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My credentials for answering are: at the age of five, kindergarten teacher called my Mom and told that she (the teacher) was worried about me because I colored only in blacks, grays and dark browns. Plus I seemed depressed. By the age of sixteen, my symptoms were so bad that my mother asked me if I needed professional help. I had read about lobotomy and line current electroshock, I turned her down. She respected me and the topic never came up again. In retrospect, it was the worst decision of my life. I was diagnosed in my mid-Twenties with bipolar 1, GAD, and Social Anxiety Disorder. These were life -threatening.
Your first stop is your family doctor. Explain to him/her that you are experiencing severe anxiety and depression. He/she will either treat you with antidepressants or refer you to a psychiatrist, referral is probable if you have a long standing case.
Do not expect a miracle. It takes weeks and even months for antidepressants to take effect. Also, the first medication may not be the optimal drug or very effective, it takes some trial and error to find what works best for you.
The reason why your prescriber can’t just choose the right drug the first time lies in the chemistry of your brain. There are three main chemicals that carry messages between neurons in your brain; norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. If that isn’t complicated enough, each has subvarieties. It takes time to find the best fit for your particular chemistry.
In addition to medication, therapy can be enormously helpful. Research has shown that counseling and medication together are more effective than either alone. It does depend on finding a counselor who you can relate to. My sister, who has rheumatoid arthritis and is physically handicapped, noticed that I was returning from sessions more depressed than when I left, fired six therapists before I found one who taught Math and Physics at the local community college and shared my somewhat skewed sense of humor. I respected his ability to function both in the physical sciences and in the social sciences. I thought that I was the only one with that mix. I made a conscious decision to trust him. It worked out well.
Even with therapy and medication you’ll have a lot of work to do. A very wise and experienced counselor explained it to me like this: your brain develops neural pathways that make thinking in a certain way easier, these are actual physical structures in the brain. When you’ve been thinking with a depressed set of neurotransmitters, these pathways make depressed thinking natural.
The best way to fight this is when you find yourself thinking a depressed thought, immediately and consciously think an affirmation countering the message you just had. In this way, you can actually rewire your brain’s physical structure. She compared it to wagon tracks. It’s really easy to follow a set of ruts that have been worn deeply. If you break new trail , at first it’s hard to travel new territory, but as you wear new ruts it becomes easier and easier to follow the new path. Technically, your brain develops new neural networks.
That’s the path I’ve traveled. I’m 58 now, have been stabilized for quite a while and am leading a satisfying, productive life.
I hope you find your path clear.
I’ve had depression/anxiety for most of my life. However, it wasn’t bad until about a year and a half ago. I was able to survive high school and college because they were structured environments. They were stressful, but the structure gave me comfort, and I could romanticize or ignore the future because there was an end date to both.
I became really sick this past year, and I spiraled. Doctors didn’t know what was wrong with my body, and I was desperately searching forums to figure out a solution. My health has improved some in recent months, but I lost a lot of ambition because of my health issues.
I am not 100% both in physical health and mental health, but I am doing better. I’ve been seeing a therapist ever since I started having health problems. At first it was more of a talk therapy, but more recently I’ve been more introspective. I was identifying too strongly with my emotional self, in an attempt to reject the world. In addition, my emotional self – my desires – felt closest to who I am (my rational self felt like it was just a condition of the external world). For the longest time I had been someone who just sort of followed orders. Orders of the world, family, or friends. I met people’s expectations as best I could and without regard to my emotional needs. In an attempt to separate myself from that person, I rejected my rational/observer self and identified strongly with my emotional self. Once I realized this, I realized that I had the power to choose who I wanted to be. Now with every decision that I’m unsure of I say to myself “does this contribute to the person I want to be?” In addition, instead of relying on my emotional self to make decisions, I make decisions based off of the mantra in the previous sentence, and check in with my emotional self. I give it time to relax, and engage in whichever choice I’ve rationally made, instead of side-stepping it. This turning point came when my therapist asked “If you could choose an adult to be in your life as a child, what type of person would that adult be? Become that person.”
I cope with emotional issues by pursuing the person I genuinely want to be – regardless of what others expect me to be – and remind myself when anxious about a decision. This operation occurs in the prefrontal cortex, as opposed to the emotional self. Pursuing this actually relaxes my emotional self because I feel in control.
