My problem is "should"

I am always telling myself life “should” be this way or that way. Believing life should be easy, that I should always be happy, etc. And then when things don’t live up to that expectation feeling like something is wrong with me. “Life isn’t easy because I’m just incapable.” “If I’m not happy all or most of the time then I must be broken”. And this leads to stress and depression.

Instead I need to change my thinking from “life is hard–>it shouldn’t be hard” to “life is hard–>what can I do to cope?”

It’s tough because the last thing a depressed person wants to hear is that life is hard. Depressed people I think have this idea that life is wonderful and should be smooth sailing, but because it isn’t there must be something wrong with them. Or they feel entitled to a life that is 100% wonderful and smooth sailing and when it isn’t that way they feel angry and bitter. I know I was that way. But that’s no way to exist. And yeah you can be mad and say “well if life’s not how I like it I’ll just kill myself”, but that will hurt anyone who cares for you beyond repair, deprives yourself of the amazing growth and experiences that come with life (despite it being hard and not always pleasant) and you’re throwing away something very valuable, as all of us have the potential to bring great good to the world and others.

Anyways I dunno I’m just rambling at this point. I’m just trying to change my attitude. It is stupid and exhausting to get depressed and throw a fit every time life isn’t easy breezy and doesn’t go perfectly in my favor. It will be beneficial to me to learn to say “yeah this is hard and not fun, so what am I gonna do about it? What’s the best choice I can make for me right now?”

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Do you hold yourself too an impossibly high standard as well? I have heard this called shouding on yourself. :joy:
I do it too

Yes I do…I think I should be able to handle anything…I beat myself up when I fail, make mistakes, or otherwise didn’t meet my ideals.

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And how is that working out for you? It’s a hard habit to break, I know from personal experience. My whole identity seems to be bound up in it somehow. To prove myself

Well I’m doing my best to stop doing it. But I still do it all the time. Like just a minute ago I was scolding myself for not going around and making sure my unit was absolutely perfect before the end of my shift because I KNEW corporate might come inspect it. I just didn’t do it. I knew stuff was out of place. I left it. Corporate came and pointed it out.

My first instinct is to call myself an idiot, say what was I thinking, should have done better, I was being lazy, etc. The reality is that it was a pretty exhausting shift. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off for about 90% of it. I was drained. It was the first moment all day the kids were finally all gone off the unit and I had some peace and quiet with nothing going on. I’m human. I was taking some time to breathe. Was that the most ideal, productive thing I could have been doing at that time? No. But was it what I needed at that time? I think so.


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