Today before sitting down to dinner this Thanksgiving I was checking on my Facebook page, when one of my friends had posted a fortune cookie which said click here to read. So, I clicked the button to see what it said and the phrase “The first step to better times is to imagine them” came up. I looked at my fortune and thought a little bit about what it said and how true it was for me, including every survivor working so hard on their own recovery. Imagine them as if to say set some goals and reach for them. Once you reach your goal you will find better times. Make one think and realize just how true that statement is.
When I was working, the team I was on was always working towards one goal. When we reached that goal we would then set another set of goals to reach and this was how we moved through the day and this is how we stayed focused on the job at hand. Suffering from Depression and PTSD it becomes a struggle to do the littlest things such as even get out of bed. My therapist had me set a goal to do some type of work around the house for fifteen minutes twice a day and strive to pull myself to do these. This is a good goal and a great way to motivate myself into getting out of bed and moving about the house and not going from just the bed to the couch as I normally did. But the one thing that this really did not do was change my mind, in fact the thoughts and memories would still continue to pop up or in the background I would be thinking of something other then the task at hand. No matter what the thought was, be it owing on bills, the cars that are broke down, the things that need fixing or my past all together the little movements around the house did little or nothing to change me, or my mind which I really need to do if I am going to survive. And even as I type this I am reminded that for the past nine months my only goal has been to get out of bed and spend time with my family.
But images as a goal bring up a whole new kind of reason to go on. Yes, to reach better times the first step is to imagine them the second thing is to go and do them. My interpretation is that to find a better time either for the day or longer is to imagine my goal rather then think of my goal. Instead of doing something fifteen minutes twice a day not really knowing what I am going to do when I wake up, picture myself like cleaning the windows with cleaner and then add the element of good into that image. A clean glass window allows all the sunshine into the room which brings light and warmth, and it also opens the world with a better view. Then once I get out of bed I now have a goal with a reason not just a goal. Once that is done rather then looking to the poor things in life is to stand back and admire what I had done that was not only for me but for anyone who looks out the window. What once were fingerprints and smudge marks is now a wonderful view of the world and would be something that was good I have done and not just a cleaning job. Same can go for other items in the house like the refrigerator or counter tops.
Take this thought and take it once step further and imagine doing something on the weekend like I get to pick the movie that gets rented or pick the movie and the snacks. Use a mental image to focus on and see everyone sitting watching the movie and for once being in control of the remote and handing out snacks. I know it sounds funny but you know if I were to work on that it might actually stop my mind from going to all the places that it has been going. I believe the Beetles sang a song once about Imagine, in fact as a survivor on a road to recovery there are a ton of things we can imagine that could be good thought. All the people who could be affected by our healing, the children we might save if we reached the point to speak about it and better yet all the places we could go without being triggered and if we were able to just laugh them off. To set a goal of one day being free from the life that brings us down, that causes pain and tears to a life of freedom and happiness. It all sounds good on paper, it all sounds good when someone tells you that your going to reach this place but until you actually imagine what this place is going to look like how will you know your going in the right direction or more important when your there.
Setting goals is very hard for me to do when I am really down and out, moving, feeling and even thinking become a major chore for me however I wonder if I train or force my mind to look into the direction of imagery goals it might make it easy to get past it rather then sit there and let my mind take me further down. What my thinking is also this, when it is hard to imagine an image, allow someone talk to you and help you build an image. This could also help relationships that are troubled by a person who is suffering allowing their loved ones to actually become a part of their healing which could in a way make the relationship even stronger. I have no idea if anything is out there like this, but it is worth a try. Until Next Time….