I check in with my emotional self when something irks me, instead of ignoring it and pushing forward in order to simply “get things done.” When we experience trauma in childhood that is unresolved, those emotional states stay with us for life. We sort of get trapped there. When we experience a similar emotion as an adult, we return to those pains from our childhood or past. When I experience an emotional state like this I ask myself “where is this coming from, why am I reacting this way,” and try to find a source. But most importantly, I’m acknowledging my emotions and providing them compassion.
I know my story is unique, and may not have answered your question, but I hope it can provide you with some hope or insight.
To answer your question. Finding things that I can be successful, and things I can control in my life help with the anxiety/depression. By reminding myself of my mantra “who do I want to become” helps me to avoid comparison, which causes me a lot of issues.
Exercise, but class exercises. I only focus on going to the class, not the work out. I focus on the workout once I get there. But exercise really helps.
Water. I try to drink a lot of water, especially due to my health issues, but also because it can have an effect on mental health if you’re dehydrated.
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From years of dealing with my depression and anxiety, talking with counselors, discussions with others who suffer, and research on the topics, I’ve tried to develop a list I can refer to that helps me deal with things.
- You not weird or abnormal . Clinical Depression and Anxiety are incredibly common, and should be considered no different than any other medical issue. You are not flawed or weak because you are depressed…you are human, and some of us need some help to break free from, or just to deal with these feelings. Just like hay fever cannot be treated through simple reasoning, neither can depression and anxiety. If you haven’t spoken with a counselor or talked to your doctor about a psychiatric referral, do it now. For many, anti-depressants, and counseling are the foundation for starting to deal with these feelings
- Focus on and develop your “sense of agency”. For years I was stuck, just rolling with the punches, beating myself up and wondering why nothing good ever happened to me. Realizing that you have control over yourself and your actions and that you don’t have to continue doing things the same way can help fight your pessimistic inner voice.
- Pay attention to how you treat others. I believe their is a strong link between critical thoughts of others and the same type of critical thinking about yourself. Meaning, if you notice that you focus on or secretly criticize others for not holding up to your standards, you are probably doing the same to yourself.
- Your memories may be lying to you. Personally, I think there is a link between depression and what I consider a dulling of memory. When depressed or anxious, it can be difficult to find pleasure in things that you know you’ve enjoyed in the past. This is the “dulling” that I refer to. It’s not that you don’t remember good feelings, it’s the intensity of joy or relief you remember feeling. When I started pushing outside my comfort zone, the most common feeling I had was “I forgot how great this could feel”. This reaction came when I started sailing again, began working on projects I had been putting off, started dating again, and started my own business. It’s like you can’t remember what “happy” feels like anymore, but when you start to feel it again, it becomes easier and easier, and it begins to drive you to seek out those experiences and those feelings again.
- Many small goals add up to large ones. Teddy Roosevelt is quoted as saying “Black care [i.e. depression] rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough.” Meaning if you stay busy, you won’t have idle time to let your anxiety and depression take over your day. I have always had a hard time with this, and it’s basically procrastinating on things you know you should do. For me, the best way to make progress on these items is to focus on small 5 minute items. If I’m having a hard time getting out of the house, I simply tell myself I’m going to walk to the end of the block, or drive to a nearby drugstore. Once you’ve started the small trip, it’s much easier to continue and expand your journey. This has also helped me with procrastination with items like tedious work activities or working on my taxes. Set a small goal like “I’m going to go to my computer and will just take 5 minutes to organize my project”. Once you are there, just the action of getting started will usually get your mind focused on the task and you will keep working until you’re finished.
- Exercise and regular activities. Others have pointed out the link between exercise and feeling better. Simply setting a time every day to go for a half hour walk can help. Make a list of things to think about on your walk or during your exercise either to motivate yourself or to keep your mind from ruminating on negative thoughts. Regular activities like being part of a local board, meeting group, or book club, can also create a schedule where you feel compelled to go and it will add to that time you are not focusing on your anxieties.
- Personal relationships . For me, my anxiety and depression are reduced immensely when I’m out with a companion. Whether it’s shopping with my Sister, or having drinks with good friends. Having someone that knows how you are feeling, and that won’t overreact or treat you harshly when you suddenly want to leave or start talking about your feeling can be a great comfort.
