Fear and Depression Spiral… I Can Keep Getting Better Anyway

I found a wonderful quote today on my Momentum Chrome add-on

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
~ Thomas Edison

Ah, thank you universe. As is so often the case, the right message arrives when the student is ready.

The past few days have been a powerful reminder about commitment, willingness, humility, acceptance. The list could go on for half a page, but I think you get the idea. I ignored or delayed the Big Three things that are not optional in my life – running, meditation, writing – and the result was fear and depression.

Once you enter into a fear spiral it can be hard to get out of it. Same with depression. This must be what hell is like.

The first step to get out of a spiral is to notice you are in it.

For me it shows up in my body and in the images and stories in my mind. My body gets twitchy and restless. I feel a discomfort come up in my torso and chest and extend into my limbs. The sounds in my head take on an odd timbre and the pictures become gray and disassociated. When it happens, the only thing to do is to interrupt the pattern, get out of the spiral in any way that you can. For me, yesterday it was “Take A Nap”. A run would have accomplished the same thing. Maybe just sitting in meditation would have done it. The point though is to DO SOMETHING TO BREAK THE PATTERN.

So, what to do now to assure that the Big Three always happen? I have a plan and I’m sharing it with here for my benefit and for yours.

  • Put the run on the calendar
    This is a duh-head-slap kind of thing but it’s surprising how easy it is to avoid something that does not have a slot already in your daily life. If it is important enough to derail you for days, for heaven’s sake schedule it!
  •  Put meditation on the calendar
    See above.
  •  Post SOMETHING to the blog every day
    Even if my life may not seem to be full of interesting stuff, it is still one of MY primary interests so I’ll just share. Not to indulge in masturbatory self-absorption but to explore what really matters about being on this planet, breathing and eating, and being human. I find that VERY interesting. (And I’ll probably talk a lot about running and meditation and writing as they are pretty Top of Mind for me.)
  • Tell the world about it
    Sometimes you just have to play in public and let the lovers and haters sort themselves out.
    Incidentally, that totally scares the shit out of me!  Guess that’s why I gotta do it.
  • Get help
    I can’t seem to do it by myself, so I’ll be asking for a lot of help.

One of my coach mentors reminded me recently that one of the best things I can do for those that I coach, serve, and lead is to be a good model. That means I need to be transparent about personal self care, respecting my needs, and getting help when I am struggling. People need to see their leaders and coaches as people who deal with the same things they do and that they are willing to reach out and do what is needed to get better. Another coach mentor shared a story of how of the hundreds of soccer players he coached professionally over 16 years he was actually a better player than MAYBE one of them. But they gladly let him coach them because he showed an example of someone always striving to be better.

What are you ready to do to keep getting better?