Build your Identity
- Be multidimensional. Whether it is in TV, movies, books or real life, characters that lack a multidimensional quality fall flat. Know that you are more than your sexual identity. You are a student, a family member, an employee, a friend and a neighbor. Some people may try to confine you to a one dimensional stereotype. What’s worse is that you might feel comfortable fulfilling this role. Embrace your entire self by exploring the many facets of your life.
- Accept ambiguity. Putting too much pressure on yourself to create a firm understanding of your identity can do more bad than good. Don’t conform to pressures to label yourself as one thing or another. That’s why the “Q” in the LGBTQ is such a powerful component. The “Q” allows you to accept some level of uncertainty as you question your sexuality. Perhaps you are questioning other parts of your life. So many facets of who you are cannot be described in black-or-white terms. Don’t expect them to be.
I CAN Manage Depression
Oftentimes, people report feeling hopeless and helpless in their attempts to combat depression. After all, depression feels like an all-consuming entity. Following the effective I CAN plan will help to focus your energies in the best directions. Here’s how:
I – Identify
Identifying the problem is always the first step. If you start with a broad problem, try narrowing it down to the smallest element. For example, saying, “The entire world is against me.” or “No one understands my lifestyle.” might feel true but these problems are too vast to be addressed. Focus on the problems that you encounter on a daily basis. Do you hear negative comments as you walk down the street? Do people post demeaning content about you online? Being specific with your problems may make it seem like they are multiply, but this is not the case. Instead, you are creating series of small problems that feel less overwhelming. After you have made your list of problems, rank them from most stressful to least stressful. The lower stress producers are easier for you to attack early in the process.
C – Changeable or not
Too many people, LGBTQ people or not, waste precious time, energy and resources working to change aspects of life that are unchangeable. This is an important distinction that actually increases empowerment. There is a liberating quality in admitting that something is beyond your control because you can refocus your efforts towards modifying the changeable aspects of your life. Unchangeable problems usually center on the idea of trying to change someone else. It is true that some opinions, beliefs and points-of-view can be altered through various measures, but many people will remain resistant to new ideas and ways of thinking. Continuously working to do so would be a waste.
Focus on the changeable stressors and problems. These will yield visible, tangible progress that build encouragement, control and empowerment. After you succeed in eliminating lower level stressors, you will gain experience needed to attack the higher stressors. Remember that changing yourself is a much easier task than changing someone else.
Next pate: 'I CAN' continued.