Hope this helps. You’re not alone.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, or if you need more help.
The thing to remember through all this is depression is the symptom, not the disease.
I did not know I had depression and anxiety. Apparently, I said some key words during my annual physical. The doctor stopped everything and handed me some worksheets to complete. Based on the questions I quickly realized what was happening, but I answered them honestly.
Sure enough, a classic depression diagnosis.
With the help of a therapist, we tried to figure out how long this was going on. We estimated at least 2 years. That is two years of me believing my thoughts and actions were normal when they were not. That is two years of developing bad thought patterns into habits. So I needed to retrain my brain into thinking correctly again.
All the while, I was trying to snap out of the physical depression without medication. No matter what I did, nothing was working – it was even getting worse. It became time for medication.
It was clear my dopamine levels were low or non-existent. My body could not re-boot itself to make dopamine again, so that medication was tried first. The side effects from that medication quickly showed that my serotonin levels were also low, so a booster for that was included.
After a 2 year period of trial and error, I finally found the right combination that worked for me – and it was dramatic difference. It felt like a fog had instantly lifted from my eyes. I now could think and see clearly now. I still need some retraining of my brain, but I feel much better now.
The closest comparison I can come up with is when you feel so miserable with a fever for a few days, and then the fever breaks suddenly. You are relieved you feel normal again when you thought “being miserable” was the only sensation you could feel.
If I happen to forget to take my medication in the morning, I can feel the fog creeping back by lunchtime.
I think I am required to take medication for the rest of my life because my body stopped producing dopamine and serotonin for some reason. THAT is how I deal with my depression and anxiety.
Why would you want people with depression and anxiety to answer your question?
It makes more sense to ask a professional who has experience working with depression and anxiety. It is understandable to suffer from depression and anxiety and everyone will struggle to maintain their mood or to not be overcome with fear during a lifetime.
At the same time we now know what things are useful for dealing with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety is a result of the response of your sympathetic nervous system. You feel anxious when your body and mind beliefs that you are in danger.
If you aren’t actually in danger this anxiety is a false alarm. Your previous experiences in the world has taught you that something is harmful when in fact it is harmless.
To take the example of social anxiety. Sure people can be scary sometimes, but fear is related to the risk of dying and you won’t die from interacting with people. The same is true for other types of anxiety.
Overcoming anxiety is a process that can be hard because to not feel anxious we need most things in our life to work well. We need our work to function, we need to eat well, we need to sleep well, we need to exercise and we need to have meaningful relationships.
At the same time anxiety is also ONLY the response of your own sympathetic nervous system. So learning better techniques for breathing can go a long way to lessen anxiety because slow breathing naturally triggers our parasympathetic nervous system that helps us to calm down.
Moving on to depression.
Depression is a dreadful disease that is hard to overcome even though we know what things are effective. The problem isn’t that we don’t know what things helps us overcome depression, the problem is that doing the things you need to feel better when you are depressed is really really hard.
This ties into theories of how genetics and environment interact. You can think of your behaviour as a river running.
It is much much easier for the river to be flowing in the same way it has always been flowing. This is the way you have always done things. To create a new stream takes tremendous force and in the beginning the river will want to flow back to the way it has always been.
If you are a person who have experienced depression and anxiety for a long time your river is used to flowing in a way that keeps you feeling that way.
To start a new path you need willpower and a plan to form new habits. It is possible but it is also hard.
There might also be hard for someone else to tell you exactly what things is you need to feel better because you are the one who knows best which behaviours make you happy and which ones make you sad.
At the same time we know that behavioural activation (doing many new things that we find enjoyable) and physical exercise are good treatment forms for depression that helps many who are depressed feel better.
So my advice to you would be to try to be present and think about your actions. Which actions make you feel bad and which actions make you feel good?
If this is something you have never done before it will be hard, but it is a good first step on your road to recovery.
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You have already gotten 38 answers & I don’t want to read them but I trust that you received lots of good answers in those. Anyway – for me, I do struggle with depression every hour of the day, despite the many medications that I take. And then there is that miserable anxiety behind my depression and I have a touch of OCD showing up.
When my anxiety rears its head, you will find me doing some OCD stuff. I find that I am able to completely focus on whatever the task is and that allows me to calm down.
