown cause he knows that running keeps me sane. I HATED that I couldn't run and I felt sad off and on, but I never did get super down about it.

Also at this time, I finally grasped the true importance of positive self-talk. Actually what got me started on it was a book about running. It tells us how at first its hard not to want to say negative things so until we learn not to say negative stuff, we should just end our sentence with, "but it doesn't matter." For example:

"I am so tired of the kids getting the house dirty, BUT IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER because they are happy and laughing."

This last mile of my run is so long, BUT IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER because I am almost fininshed anyway."

My legs are not as toned as they should be, BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER because I can lift weights & eat better from here on out."

I started doing that in my head and after a while, I got to where I didn't want to think or say those negative things anymore.

The next step was thinking and saying positive things to myself. Now I don't go around bragging about myself, but when my cookies come out of the oven tasting great I make sure to give myself a little pat on the back, or if my run doesn't feel as good as it should have I make sure to find something I enjoyed about it anyway and tell Adam when I get home. I tell myself over and over while I am running that I am freakin' awesome that I am even out doing it when most of the USA's population are not fit or healthy.

And it is AMAZING what this has done for me........ AMAZING. I am happy, truly happy. I didn't even know people could feel like this. It's an addicting feeling too. It keeps making me want to find more ways to see the positive in life, kinda like it's a game.

I have so much excitement for life now. I do need to add that I do still have bad days and a couple of negative thoughts a day, but I am able to move past them quickly and re-focus.

My friend, Kira, and I had a discussion about how we heard God hears what we say, sees how we act, and also knows what's going on in our hearts and minds, but Satan can only see how we act and hear what we say but he cannot read our minds. So if we act happy and say happy things, then Satan cannot use our negative thoughts against us to make us unhappy. Pretty cool thought, huh?

I know this was long, but I hope that someone reads it and gets something from it, and I really hope that my kids read it someday.

Positive thinking and self-talk really really do work. Please try it! That's all I have to say about that. :)


Grandma Bebbs said...

Amen! You are awesome!

Grandma Bebbs said...

I love Hilary Weeks' music. She also has a blog that I like to follow. She recently did an experiment on positive/negative thoughts. Please check it out at the above address.

Lily said...

So true. I learned this lesson just a couple years ago -cognitive thinking my friend and it WORKS! :) Love ya

Kira And James Morris said...

Julie, when you told me this at the gym, I was beaming with happiness. The whole day was bright and beautiful becuase I knew my friend was finding her way, and living to her full potential. Which you are. Thank you for sharing that moment with me. You may ask why this made me so happy, but the anwser is simple.. You are my friend, and I love you.. but I too am on the same journey you are on, and I know how dark and lonely some days can get...on the other hand, I know how wonderful and simply breath taking this life can be as well. I really know what the scriptures means "Men are that they might have joy." Heavenly Father WANTS us to be happy, and any time we are feeling down thats Satan working over time, but it doesnt have to be that way. Thank you for posting this... More people read the things we write then sometimes we really know. This will be a great message for your Kids, and even generations to come :)

The Foulgers said...

You are so amazing and brave to admit your faults. The Lord is blessing you and making you stronger.
I love the concept of self talk and have tried to use it too!
Thanks for being such a great friend and inspiration!:)

Stacey said...

I totally know what you were feeling. Maybe one day I can be "happy" again.