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Which comes first?


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Hey goose,

I struggle with this one all the time you may of noticed :-) but I am trying to work on it.

What I was told to do by one of the nurses, was not to seperate thr two things, coz well there quite closely related, and it will only get me confussed. (dont know how right she was, but hey, no one else there tried to help me with it)

What I do is make a list things that I like about myself, things I do that I like, things that others like about me. The trick is to be as honest as you can, no one has to see the lists. Oh and dont write anything negative on it (I slip up on that bit a lot)

When I first started doing this, well you best believe there was only one or two things on that list, but slowly over time the list is growing.

It may sound silly, but it kinda works, (with practice), slowly I am begining to accept me for me (some good, some bad), and slowly I am begining to like myself (its hard work though)

Dont know if this makes sense but it helps me, it might help you too

take care hun


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Hi Goose,

Jj is on to something here and I'd like to expand on her excellent wisdom. I was wondering what would happen if we looked at it from another direction—that of happiness or being happy? So much of who we are is (self image, self esteem, self acceptance) is wrapped tightly on what we do-- a good conversation, a good book, a beautiful garden, a good visit with a friend, when one contemplates well-- when one just simply is doing, self-consciousness is blocked and you’re at one with the music. I find that those least happy, with lowest self image and self esteem, to be people who ruminate heavily and deeply about what is wrong. Such ruminations rob one of the ability to do what is best for themselves—much energy is spent doing the devil’s work.

Sometimes it means re-crafting your work, your romance, your friendships, your leisure, and your parenting to deploy the things you're best at. What you get out of that is not the propensity to giggle a lot; what you get is out of your head and into activities that generate happiness with life.

What's I’m suggesting is that we have realistic and workable lives, if we can’t have positive emotions within ourselves (and most people with depression can’t) then we may need to look at what Thomas Jefferson and Aristotle meant by the pursuit of happiness. They did not mean smiling a lot and giggling. They weren’t talking about raw feeling, about thrills, or about orgasms. The idea of “the pursuit of happiness,” is much less about being happy, but about doing things that bring us joy.

Rather than go deep into detail, I would encourage you to go to Martin Seliman’s site (Seligman is one of the world’s most respected psychologists):


Or you can go to this webpage which is here on our very own Mentalhealth.net:


Please write back and let me know what you think.


Edited by David O
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Thanks Jj that is a really good suggestion. Like yourself I will find my list of good things will be short initially - actually can't thing of anything for that side of the list at all.:)

David, I like the approach you suggest. I do have a tendency to live in my head - and it is physically and mentally draining.

I know when I am occupied doing something I enjoy my mood does get better. Like you say being pro-active rather than 'thinking' all the time seems to be very do-able. Thank you for that suggestion.

I will look into that web-site also.


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I keep wanting to complete "Which came first?" as:

The goose or the egg?

Anyway, for me, there is a tendency to giggle a lot, but I could just be masking.

I do think both ideas, making positive list(s) and doing more and thinking less, have helped me. This past weekend is an example, for me: I had a pretty hard day Friday, but just the knowledge of having cleaned my apartment, and a few other little chores, has brightened me up considerably. Not just the accomplishment of ... accomplishing, but simply the time spent not pondering it all in my head.

As I read in a book on Taoism, recently, if you wait to begin something until everything is perfectly ready, you may be there a while. It's okay to just start, and make it up as you go along. Now, I admire improvisational skills in others, but I still have a ways to go before I'll be able to cultivate them in myself. But I'm getting there. :-)

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