Script decisions are ways we take care of ourselves, that might not work anymore as grownups. Read about Janine*, her experience of depression, and how she changed her Script.
Janine was depressed. She had a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning, and walked through the day like a zombie, thinking as little as possible and just waiting until she could crawl back into bed.
Her job suffered. She found herself having a difficult time concentrating, and motivation to perform was non-existence. Her sole purpose was to get through the day as quietly and unobtrusively as possible.
This wasn’t the first time Janine felt depressed. In fact, she has a vague sense she has been depressed her entire life. Her ever-present despair has a familiar feeling to it, like an old friend.
Do you have familiar experiences or feelings – like a sense of deja vu, an uncomfortable sense that you’ve been here before?
As kids, we are evaluating our environment and making decisions about ourselves and the world. Based on our experiences, we might decide that the world is unsafe and people can’t be trusted. Perhaps we learn from our families that anger is an acceptable feeling, but feeling afraid isn’t. Or perhaps sadness is okay, but we’d better not feel angry or there will be consequences.
So we decide to shut down our authentic feelings, to cover them up or to avoid them at all costs.
These early decisions are called Script Decisions. Our Script is the life story we have laid out for ourselves about how our life is going to go, how we will succeed or fail at love and at work and in life. The Script is formed in response to our experience as kids. Some scripts are winning scripts, and some are losing scripts.
Authentic feelings, felt
Janine’s depression, while debilitating her in life now, was actually a smart way she took care of herself as a kid. Depression acts as a blanket feeling that effectively suffocates all other feelings. Feeling depressed is actually a lot easier for Janine than for her to feel the rage simmering underneath at the way she was treated as a kid.
For Janine to not feel depressed, all those other, authentic feelings underneath would begin to surface. And in Janine’s family, it wasn’t safe for her to be angry.
In therapy, Janine can work through her rage at her parents directly. She can experience the injustice of her childhood. Eventually, she finds forgiveness as she gains awareness that her parents were unable to give her what they didn’t receive themselves. As she resolves these feelings, her depression lifts naturally and she goes about getting herself a good life.
Janine has experienced a Script cure and created a joyful life – and so can you!
*Not a real client – for illustrative purposes only