I have found my home in gardening and my yard,front & back, takes more time to manage it all than I have the time& effort to complete. It is in the weeding of the yard where other people drop their jaws. Just because I found my anxiety settles when I am out in the yard pulling weeds, I’m so focused on the weeds, none get overlooked. Lots of people think I’m nuts because I do an excellent job of weeding. Screw them. At any time in a day I can fall apart in tears. You know what is most interesting to me is that the times I am around someone who is not depressed, I realize how bad my depression is. I’m not capable of pretending that I’m fine – around others. I used to think that I did a great job of acting, but when I started paying attention to others, it hit me in the face. They are happy, upbeat. very positive in speaking about anything.
They look forward to getting up in the morning and packing it full of things to do.
In the past few days, I have finally accepted that my depression is severe enough that I don’t believe I am meant to be around much longer. I wish I was cheery and could offer you some good & happy things to do for yourself, but I can’t. I do take a lot of medication for my depression, 300 mgs of Effexor, 20 mgs of Lorazepam, and 30 mgs of Loratadine & 900 mgs of Gabapentin. There’s lots of other things I take for physical needs, but it all seems so much, too much. For years I have not given much thought to the drugs I take and the volume. I have been having a friendship with someone whose eyes fell out of her head when she heard what I take. So I’ve done some inquiring around to get other peoples thoughts and collectively they all agree that I take a lot of medications. And then they look at me like I have 3 eyes. So – having been suffering significantly with depression, I was put in a mental hospital when I was 14, I don’t know why really because there is nothing they can do. Anyway, despite all my meds, my depression is written all over my face. I rarely go out, except I have to for groceries & many doctor appointments. But other than going outside to work in my yard, I’m probably considered a recluse. I don’t have close friendships because I’m no fun to be around. I cannot be relied upon by anyone because there are days where I just spend it in bed. And that is fine with me, but not the thing to do for others I learned. I have to confess that I have a strong case of ADHD also. So with my issues, I’m not attractive to anyone.
Thinking of you, I read your message to be that you would like to know how I fulfill my days with this heavy cloak on my back. For the most part, you need to find something that you can do when you want to and you do it alone. When you do something you like doing, it allows you to forget that you have depression. There’s many times when I’m on the edge of falling apart and I don’t want to get lost in tears, so I force myself to go outside & pull every weed I see.
Every single day is hard for me. Some days I can get excited about things I want to do in my yard and then other days, I don’t even get dressed or do a damn thing. One bad thing is that after I have blown off a day, then I feel worse about myself. So back outside I go. Life isn’t fun, for me, and most days I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up. My mother is 90 years old and has a bad case of Alzheimers and she is dependent on insulin for her diabetes. She lives with me as I am supposed to be her care taker. She doesn’t suffer from depression so she constantly asks what am I doing and why don’t I do this or that. I believe that having her presence every day is what keeps me from fulfilling my ultimate plan. I couldn’t do that to her. She wouldn’t understand for starts but there is no one else that can take care of her.
I’ve got nothing uplifting for you, I am sorry to say. Other than to learn to recognize when you are talking and people are looking at you oddly, then your depression
is speaking for you. So you need to find your inner self and be in control for the situation. I wish you the best of luck.
For the longest time I have suppressed my anxiety which started manifesting itself after I left my primary school, and it was caused by the 7 year long bullying I have endured while I was young. It is impossible not to be left with some distrust and fear after you experience how someone can hurt you on a psychological level.
When I grew up and my anxiety got progressively worse, I decided to visit a psychologist and talk about what can be the cause and to see what is the background of how it all started – she listened to me talking and when I finished, she gave me advice and explained everything from her own POV, which helped me a lot, given that I got great advice from her and I learnt how to control my anxiety episodes when they happened. That’s far from saying that it was easy or that I managed to solve everything.
Aside from going to the psychologist which helped me to a degree, I also started calming myself down whenever I felt like I am becoming anxious – always asking myself do I have a reason to think the way I do, did I really do something wrong (since I tend to think that people are mad or irritated at me for no apparent reason), and saying everything to calm myself down and to make myself see that my fears are irrational and that I shouldn’t allow myself to be controlled by them.
From time to time I take medication which is for relief in such situations, but most of the time I manage to calm myself down, but that didn’t come overnight and it wasn’t easy.
