Monday, April 27, 2009

Making Choices

Posted by Terry McNichols

My father finally turned the corner and has begun to collect seeds from his nasturtiums, poppies and calendula. When my dad starts collecting seeds, we know he's feeling like his old self again. But it has been a long recovery, and there were many times we worried that he might continue his post-surgery decline.

At one point, when it seemed as though my father was making some choices that were keeping him depressed, such as being unwilling to get up, get dressed, take short exercise walks, I reminded him of a statement by Harry Stack Sullivan that I heard many years ago and find very helpful. I post it here in hopes that it might be useful.
It is easier to ACT yourself into a new way of FEELING than to FEEL yourself into a new way of ACTING. Harry Stack Sullivan
In case this needs any further explanation, many people want to wait until they feel like doing something. Often that feeling never comes and it is easy to sink into deeper and deeper depression, waiting for the good feelings to return. In depression, the best way to counteract the negative thoughts and feelings is to begin doing the things that used to make you feel better, even though you don't want to. This often stops the downward spiral of thinking negatively, doing less, feeling worse and can turn things around dramatically. In case you need any ideas about how to start acting, follow this link for some great ideas!
(Photo by hale_popoki, posted via Flickr)


Karla W. said...
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Karla W. said...

I love the quote as it is so TRUE.

I'm also glad to hear that your dad is doing better. :)