Notes of Growth
My long depression road to mindfulness. I was raised in a Christian family with strong German farm heritage. You work hard and when life is hard you work harder, pray and get through it. Or just gut it out. I was taught mostly by example that I didn’t need help.
I have had ongoing depression for 15+ years. Back in the beginning when I was crying all the time, I started on an antidepressant with my family doctor. That helped some. I tried counseling off and on, but only when life was really tough for me. I was always trying to take care of the people in my life.
My daughter was a drug addict and went through treatment two times. She was eventually diagnosed bi-polar. My husband has had depression and health problems. I have three grandchildren and am helping with them on a continuous basis.
There are all kinds of stresses with all of this. I have always thought I needed to help and take care of everything. Through the years, I have had many illnesses when my mind and body were just overwhelmed. I have changed antidepressants several times. Each time I plateaued and did not reach a point where I could say I felt better.
Just six months ago, I called Wholeness Healing Center to set up counseling and started my journey. Right away, the DBT woman’s group was recommended to me along with counseling. I started going to group on Mondays. It was like a switch was turned on for me. I am learning I can be mindful and take care of me and change not only my life, but everyone around me.
When I have thoughts that start me on the train that just goes in circles, I notice them, and let them go. When I am with my grandchildren, I can live in that moment and fully enjoy them. When my daughter does or says something upsetting or that I don’t like, I can listen, set boundaries and decide how I will respond in a loving way, realizing that is just how she is. I can be nonjudgmental of myself and others, just looking at the facts. This releases a lot of negative emotions.
I can do mindfulness meditations that calm me and keep me in the moment, which is all we can control. I have so much more peace and energy now because I am not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. I still have a lot of practice to do and a lot to learn. But the journey is worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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