Hope Contagium

A therapy journal of self-obsession, depression and meaning.

Tag: reflection

My Reflection

I had lost myself. I can’t even place when or how, but I know now that I was lost. My focus had shrunk down to the size of a needle point. My ambition was flushed down the drain.

Finally a day arrived where I could pick myself up; a day of opportunity. I had been up for hours, but only spent 15 minutes preparing for the day. Ready, wearing my coat and big winter boots, I spent the next five minutes staring disappointed at my reflection in the mirror. Staring back at me was a despondent body and a colorless, discouraged face. I did try – truthfully. But the result was tiresome.

Standing, waiting, pacing and turning. Rolling my eyes in annoyance. Letting my past creep into my thoughts and haunt my conscience. Turning back time isn’t possible, I tell myself. It’s wasteful thinking about it.

On my way back home I feel like a used rag doll. The recurring memory of my reflection stiffens a frown on my face all the way home. Bashed by deceiving thoughts that crumbled my spirit I had transformed back to that little girl, blinded by fantasy, who forgot her insight.

My forehead and cheeks turn sore from the constant frown. I keep shaking my head. Hating my longing for youth and serenity, I steal a final glimpse of myself in the bus mirror before stepping outside…

To All Who Struggle: The Dominating Story

September 24th, a response to the posts Happy Moments and All This Optimism
Dear, dear reader!

I am so touched. Really touched when I hear your words of struggle. But I am also sad. I feel an urge to cry.
There are so many things I want to say to you; I don’t know where to start…
So instead you will receive my thoughts as they come.

I know you have heard that you are not your depression. You are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, and you are not your diagnosis.
You are you. ❤

But that doesn’t mean that the depression isn’t there – that it doesn’t affect you and your thoughts and feelings.
The reason I tell you to try to externalize the depression/anxiety is because it might make it easier to control. That way you can place the depression on a chair and look at it, talk to it, and attempt to get to know it better. When does it take control? How does it feel? All the things you already know and are good at.
As you yourself so beautifully describe, you do like the depression in a way. You feel safe in this emotion because you know it so well. I think I understand that. From a narrative perspective this is called “the dominating story”. It is the story you tell yourself. In your case, it might even be called the negative, dominating story. And this story is thick, they say. Because you have a lot of experiences that you thread into this story; all your sadness.
I’m trying to make you build an alternative story. An alternative story that is positive. Where you collect the happy moments that stand out from the negative, dominating story. In the beginning this alternative story is thin, they say. You spend time looking for these happy moments and you find that there are very few. As you yourself write. But you aren’t used to focusing on these positive things. The more you get used to having your attention on these good moments, the more you remember them… and the more they will come. Because your focus is now in this new place. So slowly, this thin, alternative story, will become thicker and thicker, and in the end it will be thicker than the negative, dominating story. Suddenly, this positive story will be the one you tell people when they ask who you are. I hope that I’m explaining myself clearly.

It’s the way you think that can make a difference. That can make you look at yourself in a new way. And tell others about yourself in a new way.
I already feel that you are moving forward. Forward towards a brighter future. Because you want to get there and you are searching! Your thoughts and reflections are so important; who am I? Who is the authentic, the honest me? What kind of life do I want?
These reflections upon life are constructive and you will carry them around all your life. Especially if you do want to live a life following your heart. This is how I want to live. I often ask myself questions to be certain that I am where I want to be in life.
Remember, that your reflective thoughts already are a positive aspect in your life. As well as looking for happiness is. Inside yourself.

Everything I’ve said probably doesn’t fit into the negative… Into the depression? Maybe these reflective thoughts should be connected with your alternative story? This is a story that says you are a deep, thoughtful and sensitive human-being, who wants to be somebody for others. Make others happy. Make a difference. Who sincerely wants to be honest, first of all towards yourself.
Isn’t that a fantastic human-being? I think so! Because this is a young person fighting to live a life with beautiful and meaningful values. Despite a though past. Despite a diagnosis. Despite a whole lot of things that make this hard. A strong-minded person with all your fragilities.

This fantastic, strong-minded, and sensitive person is you dear reader. And you should be proud.
I am. ❤

Human Reflections

I saw a reflection of myself in another human; a boy so shy he could only muster yeses and polite laughter – exactly how I respond to people. I was the confident one in this scenario. What a funny and comforting experience to meet him…


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

– Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

%d bloggers like this: