Getting Unstuck, Dysthymia & Moving Out of Depression

There are countless ways in which people get stuck – some of them are invisible. The most common of these is Dysthymic Disorder. Dysthymia is a form of depression that is fairly easy to hide. It doesn’t cause a person to miss work, have difficulty getting out of bed, or create health problems. It’s more of a chronic low level sadness that limits what’s possible in a person’s life.

When you’ve been stuck for a long time there are only two things that will move you: Inspiration or Desperation. The former we pretend is hard to find and impossible to hold on to. The latter we pretend is avoidable instead of inevitable.

Truth – we only make big changes when we get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Until that point, we’re just going through the motions and surviving our depressing lives, all the while blaming it on our depression. That’s how easy it is to get stuck – just justify that shit like it’s an incurable medical condition and not a natural byproduct of an unfulfilling life. Mind f@cking yourself is far more comfortable than changing.

Nobody gets stuck on purpose – it’s the cost of being complacent. We stopped growing and seeking challenges. I know – there are a hundred/thousand/million Bad Things that happened and that’s why you got Depressed. But what did you do after you got depressed?

A lot of us withdrew, detached, and stopped caring. In the process, we lost ourselves. A lot of us are still M.I.A. Have you seen us?

I found me. I got a new mirror. This one isn’t tarnished by the past and it’s not warped by what I was taught. It’s mine and it’s clean and it’s clear. Sometimes clarity allows you to see exactly how bad it is – but getting right with the truth has to happen before you can change it.

Today I love the ancient adage, “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” Resilience is the greatest form of strength.

I got stuck because I didn’t f@cking fall – I got knocked down. I got stuck by my belief that it wouldn’t change anything if I got up. It wouldn’t make the people I wanted to love me…love me. It wouldn’t change how other people are. But that’s not the point of getting back up.

If life were fair, my bullies would have gone to therapy and listening to Shane Koyczan talk about the foundation of my life wouldn’t make me cry. When he says, “To this day…” he shows the connection – how our past continues to impact our present. To truly lighten up then is to release the regrets and resentments of the past. That’s what freedom is – no unnecessary weight.

My past doesn’t define me anymore – who and what I choose to be today does. It takes a lot of guts to redefine yourself, but I’m not who they taught me I was and what I believed was self limiting.

How open are you to being inspired? Consider your “walls.” Part of the cost of maintaining our defenses is that it’s hard to see beyond them. Turns out there’s really cool shit happening if you know where to look. Buy a new mirror or borrow the perspective of any healthy person who gets you.

If you’re in need of inspiration, get to know Nick Vujicic

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in assisting people in recovery (whether from drugs, alcohol, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.