I was talking to my wife the other day, as she was reminiscing about one of my middle sons. He used to have a stuffed Eeyore which he would drag everywhere. We have a lot of great stories about him and his Eeyore which we can’t wait to tell his future wife. *giggle* But I was kicking myself at the same time. Why can’t I remember these wonderful, terrific, heartwarming stories when I am down and struggling with depression? The answer is depression. My wife is constantly reminding me that when depressed, I can’t remember the good times; instead all I can remember are the bad, the bleak, and the hopeless.
Depression is like the Zombies. They eat your brain or rather leave you unable to remember the positive things that happen in your life. This is why it is so important to include positive memories in your wellness journal. Each time you remember a positive memory such as the one about my son and his Eeyore, take a few minutes to write it down in your journal. The memories don’t need to be incredible or amazing, but just simple, happy memories from your past.
Here is another example of involving another of my sons:
“When one of my sons was just two years old, and after I had left for work, my son walked around the house looking for me and calling my name. After a few minutes he found one of my shirts, cuddled up with it on the floor, and fell to sleep. It makes me feel good to realize how much my kids love me.”
If you are currently depressed and down, you will respond by saying something like “but I don’t have any positive memories.” Indeed, the Zombies have eaten your brain and you can’t remember the positive memories. Give it time, and pay attention. When someone says something to trigger one of those positive memories, write it down before you forget it again.
Keep working towards wellness.