Do you ever feel like you’re an actor, putting on a smile and an act for everyone else? A facade of happiness while inside feeling that you’re a fraud? All while battling with depression?
Like you’re standing underneath a floor of glass, screaming and beating on it trying to get the rest of the world to acknowledge you. All while they go about their lives without you or even knowing you’re trapped?
Those are some descriptions that I’ve heard about depression, and they match my own thoughts quite a bit. But the best description I’ve ever heard was from a friend:
Imagine your life is a computer game that you can’t turn off. It’s a game that you’ve never heard of or even ever wanted to play.
But not only are you forced to play, you’re forced to play on hard mode while everyone else is playing on easy mode.
You don’t have any instructions or even any clue what the game is about.
Other people around you on easy mode find the game to be incredibly fun. There are challenges on each mode but for others it’s easy to complete them.
They’re smiling and laughing and having a great time while you’re just trying to survive.
All while telling you “It’s easy, you just have to…”
But for some reason, even if you put in the same amount of effort as everyone else you can’t do it.
Very quickly you lose your motivation to play because nothing you do works and you can’t figure out why.
You don’t want to play this game anymore, but you’re not allowed to quit playing. You’re forced to keep playing forever.
That’s the first step to beating depression, is getting a handle on what it is and what it feels like. What is depression? The American Psychological Association defines it like this:
Depression is more than just sadness. People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
My Own Experiences with Depression
As someone who existed with depression for well over a decade, and even now still falls back into it from time to time, the way I explain it is that depression saps your spirit and very sense of who you are. Your energy, your vitality, your sense of worth for yourself and the world.
Nothing is safe from depression, your mind and even your sanity are all just fodder for depression. It honestly is like a Dementor from Harry Potter; it feeds off of your tragedies, making you relive them over and over. All while sapping you of all of your happiness.
Depression feeds off of these things until there’s nothing left. It takes away everything that makes you who you are.
After it’s taken all of your emotional vitality it then starts to eat away at you physically. No matter how much sleep you get you never feel rested. Anytime you exert any energy it takes more to do something than it should, leaving you fatigued and feeling drained.
It feels like you’re walking underwater with cinder blocks for shoes. Like you’re drowning while everyone else around you is still breathing. The more you fight it the further you sink.
When you reach your limits you’re left with nothing but what you believe are your own thoughts and your own mind. Unfortunately, these are no longer yours. They belong to something else.
They belong to depression.
Depression is a demon that haunts your very sense of reality, always with you and always gently whispering in your ear. This demon delights in torturing you with these little whispers, especially when you ask ‘why’?
Depression is a Cancer of the Soul
That’s what it felt like for me. Every day with brief moments of relief, only to have those taken from me as well.
These brief moments of relief were my new life partner’s way of reminding me how broken I was. To put what I wanted just within reach only to snatch it away.
Depression was like a demonic life partner, always there, always whispering.
It was comforting, in a way, to know that at least I had something there with me. Even if it was only a negative manifestation of my own imagination. And part of me didn’t want it to leave.
Everyone else kept leaving, but not my life partner. The depression demon was always there. It was the only thing that reminded me I was alive.
When I was a child a lot of people who were close to me kept dying or otherwise abandoning me. Those that stuck around only did so to stick a knife in my back.
For those that didn’t abandon me or stab me in the back; I was to be the perfect child for them. I was to remain unseen and unheard through it all. As a child, I was to remain a solid emotional rock. To remain unseen and unheard through it all. People who I thought were my friends started to turn on me and those that I was told to trust had more important things to do than to even listen to me.
The first time that I tried to commit suicide I was eight years old.
The only thoughts running through my head at the time were things like “Why? What did I do to deserve this? What have I done? Why is this happening? How do I stop all of this?”
The thing that used to be my mind always had the answer. The thing that belonged to my new life partner, depression, distorted and molested the answers that my mind were trying to give to me…
Why? You deserve this
What did I ever do to deserve this? You were born
How do I make this stop? At first the only answer I got was silence, but when the pain kept growing it finally came to me.
It came in the form of a single word…
One word that my life partner depression would gently whisper into my ear like a lover…
After that my life became a cycle of pain and self-abuse and I even started seeking out ways to increase my pain. Pain was the only thing that validated my existence.
My life partner and the accompanying pain were the only things that proved I was even still alive.
Depression became the only thing able to confirm that I was even alive. Without them, life was like a dark, pitch black hole. I could hear the dull sounds of the world around me but it sounded so far away that it might not have even been there at all. Just another cruel joke my mind decided to play on me. Like I was drowning in the dark that was my mind that now no longer belonged to me.