Anxiety is like that little devil which sits in your head and puts that seed of doubt and fear into it, making you think that everything around you is shattering into pieces, that everyone hates you, is mad at you and that you are a burden to everyone.
It’s not a nice feeling, it’s not pleasant when you have so many doubts in yourself and think that people who love you the most consider you a burden. But it is incredibly hard to manage to convince yourself that it is all in your head and that those are all your fears playing with you.
Many would expect that my parents were those who helped me in this process, but that isn’t entirely true. While my parents helped me with my self esteem and doubts, there was one person who helped me realize that I shouldn’t let my fears control me and that I am a strong person who is capable of putting my leg down and saying “enough is enough”.
That helped me a lot, and it is one of the main reasons why I have managed to gain control over my anxiety and not let it control me as much as it did before. That, along with my parents’ support and my friends, had a profound impact on me.
Since I was a child I had to deal with my emotions, not control them but trying to don’t have some, or let them go until they last, or felling nothing and find it later (funeral and mourning). I never understood what was to control an emotion, I had none experience of doing it.
I never, as I can remember, try to calm an emotion; and when gentle people try to help me doing so, they fail and put me more down (not the psychiatric doctor – they never do it with me). What I found is avoiding situations where I new I will be in such bad emotions, and even good situations where I could find something wrong for me. But isn’t always possible to avoid (family, work …)
So I always balance between depressed mode and joy. Not severe depression until I get older and had to face real life problems.
The years go by and I did research on internet. And I found this:
“Although depressed mood is a normal occurrence in response to adversity in all individuals, what distinguishes those who are vulnerable to major depressive disorder (MDD) is their inability to effectively regulate negative mood when it arises. Investigating the neural underpinnings of adaptive emotion regulation and the extent to which such processes are compromised in MDD may be helpful in understanding the pathophysiology of depression.Wereport results from a functional magnetic resonance imaging study demonstrating left-lateralized activation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) when downregulating negative affect in nondepressed individuals, whereas depressed individuals showed bilateral PFC activation. Furthermore, during an effortful affective reappraisal task, nondepressed individuals showed an inverse relationship between activation in left ventrolateral PFC and the amygdala that is mediated by the ventromedial PFC (VMPFC). No such relationship was found for depressed individuals, who instead show a positive association between VMPFC and amygdala. Pupil dilation data suggest that those depressed patients who expend more effort to reappraise negative stimuli are characterized by accentuated activation in the amygdala, insula, and thalamus, whereas nondepressed individuals exhibit the opposite pattern. These findings indicate that a key feature underlying the pathophysiology of major depression is the counterproductive engagement of right prefrontal cortex and the lack of engagement of left lateral-ventromedial prefrontal circuitry important for the downregulation of amygdala responses to negative stimuli.”
It matches with what I was living.
The more I try to calm an emotion with cognitive ways the worse it is, it’s counterproductive.
I talked about it to my therapist and he agrees. Now I know how its works for me.
Hope it could help.
Depression is a weight that must be carried. Its burden varies at times depending on relevant factors. If I am actually ill, for example, the weight is heavier. If I am overworked, dealing with extra ordinary events ie: moving, worry for a loved one etc. more effort is needed to move past the depression I live with daily. I have begun to practice mindful thoughts as much as possible and to the best of my abilities. Again, there are times when my best ability is diminished for various reasons. When that occurs it is necessary for me to journal as an insight into my state. I do so as a reference point by rating my level of “joy” from 1–10. As it has been my experience that increased state of depression can mask the level of perception for me – I find the rating method useful.
I need to add that I am not medicated for depression although perscribed. I choose to be mindfully proactive in combating my lowered mood “benchmark” you might say – that I am used to. This approach would not be enough for many suffering with deeper depression than I. I can say that honestly I’ve been a bit depressed somewhat my entire life for various reasons both situational and hereditary. I am not a professional. What works for me may well be ill advised for another. My relating this is only informative in that it has worked for me now for several years – approaching ten.
