The problem with using the past to predict the future is that our lives are not controlled experiments, and there are a lot of variables. There are lessons to be learned, to be sure, but we can't always predict responses and failures. People change, environments change, specific circumstances change. The most important of these is that people can change and grow.
I've fallen more than I'd like. Fibromyalgia and drama opened the door for depression to come back, and I've not managed to beat it back again. Not entirely. I've always been mystified by it coming and going, but I think maybe there is one component I can pin down. One, or perhaps two that I see as intertwined, which I'd been told in classes for years which I always scoffed at... locus of control.
The idea is that people who believe that things just happen to them - aka, have an external locus of control - are more prone to depression (side note: how does this work with religion being good for mood?). I always put this down, at least as applying to me, because I know damn well that the power is mostly in my hands, I just thought my hands to weak to use it. But... maybe that's not really a good argument against, because it comes out the same. If I'm not using the power that I have, then yeah, life is given free reign to push me around.
I don't remember triggers. What I do remember is that my depression started easing last time around when I realized that being in school was a choice. That all I really had to do was make it through the semester, and then I'd be free to do whatever would be best for me, and ultimately that meant a semester off, and dance classes, and working on health....
And then there was fatigue and illness that'd be predicted to be chronic - even more so than depression at this point - and would have me likely on antidepressants the rest of my life and still not at 100%. Then there was drama that made me feel resigned to isolation, to the point that I went through a phase of covering up my face to hide myself. I felt control and hope being taken away... and the depression flared up.
And I stopped doing very much to try to take control.
I've had a problem rationalizing optimism and self love because, well, look at how much I fail! And I don't think, objectively, it's much better. Life sucks, and for the most part it sucks for reasons under my control. But it doesn't matter.
Maybe this sounds egotistical. But let's say I don't deserve to be happy, and pursue my dreams, and go off and connect with people and generally be and feel awesome. Just for the sake of argument, because I know some part of me will try to argue that point.
"If you are giving up on your dream…not only are you taking that gift away from yourself – you’re taking that gift away from the world.
Don’t you dare take your gift away from me." - Veronica Varlow
I don't know if I have anything special to bring to the world, but it doesn't sit right with me to not find out. What does seem evident is that I am a better person when I am kind to myself, and hopeful, and letting myself be who I am instead of worrying constantly about fitting in. When I believe, I actually put in effort instead of - at best - putting in half-hearted attempts.
I owe it to the people around me to become the person I'd be if I learned to love myself and believe that I am powerful.