But Then Even Depression Left Me
Eventually, the throbbing pain started to fade away along with my major stressors. It wasn’t because the things that were causing me pain ceased to exist… it was because I had closed myself off from everything.
Even my life partner had left me. No longer did I have anyone whispering in my ear. The pain itself even faded. I didn’t feel anything.
For the first time, I was truly alone.
That’s When Depression Entered It’s Most Insidious Phase
This was the worst of it. A feeling of true isolation, like I was a ghost and not part of the real world. Like my heart was literally breaking and nothing was ever enjoyable again and nothing could make me smile.
Yet smile I did. I had to for the rest of the world. Nobody could ever know how broken I was. Or it would be better to say that nobody seemed to care.
I was in a state where nothing tasted, smelled or felt quite right. I was unable to think clearly or make decisions, yet I was expected to carry on. And so much of the time all I felt were these shackles all over my body weighing me down, not allowing me time to rest.
But carry on I did, or at least tried to do. I didn’t have a choice, I had to keep playing the game.
I was nothing more than a shell of what a human being should be, yet still so heavy and dead inside. Unable to feel the warmth that other people seemed to exude and feel.
Everything was dull, the world was nothing but shades of grey. Even the people were grey, like a sea of faceless grey silhouettes instead of people. There was no joy, there was no color and there was certainly no life flowing through my veins.
My heart was beating and my lungs were still breathing but I wasn’t alive. I was already dead.
This is how I lived for well over a decade. Eventually my life partner came back to me before I managed to leave it behind.
It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do, it seemed like it was the only thing there for me at times.
And even now depression still threatens to come back to me. It still desires me and begs me to come back to it. Always whispering… “I love you. Come back to me. We deserve each other.”
I’m better than I’ve ever been. I’m still not perfect and I have those brief moments where I do go back to the demon that is depression. All before managing to wrestle away from it again and again.
It’s comfortable and something that’s known. It will never reject you nor will it ever leave you. Like a dysfunctional lover that’s no good for you and you’re no good for it. In your moments apart from it there are all of these promises… ‘this time will be different’ but it never is. It’s always more of the same.
Yet its desire and love for you seem boundless and there are times that it seems like it will be your only source of love and comfort. Nothing could ever love you like your dark passenger does…
Yet here I am, and here you are. We’re somehow still alive, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times.
Those moments of weakness of returning to my old lover aren’t as frequent as they used to be. They’re something of a rarity now.
And what I want to give you with this post is the same. Fewer and fewer relapses as time goes on. With more times apart from the demons in your mind until they’re no longer breaks. They’re what’re normal.
I want you to experience what it’s like to feel alive again, to know that you matter as a human being. Your life is a significant ripple in this pond of life.
Things are tough right now, and the path forward is petrifying at times but you can get through this. There will be scars, but you will find a strength and a person inside of you that you never would have known existed otherwise. And maybe, you can channel everything to make your life better and to make the lives around you better. You can make a difference.
If that’s something that you want then keep reading, this is going to be a long post because there’s a lot I want to go over. And there’s a lot that I have to give to you.
First, I want you to watch this short video: Overcoming Any Obstacle – I Can I Will I Must
The most important thing you need to keep moving through the pain is to have the motivation to keep moving forward. I recommend that video most of all because I believe in its message and its speaker, Eric Thomas.
Motivation is easiest to acquire externally. It’s the most important thing that helped me and you will need it.
You will need it because change is difficult. We believe change to be more difficult than living with our current circumstances that life has seen fit to give us. I believe, and I want you to believe, that what life has given us is not enough. We deserve more.
The only way to get more, however, is to earn it. Earn it by working on yourself. You will find that once you have a little bit of forward momentum you can just keep going out of pure habit.
The most important thing to remember, if you want to leave your depression behind, is to acquire the motivation to do so. You have to seek it. Every. Single. Day.
Motivation is like bathing, you have to do it often.
When you wake up in the morning I need you to find it. If you don’t have anything that motivates you in your life then go to Youtube. Read some quotes or do something that inspires you to dare to reach for more than what you have.
The next thing that we have to do is to make sure you internalize a new set of beliefs. It’s all well and good to say every once in a while that you deserve more. And it’s another to do something about it every day.
The major reason that you’re depressed is because you’ve internalized an incorrect set of beliefs because of life’s circumstances. Those are depressions circumstances, not the new you that you want to breathe life into.
Maybe it was your parents, your friends, lovers or because of life in general. Regardless of the circumstances we have to get you to a better place. A better place away from depression.
Together, we’re going to metaphorically kill that old person. It’s not going to be easy. Stumbling will be a part of your journey. You’re going to want to quit.
It’s going to be hard.
