The Win Category
I've used this phrase, more than once, and dealing with a wide range of things. Everything from “A day with 0 meltdowns” to “losing 3lbs” has been known to go into this mysterious category. And it's something that is really easy to keep and you don't necessarily have to be a parent of a special needs child to keep one.
What is it exactly? It's a revamp on an old mindset: think positive or, find one thing to be grateful for, every day.
It's not an easy thing to engage, especially if you're dealing with depression. And it was something that I HAD to start...had to. I was slowly slipping down the spiral of melancholy and into the dark pit of depression without so much as a ladder to get out.
I was dealing with a lot. Not to get into a huge long story about why I was this way, I will give you a summary of what was going on in my life and why I started this spiral.
1. I had three kids in as many years and my body wasn't done with the hormone fluctuation. Just as soon as I would get some wiggle room, I would get pregnant again.
2. I had buried two close friends in two years. They were young and their deaths were sudden and extremely tragic.
3. My parents' 32 year marriage fell apart. My dad just walked out on my mother for someone he barely knew. This is still a raw spot with me and I don't talk about it often. I haven't talked to him since the day after he “dropped the bomb” and I don't plan to, ever again. My reasons are for another post. (This is something that I am still dealing with.)
4. I got the diagnosis for Pixie (which we had suspected). Somehow, “knowing” something and actually having it told to you, are two completely different experiences. A fresh hell of images began to flood my mind of what kind of bullies my kids are/were going to face. I have physical scars of the encounters with my bullies. It's still something that is in the back of my mind, but I can't worry about that now. Hopefully, it will be a few more years before this circles back to my life.
It seemed that Life was pulling its punches, one right after another. The inevitable happened. I wasn't sure if it was PPD that had gotten worse or if I was just in too much emotional turmoil to recover from. I didn't get help, and looking back, I probably should have. I had become a miserable person. I was angry at everyone for everything and then just turned the anger inward when I got tired of complaining the same crap over and over again. Everything reflected it. My posts on FB/Livejournal, when people asked me how my day went, I always gave them a negative response.
But as anyone of special needs kids can tell you, you don't have the time to be in a funk. I needed to be on my game, from the time they woke up, until the time I hit the pillow. They needed me and I needed to get out of my personal pit.
That was when I developed The Win Category. Now, I'm not saying that this is for everyone nor am I trivializing anyone's depression by saying this is a “simple fixit”. Please don't misunderstand me. Depression is a real life sucking beast and it should be dealt with on an individual basis, however YOU feel you need to. This is how I dealt with mine.
I had a friend of mine, whom I've known for quite a number of years, tell me that each day I was to pick one thing to put into this “Win Category”. He said “Doesn't matter how big or small, just put it in there. If you have to write it down, do it.”
..so I did. And what I had found was the more “Wins” I put in there, the less I was thinking about the bad stuff. The negative “funk” my mind was in slowly, started to slip away.
I had my bad days, sure. Usually the Meltdown Days or days where I had hardly gotten any sleep, made it extremely difficult for me to put anything into that category. But, the more I added to it, the easier it was to pull myself out of it.
Anything can go into it. Anything. “My favorite song came on the radio.”, “I found a $5 in my winter coat pocket I forgot about.” I think I even put in there once “I remembered to take my vitamins.”
Every thing that made you smile, made you laugh, and is positive, you put in there. Every day, you need to write at least ONE thing in the Win Category. You are NOT allowed to make a “Loss Category”. It defeats the purpose of what you're trying to do.
Eventually, you start to see a pattern emerge and you add more “Wins” after a while. Give it a shot for two weeks, and see if you can tell the difference.
If you find that you can't put anything in there, do an assessment and find out what keeps you in your mind funk. Once you nail down what triggers your depression, you can take steps to rid your life of it.
So... when I say on my Facebook posts “This was put into the Win Category”, y'all know the whole story behind it.
Here's to the “Wins”,