Updated: Mar 16
My mother used to say, "I don't have time for #depression." Yes, it sounded a bit harsh but if you think, leisure time is the worst for any depression. The loss of interest to do something, or the loss of ability or need to do things you used to love gives you plenty of time—in which you are musing one troubling thought after another.
Mr. Green (name changed for ethical reasons) suffered from depression for some time. After he lost the sight in one eye and maintained the sight in the other with daily medication, he was no longer able to play golf. As he couldn't accept his blindness, he tried to drown his frustration in bottles of whiskey. Mr. Green used his inability to play golf as an excuse for his drinking under the pretext of an inability to find another interest in life. He didn't take my suggestion to substitute his drinking with a new hobby seriously. Just like he joked, he also very well believed that his life purpose was to pay bills and die. But everyone writes their own story whether with a happy ending or not.
How do you think your relatives will feel if you deliberately self-sabotage your happy ending?
Do you want your family to be proud of you or embarrassed?
Comparing drinking to playing golf, what does it feel like at the end of a successful game? And how does it feel at the end of drinking-away-day?
New horizons were discovered for Mr. Green when he became honest with himself. He was ready to discuss his potential interests. During the brainstorming of tons of activities, he used the lack of his vision again and bluntly rejected all of them. One day while we talked, he doodled on a piece of paper. I asked for his permission to take a look at his "drawing". There was a pretty good sketching of a tree. I suggested for him to paint.
"I can hardly see you, and you want me to paint?" he confronted.
"What about John Bramblit?" I asked. "He's even more blind than you."
Now, Mr. Green had some information to muse about.
A week after session, he sent me a message with attachment below (on the left). He didn't like his painting; thus, he smeared it with red paint. " I told you I can't paint."
Ignoring his attitude, I took a serious look at his #artwork. “Your painting is not bad at all even though you tried to destroy it. I can still see the concept. You don't need to be perfect. Just #express yourself." ...
After a while, my phone buzzed again. "Fixed it!" there was a short message under the new attachment (on the right).
Now every time, when Mr. Green talks about painting, he sounds happy. He discovered his new skills and his new hobby. In addition, his family supported his new passion; he stopped drinking and even set up a small art studio utilizing the extra space in his garage.