But I need you to push through it. I’m going to give you the tools to do it.
The old you has to step out of the way so that the new you can be born.
And here’s how we’re going to do it:
I went through a Doctor Phil phase in high school (don’t judge me) and there are only two things that have stuck with me throughout the years from that phase.
- He talked about how he always questioned those parents who had stickers on their cars “My kid made straight A’s and is on the honor roll”. He thought they were ridiculous and I agreed. He wanted to make a bumper sticker in response “My kid makes straight C’s and B’s and has a life and is happy”
- The second thing that he said, that is relevant, was that it takes a thousand ‘atta boy’s’ to erase one single ‘you’re stupid, you don’t matter’.
EDIT: found some similar things to what I talk about below and inserted the links into below paragraph
And it’s true, the brain processes negative outcomes much more potently than positive ones. There was a study that I can’t remember that was talked about in one of my psychology classes. The study was that they brought in some people and quizzed them about how they thought they would feel if they won five dollars randomly. They also quizzed them about how they thought they would feel if they lost five dollars.
Then, in a separate part of the study as people walked through the doors they gave some people five dollars and took money from others.
On average, people rated the possibility of making money and how they would feel at about a 3-4 on a 10 scale. That was about on par with how people felt after they actually did randomly win money.
What that means is that people are pretty good at knowing how happy they would be if they won something. People are pretty accurate in that regard.
But when people actually lost money they rated their feelings at about a 5-6. So losing money made them feel a little worse than when they won money, but not much difference.
But what about how people thought they would feel about potential loss?
It rated an 8 on average. Which means that people anticipated loss would affect them much more than winning something would or could as well as rating it higher than actually losing something.
The brain has a funny way of focusing on the negative, it’s just easier to do. It makes sense if you think about it. Humans used to live in a dangerous environment. And the guy that didn’t pay attention to his surroundings got eaten.
Therefore, we have to force ourselves to focus on the positive things in order to get the changes that we want.
Which means that Phil was right when he said that people need many positive affirmations to erase a single negative one.
For me, I had a lot of negative affirmations to erase. And even now I still have new ones that I’m discovering every day that I need to work on and am in the process of working on.
One of the things that I’ve worked on, using the same process that I will go into in just a moment, was the fact that I never thought anyone would ever love me. I never believed that a woman would ever be attracted to and want me.
Another thing that depression taught me, and another thing that I had to beat. Was this shattered sense of even being a person. Depression taught me that I wasn’t a person.
It took me a lot of time to get over that as it was so deeply entrenched in my beliefs.
But now I’m at a place where I know deep down that I am attractive. That I am worthy of love. I might not be the best boyfriend candidate as I still have other areas of my life to work on, but I’ll get there.
These last four years I have transformed myself into the ideal lover. Women get very attracted to me and want me in the worst of ways today. As I said above I am working on my long-term value. Once I get that handled my results with women will go through yet another transformation.
There are lots of things on this website largely dedicated to your short-term value and being attractive to women. Attraction is vital with women before they will ever consider you for something long-term (same is true of men as well). And if your short-term value is high enough, women will still stick around even though you don’t have much long-term value.
But I’m going off on a tangent again, let’s get back to what you need to actually do to change bad beliefs…
Theory of a Wave and Beating Depression
Think of your negative beliefs like a cliff of depression overlooking the ocean. An ocean, and waves that will be all of the positive thoughts and habits that you want in your life. The water is what will flow through your veins and activate the new you.
It’s what will breathe a new soul into your body. A soul not twisted and tainted with depression.
A Frame Without Depression
This is what is known as a ‘frame’.
Your frame is how you see the world. Just like a picture frame, it frames the picture. Only in this case the picture is how you see the world and what you want.
The water is filled with your positive frames.
Like Phil and the researchers have said, you need to eventually beat down those negative beliefs and overpower them with positive ones.
Just like the ocean does to wear down a cliff, it takes time and consistent effort.
That’s how I want you to think about it. Your new positive frames will be constantly hammering on your negative ones until there’s nothing left but the awe-inspiring and crushing pressure of your new beliefs. That’s my theory about how you change yourself, but let’s get to the practical step-by-step part.
So now that you have the theory in mind, what do we actually do to get the changes we want?
Simple, every time you have a negative thought like “women don’t want me” you’re going to interrupt that pattern.
It doesn’t have to even be about women. But that’s what this blog focuses a lot on and the example we will use. This works for almost anything you want to change about yourself though.
Ultimately, the brain is all about patterns and routines. They allow us to shortcut a lot of things and they’re easy. Interrupting a pattern and changing it are difficult, but oh so worth it once you have your new pattern.