I tried years ago self medication – alcohol; to no success of course. Situational depression was elevated sharply with a divorce, loss of livelihood and empty nest all at the same time. I questioned the doctors who prescribed Prozac. Wondering why medication is necessary when situational events seem to be the cause. Perhaps I’d been too busy managing family, business, marriage to notice the depression. It was presented that I should entertain the possibility that the very conflicts causing strife in marriage, teen/parent relations, occupational challenges etc were influenced at the core by anxiety/depression. I explored that suggestion. I rejected it. While I will admit that depressive mood and heightened anxiety led me to be an alarmist at times-the following is my truth. I do not hesitate to defend my reactions as normal and subsequent actions to conflicts near normal in comparison with others in similar scenarios with like events and personal characteristics outside of anxiety/depression.
I will not say that in any way my approach was utilizing willpower. What I used/use is a practice ongoing to log my level of depression and when heightened- employ thought modifications. Mindfully changing the path of how my brain and train of thoughts receive events positive and adverse. Gently I shift the pattern of thoughts from opressive to burdonsome then managable and eventually -hopeful. After all, my journaling at low states highlights thoughts based on accepting the future as loaded with dreadful doomsday outcome.
Keeping thoughts focused through recognizing the pattern leading to the dreaded doom belief and altering has been my gateway back to the positive. Over time this approach has become more automatic, I truly believe the state of my depression has lifted significantly as a result. The old paths which were difficult have been replaced at time without effort. Anxiety, worries about how I am perceived has all but completely diminished. No longer carrying the responsibility for how others behave, interact and/or think of me has laid a foundation strong for the success of this practice. Self esteem I believe is a significant contributor to both the onset and success in battling the disease. No longer do I care what came first or the whys. The now and how I live with regard to quality and enjoyment is my main priority. This is my journey and I have altered significantly the maps for personal gain. Without depression and anxiety as the catalyst – I can honestly say that my life’s journey would have missed much in discovery of self.
I have GAD since 6 years, this is what worked for me.
Here are 15 steps I recommend you to do:
- Do sports (at home, if you feel more confortable) but 3x 30min/week.
- Desensitize yourself (little by little) by exposing you to some situation that make you uncomfortable/anxious.
- Start going out of your comfort zone at home: take cold showers. Do it.
- Eat more greens, oilseeds, fresh fruits and food rich in magnesium such as: raw spinach, fish, beans, lentils, avocados, brown rice, bananas, figs and chocolate.
- Do a cure of prebiotic and probiotic. Brain and gut are linked.
- If you have a pet, cuddle with it more often and take care of it. It will make you shift your focus to something else.
- Try to catch the sun everyday for 10mins.
- Check your levels of vit D and B12 (adjust with supplements if needed).
- Learn how to breathe and cardiac coherence.
- Yoga, you can find plenty of stuff online.
- Mindfulness meditation, it’s not hard, stick to it.
- If you feel anxiety, let it come, don’t fight against it. Take deep breath (inhale for 6 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 6. Do it again). Instead of reacting with resistance and fear to the sensations, you are going to respond with curiosity and excitement.
- Sleep enough (7 to 9hours/night). The earlier you wake up, the better.
- Quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol.
- Smile. Smiling, even for nothing, tricks the mind and releases happy hormones.
Anxiety is always going to be there because it’s a normal mechanism of protection.
You are not alone, you are worth it.
I had depression for more than 3 years. I had even suicidal thoughts. It was the most painful experiences of my life at that time. My world crumbled. Everything crashed. My future was dark. There was no end at the end of the tunnel.
All I saw was a reality dampened with darkness, incomprehension and feeling of profound injustices.
In retrospect, I think that my extra level of awareness was the cause of my depression. I was thinking too much, I was too aware that the world we live in is not perfect. I found it so ungrateful and unworthy to live. I was feeling so small compared to all the problems of the universe.
I found that my contribution would not be deemed to pursue. At that time, I didn’t know others still felt that insecurity about their future.
Along the run, I’ve learned that most people who know their calling quickly live that ordinary life. A life that is not an adventure.
The curvy part is for those who are destined for a greater good.
If I had to start all my life over again, I would choose the path I had been into.
Why? Because now years later, I understand it’s value. My darkest moments changed me forever in so many ways. I appreciate everything I had and so much more. I’m more determined, my actions are more aligned with my purposes than before.
In the end, I can confidently say that depression is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I say to you all, depression, anxiety or whatever problems you are struggling with. Don’t give up because they are all opportunities for you to become stronger. Your pain is temporary. There is just so much more for you.