No one asks for depression. I didn’t wake up one day put in an order for it. First of all, the reviews would be appalling, second of all, the price is too high. I kind of didn’t even realize it was creeping up on me either. If it had been delivered to my door, it would have been in pieces that slowly but surely put themselves together.
And now I’m left with it.
It’s tempting to think I’m also alone with it; that’s the sneaky language of depression. It tells you all day long that you, and only you, feel this way. And worse yet, its biggest sin – it makes you feel entirely far away, completely different. It takes your worse fears, your biggest insecurities and uses them to paint the world grey.
However, as much like a punch in the face that all may seem, it’s remarkably unremarkable. If anyone had done this to me, I’d have given them the bum’s rush within seconds. My friends would call it an unhealthy relationship and tell me not even to think twice about texting again. But that’s not depression.
It hides, and it hides well.
It tells you that you are depression, not depressed.
So, no. Depression never has and never will be a choice. Getting up earlier, brushing my teeth every day, and going for a run are no match for this mysterious dude. But I’ve still tried, and I’ll keep trying. I invite you to fight alongside me against this chaotic intruder.
I’m not going to tell you to pick up yoga or start smiling in the mirror more, everything you’ve heard before. I’m not even going to ask you to get out of bed and leave the house, but I do have some ideas. And I like to think they’re good ideas. You can even do most of them when you’re in the depths of whatever self-hatred or gloomy moments that depression throws you in to.
Why not take a quick nose through some of my coping mechanisms to see if they’d suit you and please remember: you deserve to do whatever it takes to feel like you again.
When you can’t see the beauty within you, it helps to get it out of you, so you know, you can literally see it. Creating something, anything has a habit of reminding us what we’re capable of. It shows us that we can do good. We can make a change.
Writing, drawing, painting, even pottery – however, you express yourself, give yourself the freedom and permission to do it. And I know, when down, putting pen to paper can feel like climbing out of a deep hole with no ladder. But once you’re over the daunting hump, it’s easy to get swept away in the creative juice flow.
Not to mention that we’re focused when we’re making something. It gets our train of thought back on track.
If you’re struggling to think of something to do, I suggest you start a blog. Can you guess why?
Following the theme of reminding yourself of your worth – now’s the time to remember the power of your time. You see, depression has a habit of not only making every hour seem like a chore but also trying its best to make us do nothing with those hours.
If that wasn’t enough, depression wants us to fill those hours inside our heads, focusing on it itself – depression is full of itself! To show depression where it belongs, you can always kick it to the curb by volunteering. It’s like your all in one for sorting out all the problems above while also helping others.
Now that you’ve got some creating and volunteering to do, it’s time to set your hours! Depression, as mentioned above, makes every hour role into another, and before you know it – you’ve done nothing. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Depression makes you underestimate yourself. If you suffer with it long enough, you may even start to believe it. You deserve to remind yourself of who you are. No one can really know what they’re truly capable of; never mind depression. So, why do we believe it?
Taking control back over our hours can help us to pack them full of things that make us feel good and productive again. It’s not easy to feel accomplished while down but knowing what we did every single hour of our day can help.
By writing out a schedule for the following day every night before bed, we’ve already set small and reachable goals for ourselves. We’ve given ourselves the luxury of structure and a helping hand to guide us through the day when we’re feeling lost or hopeless.
It’s great to write down the bigger things you need to do, but including little self-care tidbits along the way can really get you through the day. Stretching, 20 minutes of reading, catching an episode of your fav show, a quick walk – it’s all just as important as the more “serious things.” Plus, every time you indulge in the act of self-care, you’re adding another rung to the ladder that’ll take you out of the depression hole.
My personal tip is to keep it in a journal or copybook that you like to look at, it’ll help you to crack it open and get going!
I know, talking to ANYONE is the last thing on your mind when you can’t drag yourself out of bed. I’m not suggesting you swoop into a party and start chatting the pants off everyone there. I’m just asking you to reach out.
A few texts and maybe a phone call is all that’s needed. You don’t even have to talk about how you’re feeling. Just being reminded of the outside world and other people is enough.Plus, it’s always great to have a support network, a few people that you know will be there for you when you need them.
There’s even a number of online text or call line services that you can reach out to in times of need. You deserve to be heard.
In short, what I’m trying to say is that I know this isn’t easy. But what I also do know is that you’re 100% worth feeling better (despite what depression tells you.) Through listing out some coping mechanisms that help me, I hope I can help you too. Stay strong and keep fighting on!