But to actually change the neural pathways we have first have to catch the negative thoughts as they pass through our minds.
That’s the first step. When you have a negative thought you need to seize on it with the ferocity of a crocodile biting down on a zebra.
You can use this technique for anything, but since this blog is about women let’s use them as our example:
“I’m not good enough for women”. As soon as something like this passes through your mind you need to catch it. After you catch that thought passing through your head then you need to pause and tell yourself that you’re right, that you’re not yet at a place where women are as attracted to you as you want them to be.
BUT YOU WILL GET THERE.
That last part is extremely important.
The brain is extremely reliant on examples. Which is why stories stick with us so much better than anything else, they’re great examples.
This is also why people can’t just tell themselves that they’re a babe magnet when they know that they’re not. The brain is going to fight against that and whoever tries to lie to themselves will fail.
Therefore, we will not going to lie to ourselves, we’re going to accept where we are at the moment. Where we are is not where we want to be, but we will get there.
But that isn’t the final step, this technique keeps going.
After a negative thought creeps through your mind you need to hold onto it. Then you need to tell yourself that you’re not where you want to be, YET.
After you tell yourself that you’re not there yet but you will get there, you need to find some proof for your brain otherwise it’s going to reject your claim and meekly go back to depression.
The brain, as silly as it sounds, doesn’t want you to be happy. It just wants you to be comfortable. And change is very uncomfortable even if it’s going to make you more comfortable and happier later on down the road. The brain doesn’t understand that, it’s all about the short term.
So, we have to recognize that we’re fighting against the brain. But there’s a brain hack that we can exploit; the brain loves proof.
After catching the thought, recognize the truth in it that we’re not where we want to be, however, we will get there. We just need to show it some proof.
“You’re right brain, I’m not where I want to be at the moment. I am going to get there though.”
But what kind of proof do we need? Anything that puts us closer to our goals.
I’ll use myself as an example again; I had never been on a single date or even been kissed by a girl when I started working on this beautiful journey of women.
What I would do, is learn about a few things and get some stories from other people. At first, they were the only proof I had. I used them as proof.
KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS IS NOT IDEAL BUT IT IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.
Use their stories and their proof to help get you started if you are at a place that is similar to the place I was at.
Then, just go for it.
I used their stories and finally scored a date for myself! First date ever! It was bloody awful but it was my first ever date and it was a push forward in the right direction!
First thought: “No woman will ever want me.”
Second thought: “Wait, it’s true that I’m not where I want to be just yet but I know that I can get there so long as I keep working on myself. Why, just yesterday I went on my very first date! Sure, it was a complete disaster and I accidentally yelled at her when I was trying to compliment her but she must have been at least a little attracted to me at first to go on that date. In fact, there are other people out there that started out exactly where I was, some even worse than me and look where they are now! There is absolutely no reason that I can’t get there too, they’re not better than me they’re just further along in their journey.”
I used the first date example because it was irrefutable proof that I was moving forward. The brain can try all it wants to fight against that, depression will try to fight against. Eventually it will win if you let it, but if we keep moving forward then depression, and even your brain, is going to lose.
A little while after that I went on my second ever date. It, also, was completely awful for different reasons but hey, more proof.
First thought: “That first date was just a fluke, no woman could ever be attracted to me”
Second thought: “What are you talking about brain? I just went on a second date just the other day! Again, I’m not where I want to be at right now and that sucks. But I’m getting better! I’m moving forward! Eventually, I’m going to get where I want to go and you’re going to suck it brain! You and women both are going to suck it!”
This is why you have to keep moving forward.
The more actions you take, the more successes you’re going to have. The law of averages demands it.
So, take heart in your victories, no matter how little you think they are. You have to hold onto them because those small victories are what will build you into a better man.
A man that women will go crazy for and that you will respect.
Beating Depression Takes Work
It’s going to take a lot of work.
But that’s why I write. It’s what I want to help you with. One way to do that is to start with the fundamentals.
I want you to start with the fundamentals because they’re going to help you get the proof you need quicker than anything else. I didn’t start with my fundamentals. I just went at it haphazardly and because of that it took FOREVER for me to get where I am now.
You work on your fundamentals and you’re going to have women checking you out. When you have women checking you out you have the proof that you need to tell your brain that women are attracted to you. After that, you just have to ask them out and get them on dates.
Once on dates you just need to figure out how to bring them into your bed and your life, or for any other purpose you may want people in your life to fulfill.
As long as you keep moving forward you’re going to keep getting better and better results. Once you get to a place in your life where women are always checking you out left and right the brain can’t fight against that.
Woman 1 checks you out; brain says it’s a fluke.
Then woman number 2 checks you out; brain says it’s a coincidence.
