Now that you’ve made the decision to commit to overcoming trauma, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any other kind of challenge that is negatively impacting your life you need to create a strategy that touches the three areas that make life worth living.
Those areas are:
Work or hobby
3 Things that make life worth living
When you have good relationships with your immediate family you can go on to establish healthy working and school relationships, and wonderful friendships.
Keep in mind that some relationships are not good for you and repairing them may be completely out of your control.
For example, it would be nearly impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone with an addiction that makes them, at times, unreliable and unavailable to you.
What this post suggests is that you start by improving the relationships with the people closest to you—family, then moving outward to friends, and the larger community around you.
I’ll help you with identifying what a healthy relationship looks like and suggest ways that you can improve your relationships.
Regardless of the relationship type, romantic, family, etc., a healthy relationship is one that allows you to be yourself, there is an even or nearly even give and take, and it elevates you in some way.
The opposite of a healthy relationship would be one in which you are afraid to be yourself, you do not feel accepted and supported, you are put down or have a lot of negative energy directed at you, and you feel held down or held back from improving your life condition.
It will be important to know the difference between someone who is telling you some hard truths about yourself and the extended pity party that you might be enjoying, and someone who is negative about your ability to recover, or to try on new lifestyles to find what works for you.
But, you don't need me to tell you what an unhealthy relationship feels like because your intuition—your gut is probably already screaming at you—
“Hey, this person is really good for you.”
Or, “Run! You’ll never be able to create the life you want with this person.”
How a good therapist operates
In my own life, I was spiraling into depression at the same time that I met a pretty wonderful man.
My judgment was way off and I didn’t trust myself to know if I should pursue this new relationship or walk away.
Do you know what I did?
I turned to my trusted people. I asked my therapist and a trusted friend what they thought.
Like any good therapist, mine didn’t tell me what to do. Instead, he asked directed questions and discussed what a healthy romantic relationship and a good partner for me would look like.
I came to the conclusion that I would at least see where the relationship would go.
It turns out that not only did this romantic partner save my life in a medical emergency, and support me through debilitating depression and anxiety when I could not care for myself at all, but he is now my husband and best friend.
The points that you should take away from this story is that it’s okay to use people that you trust to help you make wise decisions and that you can find love and romance—even in the face of trauma, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Human beings are social, we need people, and having a strong network of people around you is one of the keys to preventing PTSD after trauma and in recovering from a mood disorder that has disrupted your life, like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
The relationships that you've created will become your support network for good health and the health-promoting habits that we'll talk about tomorrow.