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learning to feel pride!

I would like to share some personal insight into feeling pride, how when people who struggle with depression and anxiety pride becomes a foreign word. I feel that it is so very important to be 100% open about such subjects because people need to learn about the thoughts and the feelings of there loved ones who are struggling so they can a better help to them.

The only way you can help someone who is struggling is to understand were they are coming from, there thoughts and feelings, then and only then will you be able to be helpful, giving them what they need most! A listening ear and someone who is there form them. And I have news for you once you start listening you will find out that you are not so different from your friend or loved one, because were all human and we all have the same emotions.

I would like to share how I went through life for so long never feeling successful or proud of who I was or my accomplishments, but also how I changed my way of thinking.

I was always looking for the next thing to do, never sitting back and being happy with what I accomplished in the moment. Always thinking “sure I did that but who cares now I have to move on to the next thing”. I never felt proud, I always thought if I did feel proud I would be a bad man, arrogant, selfish a bragger ect..then I would feel guilty or ashamed for even thinking that I should a have a good feeling in me.

I went from gig to gig, band to band, student after student doing my thing, being very successful, making a living from music but never ever feeling proud. Just thinking all the time now what do I do…When I was working on changing this way of thinking in therapy, my therapist made me sit down and write out all the things that I had done in my life that I was successful at.

It took me a very long time to come up with a short list, because the things that would enter my mind I would shut them out. I would say “well I did this but it was nothing really, so I will leave it off the list” But Mastora (My Therapist) would say no no that goes on. I ended up with a long list, with some poking and prodding and being able to except that I was successful in life and I deserved to be proud. I was always looking for out side approval in everything I did. Even writing out this list for my Therapist and I to read was uncomfortable, but I pushed through my feelings and wrote and excepted that I had done great things and I was successful in life.

I was given a simple home work assignment that would have a major impact on my life, my self esteem and instill my missing sense of pride that I refused myself to feel for so long.

I had to say thank you when a complement was made to me. It was had work because I was so used to saying thank you, But then in my mind I would finish the thought with “it was nothing” or “what ever who cares I stink” ect.. I had to stop, just say thank you, smile and allow myself to feel happy, I did a good thing and yes I am proud of what I did. (I wrote about this homework in my book “Why I Run”)

It was so hard at first but it started to feel good after a while. I took this home work to the next level because that is who I am. I would write in my journal about how I did something good that day. I would write about the emotion that went along with it and why I was feeling it. This was a way for me to truly slow down my thinking and take the time to really except the moment and feel it with each word I put on the paper. (Mindfulness at work)

Over time I started to feel pride in what I did and my many accomplishments from the past that I gave no value to before. I learned that feeling pride is not a bad thing, feeling good about yourself is not being arrogant. When someone says you did a good thing and thanks you, or complements you, you smile and say thank you and leave it at that. Let that good feeling lift you up as you go about your day, let it inspire you, feel the good emotion, it is health to do so!

After my 1st book was released, I started to do talks and signings I was told to have professional photo’s taken. So I went to my friend Jennifer Mcready. She has a way of capturing your true spirit in her photo’s, what a gift she has. I wanted to have a shot take that would reflect the hard work I had been putting in to helping people, helping myself, and feeling proud of what I have accomplished since I released my books. I wanted to have a pic taken that truly stood for who I am right now.

As I sat on the wood crate with my books below me at my feet I felt uncomfortable. I thought to myself what an arrogant thing to do, but Jennifer just said “smile, loosen up and just go with it”. This pic of me with my books at my feet is a statement that I am proud of what I have done, that both of my books I stand strong on. I wrote them for a reason and that reason is plan and simple to help people and share what I have learned so others can live a happier life. I am very proud of what I have done, the time I have put in, the peoples Live’s I have touched and continue to touch.

Feeling pride is a hard thing for people who are struggling with a mental illness like depression, anxiety ect.. but there is hope and there is help. Understanding it and learning is the 1st step to helping.

I am proud to be someone who gives inspiration to people who struggle in silence.

I am proud too inspire and educate people who have friends and family members who struggle, I am proud to help them reach a better understanding of depression so they can better help there loved ones.

I am proud that each week I do my part in breaking the stigma behind mental illness, if I am doing a talk or sitting in a Chapters or Indigo just talking openly, I am making a difference and I am proud.

Being proud is not a bad thing celebrate who you are, all you have done! And don’t be afraid to do so!

“Only with open conversation can we break the stigma behind depression let’s start talking and do it together” Darcy Patrick

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