Then numbers 3-40 check you out; dafuq is going on here? Am I wrong? Am I actually a god-damned stud?
That’s the power of a wave washing away a cliff. It takes time and consistent effort, but it’s literally impossible to not work in the long run. As long as you keep at it.
You’re going to get there and I’m going to do my damnedest to help you get there. I can give you the tools to help you succeed and I will give you all of the tools that I can think of to get you there.
I just need you to promise me that you’re going to use them. Because I can give you the tools but it’s up to you to use them.
Ultimately, this is a journey of self-improvement and nobody else can do it for you.
And I’m asking you to do it. I want you to succeed and I want you to get what you want out of life. So please do keep moving forward and don’t forget, I’m here to help you.
Wave Technique Part 2: How to Get What You Want in Life
Ask yourself: “What do I want?”
Do this multiple times throughout the day for different situations you run across.
Do you find yourself bored in a certain moment? What do you want in that moment? Maybe you want a sandwich, maybe you want to get up and walk around. Perhaps something else entirely pops into your head.
But now you have your answer. And now you can go do whatever it is.
What if you see an attractive woman while you’re in the grocery store? Should you go talk to her?
Well, that depends. What do you want? Maybe you’re in a massive rush to get home because if you don’t a bomb will go off. A silly example, but in this case you shouldn’t approach her because it’s not what you ultimately want for yourself, no matter how hot she is.
But if you see her in the grocery store and you don’t have anything pressing to do, what do you want? Well, if you find her attractive and you’re single then you’ll probably want to get to know her. So go do it.
Maybe it’s a little intimidating if you’ve not done it a few times before. And you will feel that anxiety. But that’s okay, because what do you want? You want to get to know her. You have no other option than to go say hi and introduce yourself to her.
As far as what to do after that, it’s outside the scope of this post. If you want some help with meeting women, check out some Tinder secrets to help meet more women.
But because it’s what you want you have to go do it. As long as you’re not doing anything illegal that will compromise your freedom you have no other choice but to go do it because that’s what you want.
What if you’re with a girl on a date and you find yourself drifting? Well, what do you want?
Maybe this girl is kind of boring and that’s why you’re drifting off. Is she still attractive enough to make a move on? If yes, then what you’ll want to do is steer the conversation towards something more entertaining for you or even just make your move then and there.
If this girl isn’t attractive enough to make a move on, then feel free to end the date. You’re under no moral obligation to continue the date if you don’t want to just in the same way that she’s not morally obligated to do anything either.
What if you’re drifting for another reason though? What if you can’t focus on what she’s saying because you want to kiss her?
How do you go about doing it?
Just go for it.
You want to kiss her so you make your intention known. I’ve had success with just stopping her mid-sentence and telling her “I can’t focus on what you’re saying because I want to kiss you”. Then put your finger underneath her chin and guide her lips into yours. After the kiss you can go back to whatever it is that you were talking about before. Or maybe you’re in a place where you can try to take it further. It’s up to you, you’re in the driver seat when it comes to your desires.
What if she doesn’t want to kiss you though? Then she’s going to pull back. She’s going to let you know that she doesn’t want to kiss you.
What if she doesn’t like you, what if she’s just not ready to kiss you yet, or have sex with you yet or whatever else?
You shouldn’t care. Focus on yourself and what you want. This DOES NOT mean that you force yourself on anyone, however. It just means that you make your intentions known. You want what you want and so you are under a moral obligation to yourself to go after what it is that you want.
If the other person wants the same thing that you want then awesome! Congratulations! She was probably waiting for you to make a move, and like a man in this scenario you did. That’s attractive as fuck.
When a man goes after what he wants, it’s attractive because this man shows how confident he is that he is willing to risk a moment of awkwardness to get what he wants.
Again, I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU FORCE YOURSELF OR HER TO DO ANYTHING.
All I am saying is that you check in with yourself and ask yourself “What do I want?”
Then ask yourself how to go get it.
Then I want you to go for it.
You’re going to fail, and you’re going to fail a lot. But that’s okay.
If you see a woman in the grocery store and you want to get to know her better then you are morally obligated to go try to get to know her better. You’re controlling your own actions. Her actions are her business and you have to react to them. Maybe she’s interested and maybe she’s not. If she isn’t interested then no big deal, you can walk proud with your head held high because you acted on your desires.
It’s a win.
That particular girl might be a ‘no’ girl but you’ll start finding the ‘yes’ girls if you keep at it. The beginning of this book is about developing attractive habits that women will find sexy in general. Not all women, of course, because nothing is ever a 100%.
What About in Relationships?
