Many of us are guilty of this to some degree. We think 811 will be this magical cure-all that will not only bring us radiant health, put us in great shape, but it will make us feel joyful and happy 100% of the time. I can personally say that that last thing is definitely NOT true for me. I have been depressed basically all of 2012 (and been 100% LFRV for 80% of it). No matter how good I got my SWS I would still have days where I just felt mentally and emotionally awful. This would of course stir up feelings of confusion and frustration, a sense that I was somehow cursed to be unhappy regardless of how good I took care of myself. I have struggled with depression on and off for years. From 2006 on it seemed I had beat it. But this year, given my personal circumstances, it's back. I have felt sad, blue, hopeless, less-than, inferior, worthless, a lot of the time.
The other night I finally cracked open a book that my doctor had given me several months ago. It's called "Feeling Good". It's about cognitive therapy for depression. The idea is that people who are depressed run themselves through constant feedback loops of negative self-talk about themselves, others and the world in general. I always thought I was a pretty positive minded guy. But I also knew that I would find myself stuck in these lower consciousness, negative thought patterns that the more I tried to get out of, the more frustrated I got. However, when I read the ten examples of the types of negative thoughts that cause depression, I realized I was guilty of doing them constantly. CONSTANTLY. The book has been a huge eye opener, and though I'm only about 60 / 400 pages through it, I am already seeing benefits. Just being able to recognize those negative thought patterns, I can begin to refute them in my mind. I guess that means I'd be going crazy arguing with myself, but I'd rather do that than constantly feel depressed.
Last night, I decided it was time for a "treat". I hadn't been to a gourmet raw restaurant in several weeks and figured what the hell. On the way there I was battling myself
"You shouldn't do this, you'll only feel worse afterwards"
"this food will stimulate your for a little while, but won't satisfy you in the end"
"You should just make a big salad at home, but you don't have the right ingredients, you don't like salads and you suck at making them" (yes, I am this negative with myself, LOL)
"You'll end up getting a kombucha with your meal, and then you won't be able to fall asleep tonight. You told yourself you were going to go to bed early. You're supposed to be quitting kombucha. It's not good for you. This is going to be ugly"
So at this rate, you can tell I am driving myself crazy and ruining basically any chance I would have at actually enjoying all this experience. So I told myself "f*** it, I'm going there, I'm going to get what I want and I'm going to try to enjoy it. If I don't that's OK because I'll just have one more reference experience for not wanting to come back. But I'm going to enjoy it, then I'm going to go home and go straight to bed"
They had a special with raw jalapeno "poppers" as an appetizer. I got it, it was awesome. I was coughing from the spiciness. My once almost inhuman spicy tolerance has regressed since going all raw. I couldn't resist temptation and got a kombucha. It was a locally brewed blueberry flavor, it was delicious. I enjoyed it. I decided not to argue with myself over what to get as an entree and ended up getting an asian noodle salad. I knew it would have salt and oil but it would be better than some raw tacos or super-fatty food. It turned out to be pretty awful. It felt like I was eating salty paper, or some bites of it, just paper. It wasn't too stimulating, it was just EXTREMELY bland. I probably should have complained.
So yes, I was not satisfied with my meal. Immediately the negative thoughts came flooding in
"This was awful, you never should have come here"
"You are so stupid and weak willed for coming here. You just wasted your money and could have eaten something much more nutritious and much more satisfying"
"This places sucks. People who eat gourmet raw are elitist douchebags. Don't come back"
"After drinking that kombucha you'll never fall asleep tonight"
And much more, I said many awful things to myself. Wow. I decide to tune all that out and tell myself "Well, I tried the salad and it didn't work out too well. The jalapeno poppers and the kombucha were really good. Next time I can get something else, or I can also just never come back. Both of those options are fine. I don't feel too stimulated, I can probably still fall asleep. I have a really good book at home to read and a couple of puppies who will really want to snuggle."
Man that felt so much better than beating myself up and feeling terrible. And it was an honest depiction of what happened. If anything, the original negative thoughts were distorting reality and I had to refute with positive thoughts just to keep myself honest.
I went home, got ready for bed, read my new book a little while and fell asleep nice and early. Woke up this morning feeling pretty damn good.