By Nancy Virden (c)2016
In January 2011, I tried to end my life. Numerous corrosive and false core beliefs guided my decision although I was barely aware of them. As major depression steadily dimmed the light of hope, reasons to care became harder to find. Finally, a sense of utter worthlessness shrouded any purpose for staying alive.
Recovery involved talk therapy where the courage to take charge of my life took root. I learned it is my responsibility to get my needs met. Rather than waiting for rescue from some uncertain hero, it is up to me to live by my values. I have the power to believe in my worth or not, to allow for imperfection or not, and to decide who I want to be.
Strategy 1: Start Where You Are
Eventually, I had to change my entire worldview. No one has to be as low as I was before looking up, though. Regardless of your present situation, the concept of growing your courage may feel overwhelming. Traversing the distance between where you are and where you wish to go may be beyond your imagination.
Upon hearing my story, a woman struggling with her sense of identity asked, “How did you get to where you know who you are?”
The answer is so simple that it looks like a magic formula. What works for me is the same as for anyone. An adjusted mindset is an outcome of taking one step, the next, and the next. Practicing provides momentum for finding success in your work, standing up for yourself, and squarely facing the conflicts of life.
You can grow your courage! Imagine finding and using your voice. Picture a day of determination instead of self-defeat. Smile at the idea of a whole week outside the status quo. Five strategies to be shared in parts 2-3 of this blog mini-series will break down this potentially daunting task into manageable chunks.
Ascertain where you are mentally, spiritually, and physically, and make note of it. One day you will look back in pride at how far you have come. Where you are today is the best starting point for you.
God, I see that you watch over the steps of those who follow you. Please help me to do that and to move beyond self-defeat. Please create a new spirit of courage within me. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Today’s Helpful Word
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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