This rule of “What Do I Want?” also applies when you’ve been with a woman for a while. You’re hanging out and she gets into a bad mood, maybe not depression level bad, but still annoying.
One of the things that I want with women is that I want to have fun.
That’s My Frame
Noting again: your frame is how you see the world. Just like a picture frame, it frames the picture. Only in this case the picture is how you see the world and what you want.
If she’s being a sourpuss, this does not affect my frame. My frame is that I want to have fun and her frame is to be a sourpuss. Because our frames are not synchronized this means that one of us is going to have to surrender their own frame and give into the other person’s frame. Incidentally this is a blander version of what happens to cause people to fall into depression.
I don’t want that to happen, even on a mild version.
In this particular scenario, I want her to have fun with me. So I will try a few times to override her sourpuss frame for my fun frame.
One of a few things will then happen: after a few tries she gives up her sourpuss frame and starts laughing and joins my fun frame. Another possibility is she gets so entrenched in her own frame that I leave to enjoy my fun frame. Otherwise, I risk falling back into depression.
I’m going to have fun no matter what. It would be more fun with her so I will do what I can to support that fun frame with her. But if she doesn’t want to join me in my fun frame then there’s nothing else I can do.
I then have a choice to make. Do I join her in her sourpuss frame and let her ruin my day or do I just leave her to go enjoy my fun frame without her?
It’s better for both of us if I leave her to enjoy my own fun frame. Not only is this more attractive but it also teaches her that I have a certain vision for my life and if she doesn’t want to be a part of it then she doesn’t have to be. This is the essence of wanting women but not needing women (and trust me, you’re going to fail at this quite a bit before it becomes a habit, I still fail with this sometimes and forget my vision for my life. The key is to keep going until you do get it.)
Once it comes to this she has her own choice to make either in the moment or later on down the road. Does she want to be a part of my life? If she does, then she will join me in my fun frame. But if she no longer wants to be a part of my life, then she won’t join my fun frame and we’ll stop seeing each other eventually.
Notice a few things though: my frame does not rely on her at all. I’m going to have fun regardless of her decision. It does not rely on her because if it did then my happiness would rely on someone other than myself. That’s not healthy. Healthy is to take your own happiness into your own hands, and likewise, your frames should not rely on a specific person.
It’s perfectly okay to have your frames rely on people in general. For example; one of the things that I want is that I want a woman or women in my life. I want sex in my life and I want love in my life.
These things are external but they’re still within my control.
When using this example about women I’ve found people understand a different example easier (which can then also be applied to women):
Another frame of mine is that I genuinely enjoy helping people. Therefore, I want to help people and it makes me happy to help people.
Then, to make that frame a reality I do things such as write these books that will help people. It’s not possible to help everybody, but I can help somebody. I don’t have to help everybody and neither do I have to help a specific person to achieve this reality.
For example, let’s say we have two people that come to me for advice. The first person, Person A, doesn’t take my advice and thinks that I’m stupid.
I can’t help Person A.
If I make it my mission, or have my frame rely on helping Person A, then I will fail. I will fail because my happiness rests squarely on Person A’s shoulders.
But that’s not my frame. My frame to help make me happy is to help people, not a specific person.
Now that we’ve established that Person A doesn’t want my help, we have the second person, Person B.
Person B comes to me for advice and loves my advice! They take my advice and they make changes in their life and they get what they want. I have helped Person B. That makes me happy. That turns my frame of “help people” into a reality.
While I couldn’t help Person A, I was able to help Person B and it makes me happy.
I don’t need to help either Person A or Person B in particular. I don’t need to help Person C in particular either. But I will find people that want my help and benefit from my help just the same way that I will find people that don’t want my help.
This same reasoning can be applied to women.
I want women in my life, which means that I have to learn about what women find attractive and adopt some of those traits into myself as a person.
Woman A might not find me attractive but maybe Woman B does. Or maybe she doesn’t and then I move onto Woman C.
Eventually, even if I’m the ugliest dude on the planet, I’m going to find a woman that finds me attractive. Just like with this meme:
I just have to find the 1+% that does find me attractive. My frame is happy because I want a special woman in my life (even if non-monogamously).
Going back to the sourpuss vs fun frame battle: my frame is still happy because I want to be happy and she doesn’t so I leave. If she decides that she doesn’t want to be a part of my life and my frame anymore then that’s perfectly okay too.
I just go out and find another woman that does want to be a part of my life and my fun frame.
My frames, in both examples are external and dependent on other people, but they are not outside of my control. They are very much in my control because they don’t rely on a specific person but people in general.
Going back to the sourpuss battle. If my frame was: get sourpuss to lighten up and join me on my fun frame, it would be unhealthy. It’s unhealthy because my frame then depends on this one specific person out of billions on the planet. Whereas the frame of have a woman in my life is one of billions.
Sure, if I have a girl I like then I want to keep her in my life and I’ll do my best to do just that (and even now I sometimes mess up, and you will too which is okay, as long as you keep moving forward). Just because she’s being a sourpuss doesn’t mean that I kick her to the curb right away. I give it my best shot before moving on. Maybe she’s just had a bad day and she’ll come around on the next day.
Still Perfectly Okay
But if she’s a sourpuss every single day? She’s gone.
And let me repeat it again: THAT IS HEALTHY AND ATTRACTIVE BEHAVIOR.
It’s up to you to figure out your own goals, your own wants and your own needs. Then you have to develop a frame of getting those needs, wants and desires met. Anything that helps those goals, desires or ‘frames’, is good. If something doesn’t help those goals then it is bad.
I’ve given you a few examples, but here’s another example outside of women: I want to have fun and enjoy myself.
Fun Is My Frame
That’s my frame when dealing with people and the world itself. Sure, that’s not possible 100% of the time because that’s unrealistic. But ever since I started asking myself “What Do I Want?” a lot more of the world has since fallen into place. Fallen in place to give me what I want because a lot of things are under my control.
Sure, if someone close to me dies then the frame of ‘have fun’ isn’t going to apply. Though I consider this to be a superpower, even Superman gets beaten up sometimes. Likewise, a frame isn’t going to be on at all times.
But what if you stub your toe on the bed when you wake up in the morning? That’s going to put anyone in a bad mood, especially when the damn thing’s still throbbing.
What about after it stops throbbing and hurting though? When it stops pulsating with pain you have a choice to make: do you let that bad start to a day determine the whole day for you? Or do you ask yourself “What do I want?”
Well, stubbing your toe sucks. But it’s not the end of the world and it’s silly to let it affect you long after the pain has subsided. While it’s still hurting then you shouldn’t just ignore it, but once the pain is gone you need to let it go.
I want to have fun, so after my toe stops hurting I’m going to return to my regularly scheduled program and figure out how to have fun.
Or, during lunch, I could think back about my toe and throw my food all over the place. Then I could tip over some tables and demand to see the manager.
It’ll probably get me kicked out but that’s a choice I could make.
What about at work?
Yup, I can have fun there too. Maybe something isn’t fun. Is there a way for me to make it fun? If yes then I should make it fun. But if there isn’t a way for me to make it fun I have another choice to make: is this job more fun than it is not fun overall?
Maybe the job is never any fun and always not-fun.
If that’s the case then I need to leave that job and find one that is more fun as quickly as I possibly can.
The same is true of girlfriends: is this girlfriend more fun than she is not-fun? If the answer is yes then I do my best to keep her. If, however, she’s more not-fun than she is fun then I dump her because we’re not compatible.
Notice, however, that in both the girlfriend example and the job example I can’t make those decisions in the course of a single day. It takes a little bit of time to figure it out.
The trick, is to figure out how much time is enough time. And that’s something that you’ll have to ask yourself. It’s not something that I can dictate for you because it’s subjective.
Wave Goodbye to The Old You
I want you to acknowledge that there is no longer any room for your dark passenger, no room left for depression. Nor is there room for the old you. There is only room for the new you.
You are a beautiful human being. You are not a mistake. You’re not where you want to be right now, but you will get there.
You deserve the right to live the life of your dreams.
Put in the effort and you will achieve that amazing life of your dreams. An amazing life free of depression. I’m going to help you get there.
You’re going to stumble on your new life path, you’re going to get hurt and you will want to quit. You will even want to fall back into depressions chaotic grasp.
Because of that, I need you to do something else for me before you start on your new path. I need you to ask yourself “If my life were amazing, what would it look like?”
When you want to quit, don’t. Stop for a moment and ask yourself what would an amazing life look like for you? What do you want?
Go get some motivation, go get some rest.
Then come back the next day and work on yourself some more. After you start, it’s like a train. The momentum will carry you along the way, if you let it.
You have to be gentle and develop patience with yourself. It took me a long time to finally fight my way out of depression, and even longer to get where I am now. Even now I still have days where I relapse into depression’s dysfunctional embrace. That’s the bad news, that I don’t believe these feelings will ever truly fade.
The good news, however, is that they become scars reminding you of your past so you don’t fall back into it. They can heal, you just have to be careful about not letting those wounds reopen.
As the river of time flows by it will gradually take more of the old you with it. Washing away the pain and the hurt.
It will leave only a brilliant shining soul where once nothing but a cracked and cold husk stood.
