I wrote last week about the importance of talking about one’s problems and having someone to listen. Whilst that sentiment is far from hyperbole, I confess that despite talking through what was bothering me I was still beset by negativity and doubt this week.
I do not deign to speak for all sufferers of depression / anxiety here but I know myself that I am my own harshest self critic and that the cycle of self assessment and self criticism that I oft put myself through under the aegis of “self improvement” is nothing other than counter to positive mental health.
Analysis of every bad or questionable decision, aged or recent, and feeling bad about said decisions has been the cornerstone of my dark periods for as long as I have been alive to my mental health issues.
Is it too simplistic to suggest that I ought simply seek to cease analysing every question decision? Or every decision for that matter?
This presents the archetype of a chicken and egg scenario doesn’t it: bad decisions begat over thinking and harsh self criticism yet at the same that very same over thinking and harsh self criticism begats more bad decision making.
I think the better solution is one of acceptance rather than analysis. By this I mean there has to come a point where one accepts the outcomes of decisions made or conduct and moves on. Put differently: there has to come a point where one has to give oneself a break from punishing oneself over things that can not be changed.
Do we not as human beings inherently know this? I know the default setting my brain does not allow me to this so I suspect that the answer to that conundrum is a resounding no. That means that i am going to have to make an effort to release myself from my own self assessment and focus on moving forward rather than looking back.
This is a hard thing to do: I hope any of you reading this that similarly struggle with releasing yourself from the negativity you relate to your own conduct can come up with a way of doing so. I know I have not found my way yet but I am working on it.