The first thing I did when I realized I was depressed was STOP. Basically, I decided to take a vacation; a vacation from the anxious thoughts in my head and a vacation from the “shoulds” and “need to do’s” in my life to deal with the depression and anxiety.
STOP became Space, Time, Openness, and Power to me.
Space became a very important concept to me. Somehow, I had boxed myself in and I needed space to find me and to find God. When I shut down the anxious thoughts and endless to-do list in my head, I began to find space. Space to think about God and space to think about me.
I gave myself the gift of time: time to read, time with God, time to laugh and play with my baby granddaughter, time to take walks and see the green grass, the clouds against the blue sky, the wildflowers peeking through the grass, time to play the guitar and sing, and time to play the hammered dulcimer. I spent evenings with family and friends.
I began to open my heart again. I became open and honest with myself and aware of my thoughts. I tried to be compassionate with myself, to think of what I would say to someone else going through a hard time and tell it to myself.
Realizing I was empty and weak, I depended on God for power. Not my power, but His. Not in my time, but His time. I gave up control and handed over the reins.
Stopping was the very best thing I could do for myself. I initially thought I would take a break for a week, which turned into two weeks, then a month. By the end of the month, I had learned many things about myself. My new understandings were helpful, but I realized I didn’t have the tools I needed to move forward.