Are You Addicted to McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe’s?
Am I addicted to McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe’s? This question came after spending time wallowing in self deprecating thoughts. I knew this wasn’t the first time I’ve ever felt such deep sadness, but the last time was years ago.
“Is this what depression feels like?” I wondered.
The answer is yes. Its called ‘situational depression’.
Within a few days time;
- my husband went from working the day shift at BMW to working nights
- my daughter packed to leave for college 16 hours north of us
- my mother went into a nursing home
- my dearest friends tragically lost two family members unexpectedly
- my patient died on the same day (I volunteer for Hospice)
I found myself crying for 2 days straight during that week, wondering if what I did as a wife, mother, daughter, mentor or friend made any difference. Intellectually I knew I wasn’t not alone in that thought, but when you’re going through pain you find yourself wondering all kinds of things. Negative thoughts played over and over again in my mind like a bad recording.
I did everything I knew to do. Change my thoughts from negative to positive, spend time with God, go for walks. I did everything I teach others to do to get past it, but I couldn’t get my heart into any of it. I just wanted to be sad.
I decided to go and get my third McDonalds Chocolate Chip Frappe for that week and drown my achy-breaky heart in it. Me, a health-nut, addicted to something completely FILLED with sugar … I was disgusted by the idea of it, but I also decided that if I should implode from drinking something sooooo delicious, that death by frappes might not be so bad.
(Now that I look back on it, I can’t believe my body didn’t revolt but one never knows the internal health issues overdosing on sugar, or anything really, can actually cause.)
People often say that I’m ‘naturally’ a positive or inspiring person. To me, this is like saying I was born with curly blonde hair (I’m a brunette). The truth is, staying positive is something I concentrate on every single day of my life. If I don’t, just like anyone else, I can easily slip into my old nature; the one of complaining or wallowing about one’s life.
It took me a few days, but I did eventually get over it.
Here’s What I Did and What You Can Do When You’re In Situational Depression
1. Emotions are energy in motion – When things get chaotic we turn to grieving what is lost. My husband’s time, my daughter’s companionship, my mother’s weekly phone calls, etc. Grief is something we all experience, but perhaps we aren’t aware of the ‘signs’. It can sneak up from behind. Emotions (whether grief or other) is energy in motion. If the energy of my thoughts is negative then I feel sad, angry, emotional. I needed to give myself permission to feel the energies; to sit quiet, to cry, to pray or read, and then move forward with small steps.
2. Seek compassionate understanding – My daughter did one of the kindest things. She sat next to me while I cried and just put her arm around me for about 10 minutes without saying a word. You have no idea how much I miss her, but for that day, her arm was all I needed. My husband also brought me to the lake, not to drown me, but to sit next to me for two entire hours without saying one word. He didn’t need to. He helped by getting me out of the house and away from my office.
3. Movement is vital – Do something active. From my years of training I know that if you can get your body moving, you can physiologically change what’s happening. We rented a kayak and with each paddle movement I felt the pain release. Even though depression wants us to anguish our days away, our body, mind and spirit needs activity and can react positively to exercise and being out doors. Physiologically if we can shift our body by getting it to the gym or get out to hike, swim, kayak or just go for long walks, we’ll be able to shift our energy to feeling happier.
4. Expect the waves – I’m not a grief counselor, but I can tell you that grief keeps coming in small pockets of pain. Pockets of the ‘woe is me’s’ and ‘why doesn’t anyone care’ moments. You just have to ride the waves and try not to drag others into your pockets when they happen. I didn’t do so well at that during the week unfortunately, but expecting the waves helped everyone cope and get through it just fine.
5. Let others help – You don’t need to be stubborn or strong. If someone wants to rub your back, feet, hands, or even your nose – then let them. Its hard for those who love you to be around you without wanting to help you somehow. Its their way of blessing you, but if you rob them of that blessing, it hurts them. If you don’t have someone there for you in the physical sense, then go on facebook and share how you feel. Vulnerability can do amazing things. If people don’t know what you’re going through then they miss out on the opportunity to uplift and encourage you.
6. Apologize – Tell those who might have been in your path of self deprecation, that you’re sorry. We may not see it, but our negative energy impacts EVERYONE around us, including our pets. Rather than just say, “I’m sorry”, maybe you need to go one step further and humbly ask, “Will you forgive me?” (This generally only works with humans, but maybe your dog would understand it). Those who love you will absolutely will forgive you. Those who don’t – then maybe they need time. In general people will understand you’re going through a tough time just like every other human being on earth.
So there you have it. My personal moments of feeling deep loss and how much easier it was to get through by following my own prescription. Why did I ask if anyone cared whether I was addicted to McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe’ drinks? Well…although its very, very delicious, its also very unhealthy, fattening and full of sugar. One part of me says, OMGoodness you’ve GOT to try it!” While the wiser more intelligent part of me says find a better prescription to soothe your achy-breaky heart. I gained 5 pounds that week!
So no more McDonald’s Frappe’ drinks for me, even though it makes my mouth water just looking at the picture above, which is a sure sign of addiction. I have a much better solution now. Come to our livestream events, be on our teleseminar calls, join our facebook group. NOTHING can stop you from being supported by our entire team – except YOU! And even then… you are never separated from the love of God no matter how hard you try.
Author Kellie Frazier
Coaching people personally and professionally since 2004, Kellie Founded Connecting LLC, an leadership training company. Her dedication to loving people allows her to speak publicly for different organizations, give back to her community by mentoring youth, volunteering for Hospice and creating a school for needy children abroad.