The Coaching Situation

I am trying to get help with my depressive state and dealing with issues from my past, that I haven't faced. I feel real lonely, I am 20 years old and I am a religious person, at times I feel like I shouldn't feel this way since I believe in God. There are times when my friends may make a statement and I get depressed the rest of the day. When people say something negative towards me I take it to heart and feel like I am really no good and worthless. I wonder why it seems like my life I've been rejected, my mom gave me up, my dad tried to hurt me. I was sexually abused, and try to push those feelings deep within me so I wouldn't have to face it again. I have been passed on to different family members never feeling love, they never showed affection.

I have been in bad relationships, just wanting to be loved, but I end up getting hurt and I don't understand why I get hurt all the time. I ask myself what's wrong with me if I can't find someone to love me. I trust no man, I've been lied to and hurt so many times, I just don't believe their words. I keep on messing with the same guy even though he's hurt me so many times. Is it because I feel I can't get any better or sometimes I say to myself, maybe that's what I should settle for. It all gets so depressing, any happy moments I have are rare, and I hide my feelings most of the time. Just knowing that my mom and dad aren't there for me, hurts so much. I really feel alone. I feel ugly a lot even though people say I'm a beautiful person. I want to learn how to love myself.

Once we received the life coaching situation, we needed to get more information to create the most helpful coaching response.

1. What do you enjoy doing? What brings you small moments of happiness? I enjoy reading, dancing, going out with friends and listening to music, the things that bring me small moments of happiness are building memories with my friends by going out and doing things together and dancing.

2. What happens in your relationships that you end up being hurt? I either find out that they've been lying to me or their cheating around and I lose my trust for them. If I meet someone nice then they usually end up going away. They usually take me for granted.

3. Are there certain things that happen over and over in each relationship? The lying, and my doubts of their sincerity.

4. How many serious relationships have you been in? Define what a serious relationship means to you. I've been in two serious relationships, sincere relationship mean that you and that person has been together over a period of time and u both spend a lot of time together and both have established the relationship to be monogamous or exclusive.

5. Is there anyone you can talk to about how you're feeling out of your friends, family, workplace, or anyone else face-to-face? If so, how much have you told them about how sad you feel? Nope.

6. Please give the top ten negative self-judgments (thoughts) you have about yourself. I am ugly, I am fat, I don't love myself, I am a negative person, I am not talented, I have a fear of failure, so I am scared to try stuff, I've got reflux laryngitis and it's messing my voice up, so I feel useless, I doubt mostly everything why my family treat me they way they do. I worry too much.

7. Please give me the top ten positive self-judgments you have about yourself. I am kind, I am generous, I have a nice shape, I am a good friend, I am an easy-going person, I got some patience, my friends appreciate the advice I give. People warm up to me.

8. How do you define "loving yourself"? Describe how you think other people love themselves. I define loving yourself as accepting the good and bad about yourself and accepting your faults, if someone says negative things to you, you know better because you feel good about yourself and have a good attitude. You don't take things to heart what people say, you don't try to please everyone. If you can look in the mirror and say or think to yourself, I am a beautiful person and love who you are.

9. What do you fill your spare time with? Being on my computer, reading or listening to music, also going the gym.

The Coaching Response

The first thing any person who is feeling depressed should do is to go see their doctor. If you don't have a doctor or have a trusting relationship with your current doctor, talk to friends, acquaintances, or co-workers to find a doctor. It’s important you find someone you can trust enough to tell them how you’re feeling and how it’s affecting your life. Your doctor can make a diagnosis based on what you’re experiencing. They look for specific symptoms that have lasted certain periods of time to be able to diagnose if you are in a depression, as well as what category of depression you may be in.

Depression occurs for many reasons, physical and/or physiological, and is usually triggered by a stressful event or a series of events that wear you down over time. The treatment varies from pharmaceutical intervention to correct the chemical imbalances that occur in depression, to varied forms of professional counseling, or any combination of the two. A doctor can rule out if there are physical reasons that are causing a depressed state of mind.

Because of your experiences as a child, you have a great deal of suppressed pain and anger. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to suppress the emotions, and eventually your body, mind, and spirit get tired of hiding them. You need a safe place to look at the emotions that you’re not allowing yourself to feel, work through them, and eventually release them. There’s a lot of pain inside of you that is covered with numbness and sadness that you don't know how or are afraid to express. Your attention is drawn away from the outside world and is focused internally. Your body is telling you that now is the time to deal with these suppressed issues.

Most of your life has been spent trying to get the approval of others, and those attempts have resulted in what seems like a deeply personal failure. You have a good understanding of how a healthy self-esteem works, yet don’t know how to get from the point where you are now to the point where you love yourself. To understand how to be able to change yourself so that you stop experiencing so much pain, you need to first understand where these patterns come from that you keep re-experiencing as an adult.

You were taught to make choices when you were a baby. Depending on the sounds you made, you got certain results, be it food, warmth, love, soft words, comfort, etc., or the opposite. When you were a toddler, you made endless attempts to get love from your parents and others. No matter how often we are hurt or rejected, we always keep looking for love, without knowing it. Throughout the period of development as a child, you learned that to be loved, you felt pain. No one has taught you how to experience love without pain. And yes, it is something that must be taught. The behaviors you now have as an adult are the same behaviors you learned as a child. By identifying those behaviors, you can take steps to change them and learn healthier ones.

Let's look at trust. Logically, you know that what people say and do are generally two different things. Yet how many times have you believed what people have told you, only to be hurt when they didn’t follow through? What if the concept of trust isn’t what you think it is? What if trust didn’t exist? The way society uses trust, we hear a communication and decide whether or not to believe what we hear/read/see. Yet, I don’t know of a single person who has never gone back on their word at least once in their lives, so what is all of this really about?

Everyone has their own set of fears and patterns that affect how they interact with others. In each hurtful situation where your trust was breached, people responded from their own unique set of fears. Because you wanted to believe them, you ignored the truth to keep seeking love. Every time fear won over that particular person's ability to show love. The same is true for your parents and those who cared for you. Their fears and how they were taught were the only way they could express themselves to you, which was filled with their own anger at how they were betrayed and their own experiences of lack of love.

Rather than ‘trusting’ somebody, an option is to learn that people are always seeking approval and acceptance from others. No matter how sincere somebody is when they speak, ultimately the fears THEY have will win and what they do is a result of their own patterned behavior. So if you were to stop looking at people as to whether or not they can be trusted, you will be less disappointed when they don’t do what they say. Understand that everyone is in internal conflict about what they want and what they are capable of doing.

As a child, you saw many examples of people unable to express love. You're seeing similar examples now. Your fear of not being loved becomes your reality over and over because you're innocently repeating what you taught. When you understand this, you develop compassion for yourself and others. This means that you're learning to understand other's behavior and not take it personally. You'll eventually learn how to apply this to your past, so that you're able to understand that your parents and relatives only repeated what they were taught and you'll be able to forgive them for the pain you experienced. It’s really only at that point that you'll be able to make changes in how you approach relationships today, including the one you have with yourself.

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