My dad died when I was 21 years old. He was afraid to die. And he was angry at God and the world for allowing his death to happen. He was no longer angry at me. He was no longer capable of being a scary figure in my life. He was small, curled up, and very angry. But like today's man, he was no longer capable of hurting me with his anger.
Depression showed up in many ways in my life. My management of these dark moods has become part of my lifetime discipline. Long-term sadness may be something deeper and more serious. Learn how to take charge of your depressive or manic cycles with mindfulness and a good support team.
Here are a few of my latest posts about managing my moods. Your results may vary. But, here’s the answer: keep going, depression comes in waves, you just have to keep moving forward, back into the positive things in your life. Sometimes it takes someone else to help you see the good in your life.
- Gone Dark Again, and Again: Reanimating After a Quiet Period
- A Covid-19 Panic Attack, Breakdown and My Fear of Depression
- Voyeurism, Sadness, and Traveling Alone: a Tincture of Depression
- Low Power Mode: Managing Depression and Energy
- We All Need Someone We Can Lean On
- DRINKING: Dancing with the Ghost of My Dead Father?
I have written mostly about my experience of depression after divorce. But I had depressive tendencies before I was married. And I still struggle with depressive episodes from time to time. Often triggered by a traumatic event, like a job loss or a relationship coming apart, being sad can become more of a personality trait if depression is not nipped in the bud.
Mindfulness is my answer to depression and my own depressive thoughts. It is critical for each of us to learn our depressive patterns, triggers, and solutions. What can I do when I’m starting to feel the dark slippery slope of depression?
Live your life as you would like to see your kids living theirs. Show them the adults they can be, by demonstrating the best that you can be. Anything less is a miss. Parenting and co-parenting resources come and go, theories of parenting and how do recover from divorce will change from season to season, but this truth never changes.
There are not fewer things to coordinate when you become a single parent, in fact, there are more. The things you once traded equitably, now fall 100% in your lap when it is your parenting time. This new cadence can be jarring, frustrating, and make for some upset campers on all sides unless you plan ahead and go 100% Positive.
There is no time like the present to flip your anger into absurd, cackling, fake laughter. It's a known fact that your physical body doesn't really know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So if you give a big ol' Pee Wee Herman laugh, your body really thinks you are laughing. The endorphins and physical joy comes back into your system, fires up the happy side of your brain, and can bring you part of the way back to center.
And at that moment, I also felt the joy of my father's love upon me. He might have left the planet 15 years ago, but his love is still within me. And each time I can really hear and connect with my own kids, my heart lights up with a little bit more healing of my 5-year-old self, my wounded little boy.
So much of co-parenting is about negotiation and compromise. We no longer have the same loving emotional ties to our former partners. We no longer have to make their urgency and priorities our own.
In divorce, when you lose everything, what you still have is your kids. And while you are deep into the recovery of your own feelings, paying attention and parenting from a place of wholeness is critical.