Thank you so much for the kind words. I always try to make the distinction that I am still filled with tons of fear. I just no longer run away from it.
Sorry to hear about your loss of joy in life. I do very much know what this is like. Around 6 years ago, I fell into a horrible deep dark depression. I haven’t written much about it because it’d be better in a book rather than blog posts (though it won’t be in the upcoming book).
Doctors tried to heavily medicate me but it only made things worse. I had to figure out how to pull myself out of this and find my way back to joy. It was as if my brain somehow re-wired itself for darkness. I weened myself off the medications and asked me therapist to help me figure actual action I could take to stop this horrific negative thinking. What she suggested absolutely helped.
First I am going to suggest a product but I want to emphasize that I have not been paid to endorse this product. I speak of this product as a testimonial to its success of when I used. It’s going to sound a little strange. But it worked. And this product is a subliminal messaging program.
The philosophy behind it was that daily affirmations are not effective in healing the brain because when our brain consciously hears the affirmation, it can easily negatively reject (even if we don’t mean to). With subliminal messaging, you listen to music and the affirmations are implanted into the music. Because you cannot actively hear the affirmations, your negative brain cannot hear them and refute them. It slips its way into the unconscious mind which will then receive the affirmations.
When we have a thought (or in this case when the brain interprets the message), it fires off a neural pathway. The more we can create these neural pathways, the more permanent they become in the brain and our positive thinking can slowly return. It’s interesting stuff and I swear it worked for me. I found joy in life again. The drawback is that it is a bit of a commitment.
The product I used was called “Positive Thinking” by Brain Sync. With this program, you get two audio tracks. One is an “anytime” track that you can listen in the background anywhere while you do something (I.e. driving, working, etc). The second one is the “headphones” track. Both tracks are about 30 minutes long. But with the headphones track, you have to put headphones in (obviously) and NOT do anything else. You sit back and close your eyes and absorb the music - basically a style of meditation.
You have to do this EVERYDAY for six weeks for the program to be effective. So, like I said, it is a commitment. But there’s also something said if you cannot take a half hour a day for yourself to heal yourself (my therapist told me that). Again, this really worked for me - better than any pill I had taken.
Another thing that really worked for me was doing a gratitude journal. I’ve mentioned this several times before but it always warrants repeating. Before bed and after I wake up, I would list ten things I was grateful for (the same things can be repeated from entry to entry). At first it was tough coming up with ten things. But after doing it for a while, I would start to come up with like fifteen things. It became so easy and was such a lovely exercise. But with that it helped me maintain thought of the things I love and that bring me joy in life.
Let me know if you try any of these methods. I’ll be curious as to if they help you as well.