You will not see immediate results. Don’t lose heart though. I need you to make another step forward. Just one step.
One a day is all it takes. The bad news is that as you keep slowly moving you probably won’t even notice the difference.
The good news?
You can force yourself to see the difference.
As you’re moving forward on your path take the time to look behind you and see how far you’ve already come.
After so many years of slowly improving and moving forward there are times even recently where life truly doesn’t seem worth it. Even now I’ve had some things happen that have reopened old wounds while creating new ones.
It’s honestly hard to understand why I’m even here sometimes. “Why am I still alive?” is something that I’ve asked myself more than once.
I still don’t have much of an answer. But what I do have is my journey.
When I’m in those moments, I can sometimes hear a little voice whispering to me “Look how far you’ve come”.
When I’m in the moment of pure despair, pain and depression it doesn’t make much sense. Not until I think about it. In the moment it never makes sense.
But when I do think about it, it’s right. Because the progress I make is so slow I always had time to adapt to my new way of life as it was happening.
The same is true of you. You won’t notice the changes unless you force yourself to. You will adapt to the changes you make to the point where you won’t even feel a difference.
You won’t feel a difference unless you look back.
When you look back, that’s when it hits you the hardest. It’s something that I don’t honestly know how to describe to you. This is something that you will have to feel for yourself.
Never Invalidate Yourself
While not part of the wave technique, this part is equally important. Stop invalidating yourself. Your pain is real, your pain is valid, your life is valid and your feelings matter. Depression might try to tell you otherwise but you need to fight against it.
As I discussed in the wave technique you have to feel your pain when it comes up. Just because we’re trying to change doesn’t mean that you suddenly no longer feel any which way.
You still have pain and the only way to let it heal is to let it flow through you. That’s the river of time flowing around you and taking your pain with it. Gradually, slowly it will take it all. But only if you let it.
When you repress your pain, or try to stop from feeling it you’re hanging onto it.
The river of time is gentle and only takes what we allow it to take. It doesn’t try to force us one way or another. The only exception is forward. It does inch us forward, bit by bit.
I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve stayed up at night crying my eyes out more times than I even care to count. Even somewhat recently.
It helps because I have to let it go, and the only way to let it go is to feel it.
Would you tell someone to stop feeling it if somebody cut their leg off?
So stop doing it to yourself. Your pain is real. Your depression is real.
Small Changes for Big Rewards
Another thing that you can start with today is to live in a clean area.
When your house or living area is dirty and filthy it makes it unbearably hard to try to better your life. All this does is serve as a reminder of all of those terrible thoughts running through your mind.
The reverse is true as well, a clean place can serve as a reminder to never give up and reinforce how powerful a human being you can be. You can make a difference, even if cleaning something is small it’s a representation that you can make a difference. If you can make a small difference you can make a big difference.
It doesn’t have to be immaculate, but it does have to be somewhat clean to be effective.
Which leads to my next point; take pride in the small things you do. The small victories. Small victories create bigger victories, like an avalanche that starts small and grows bigger over time.
Change The World, Not Just Your World
Find a way to give back.
There’s other advice that I can give you, sure. Things like exercising and being out in nature help quite a bit (exercising is better documented while being out in nature not as much, so I won’t harp on either).
But something that can give your life purpose, give your life meaning?
That’s something that will give you much more than any of the techniques in the world.
It can give you a sense of belonging, which is ultimately what you’re missing. That’s the void that you feel inside of you that depression tries to fill. And it’s what finding your own purpose can give to you, a sense of truly belonging somewhere.
Finally, if you know someone that is depressed and want to help them, just listen to them. Allow them to feel whatever it is that they’re feeling, don’t dismiss them. They might not make sense to you but don’t interrupt them, don’t try to correct them because there’s nothing to be corrected.
I’ve lived through a lot of tragedies. When I’ve shared them people are honestly surprised that I’m even still alive. Even members of my own family have said that I never had a chance in this world and yet here I am.
I know that I could have had it worse, though it’s hard to see how sometimes. I know that there are others out there with more inspiring stories than mine.
That doesn’t invalidate my own journey, my own hell that I’ve lived through. It doesn’t invalidate my battle with depression.
The same goes for you, whatever your struggles are or even somebody that you want to help.
Struggles are viscerally real for people. Do not ever forget that when talking to someone you want to help. Just listen. That’s all they really need.
It sounds too simple, but it’s all I ever wanted as a kid. It’s probably why I became so attached to animals. They always listened when nobody else ever wanted to.
And that’s what hurt the most.
Try to listen, try to understand and try to empathize. That’s how you help someone with depression.
And most importantly, keep moving forward. Then you can have your own hilarious dating stories like this one.