My thoughts on depression/hopelessness, & how to start breaking free of it.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, andy, here I went from depressed and suicidal to living a life of abundance and joy. If I can do it, you sure as hell can too. In my coaching program there's this guy that was feeling a little depressed and what we were doing was getting him to just take action and do the things that he used to love before he was feeling depressed, the things that used to bring him some joy. And over the weeks and over the months he found that his depression started to fade into the background just a little bit. And something that he said was depression has robbed me of all pleasures in things that I used to love doing. Now that I'm healthier mentally, I'm discovering the joy in the things that I used to like to do. And we had this big conversation and I said to him the big epiphany will come when you realize, when you move past all of this and realize depression didn't rob me of anything. It was more that I just stopped doing some of the things that I loved. And a lot of people on this topic see depression as this tangible thing, this ghost or this specter, and I used to see it like that as well. I myself was depressed from about age 14 to about roughly 21 or 22, and I was suicidal for a lot of that, and I used to see depression as this, like tangible thing. I put a label on it, I called it a thing. You know, it was this black dog or this black cloud that used to follow me around and haunt me. But as I moved through my depression, as I overcame it, as I learned to become an optimist, what I found was a depression wasn't so much this tangible thing, at least not for me. It was more. That depression was a lack of doing things, a lack of things. You know, for me it was a lack of doing the things that I loved. It was a lack of friends. It was a lack of vulnerability and connection with others. It was definitely a lack of loving myself. It was a lack of some sort of mission or some purpose or something that drove me drove me, in other words, some sort of goals or something that was higher than myself. It was a lack of sex. In some ways it was a lack of progress. It was a lack of feeling like every day was a tiny bit better than the previous one. It was a lack of feeling like I mattered. It was a lack of feeling like that I could have any impact on the world or even on my own life. It was a lack of feeling like I had any control, you know. It was a lack of feeling like anyone really cared about me. It was a lack of responsibility definitely that one. It was a lack of the tools to deal with life. It was a lack of things that brought me joy. It was a lack of caring about other people and having responsibilities. It was a lack of having daily to-do list, tasks and things that I worked on every day. It was absolutely a lack of hobbies, a lack of interests. It was a lack of going out and trying new things. It was a lack of exploring. It was definitely a lack of going outside. I stopped going outside for a really long time. It was a lack of energy because I wasn't sleeping, so it was that as well, a lack of good sleep. It was a lack of keeping up basic hygiene and grooming. You know, I sort of stopped showering, I stopped trimming my beard, I stopped putting any effort into my appearance. It was a lack of trying. I kind of opted out of life. It was a lack of feeling like the universe was there. For me. It was a lack of exercise, it was a lack of feeling like everything would be okay. It was a lack of feeling like things will work themselves out. It was a lack of hope, it was a lack of love, it was a lack of wanting to live and, most of all, it was a lack of any sort of joy. And so I found in my own life, depression was more avoid. It was A lack, a lack of rather than a thing. And, as I said to this client in the coaching program, now that you're starting to do the things that you really love again Depression that's a big reason why the depression has started to fade a little bit. You know, maybe you don't need that depression anymore because you're too busy living life, and so, if any of you are listening and you're feeling a little depressed, or maybe you're feeling a little stuck, maybe you're feeling a little bit hopeless, the thing that really helped me was taking action, just doing something, and it can be any of the things that I listed. I just listed 50 things that or 50 things that were a lack of that contributed to my depression If you just took any of those or a couple of those and started taking some tiny little baby steps. You start moving towards a little tiny bit of joy. And it's not that there's necessarily giant changes that happen overnight although with some people there is but it's often just taking those little, tiny baby steps, even if they seem insignificant, they seem like they won't make a difference, they seem like they don't matter, they seem like they're not going to be life changing. But those little bits and pieces do add up slowly over time, and that was how I worked through my depression. My parents, when I was really depressed and my life fell apart and I went back to live at home with them and I was just a complete wreck. At that point I just wanted to die every single second. I'd felt that way for years. But it all came to a head when I fell apart and moved back with my parents and all they did was, every day, they just gave me a list of some to-do list items to do. You know like, do the dishes, vacuum the house? These tasks seemed so insignificant to me. They seemed like a waste. What is the point of doing the dishes if I want to die? What is the point of vacuuming the house if we're all going to die anyway and life is suffering, and all of these thoughts that were in my head, all of these stories that I believed. But I did what I was told. I argued a lot, but I did what I was told and I found that as I just slowly started taking these baby steps, even though they seemed completely like a waste of time, I would do the dishes, I would vacuum the house and then slowly I worked up the courage to go out and mow the lawn and then from there do more chores, more housework, leave the house a little bit, go for a walk by myself, because I was at that point incapable of going outside and talking to other human beings or even just being around other humans. But as I slowly started expanding my sphere of, I guess, responsibility but my sphere of action, and I was able to do more and more and more, I found that I just didn't have as much of a need for depression anymore. The depression kind of just faded a little bit on its own and then from there I was able to go and walk around outside and make one or two friends and then apply for a job and get that job and then slowly started doing more and more stuff. So that was the way that I moved through my depression. That was the way that this particular coaching client did as well. I've worked with plenty of people with depression. There's an interview on my YouTube channel with a woman named Thea who was depressed and suicidal and that was all I really did with her or all she did for herself, I can say. But she just started doing little bits and pieces and doing some of the things that she wanted to do. That used to bring her joy and slowly the depression just faded a little bit and she at this point is now married and she seems very happy and that brings me a lot of joy as well. So I've seen plenty of people overcome their depression. So I promise, if you feel that way yourself, there is hope. But it does often require you to turn towards the things that maybe your brain says you don't want to do. Your depression. It might be saying I don't want to do this, there's no point, this is a waste of time. That's definitely how I felt. But if you're able to just take a tiny little baby step, the tiniest little thing, I promise they add up over time, they compound over time and slowly you're able to do more and more. I have a big guide on depression and I guess it's also if you're feeling a little hopeless or just a little sad or a little down. I'll leave a link in the description below to that. I have a whole list of resources and books and articles that I have written and it tells my full story as well as how I overcame depression, how I then learned to become an optimist, which really was just practice. Over and over and over again. Optimism is a habit that you build. It's something that you can create in yourself if you want to. I think most people do want to. I don't know anyone that actively wants to feel shit. Your depression often tells you that you want to feel shit, but deep down there is a feeling of I just want this to be over. That's why people get suicidal, because they wish the depression wasn't there and they wish for it to end. But yeah, that's my story. Hope you found this interesting. As always. Go out there, crush those goals and if you're feeling a little down, I promise you there is hope, even if it doesn't feel like there is.