In this article I share my own story of depression, the mistakes that I made in trying to deal with it, and how ceasing to battle depression allowed it to disappear from my life naturally.
When Every Day Feels Like The Darkest Day
It is difficult to describe to anyone who has never experienced depression just how horrendous it is. Right now, I want to honour how bad you feel.
No matter what anyone says or does, or what you do, your heart feels heavier than an iron monument, and you can’t find the energy to lift your spirits higher. Everything that you see is grey and bleak; even any of those happy elements of your life begin to lose their sparkle.
The day ahead looks like a mountainous climb, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your mind starts to play negative thoughts about yourself and the world, and you just want to give up.
The more you think negatively and the more pressure you put on yourself to stop thinking that way, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you feel like a failure and hopeless.
Other people don’t understand you. They think you should just give yourself a slap and get over it. They may have even been understanding for a while, but now have lost their patience. You crumble in on yourself, wishing you could hide from the world or run away from everything.
You know the place I am talking about. It feels desolate and it seems hopeless. Perhaps you have even had thoughts about ending your life. Maybe you are ashamed of your thoughts and how you feel.
I Have Been There
Depression has come to me on various occasions in my life, and not always for a particular reason.
The previous, and most severe, time that I experienced depression, was a year ago when I lost my father and sister to cancer within 3 months. I adored my father and was deeply close to my sister and their loss in my life was monumental. After the shock and initial stages of mourning had passed, I was left in a state of severe depression.
My world felt as dark, insecure and hopeless and I couldn’t imagine how the sun was ever going to shine in the world again. No one had a clue that I felt dead inside and people’s compassion was quickly finite.
I eventually hit rock bottom and I realised something.
Battling Depression And My Moment Of Clarity
I realised that I did not have to keep on fighting my depression. I did not have to keep seeing it as my evil enemy. I had been treating the way that I felt like a leaper which I needed to be rid of quickly so that I could feel better.
Constantly doing battle with depression is exhausting and drains any energy that you might have. Fighting it is negative and only feeds your unhappiness and hopelessness. Not least of all, trying to rid yourself of the depression sends you a strong message that you are wrong to feel depressed.
I began to allow myself to feel as bad as I needed to feel. All I focused on was being kind to myself.
When I felt horrendous, I gave myself an internal hug. I made myself my favourite tea. I ran a hot bath. I did any little thing that I could to take care of myself through that dark time.
In this way, there was a part of me that was depressed, and a part of me that was nurturing and loving myself. I’m not saying that I put huge pressure on myself to do X,Y and Z in order to feel better. I did not go over the top. More pressure was the last thing I needed.
I did what I could, when I could. I did little things that were simple and manageable.
And The Changes Began To Happen…
After a time, my depression lightened slightly. I’m not saying majorly but I could see a little improvement. It felt possible for me to take myself for a gentle walk outside and to breathe the air again.
Now, months later, I no longer feel depressed. I have a totally different, and beautiful, relationship with depression. When I feel down, I know how to take care of myself.
So many wonderful things have flowered and blossomed in my life since that time, and I believe that is because I gave myself the space to feel as bad as I felt, for as long as I needed to feel it.
I Share With You The Secret I Have Learned…
When we allow ourselves to be who we are and feel how we feel, and love ourselves through it in any way we can (no matter how small), we give our emotions permission to flow through us and make their own natural exit.
You can’t stamp out depression. You can’t suppress it or ‘snap out’ of it. It will only rise up, expand and crash harder against the constraints.
You must make friends with your depression and see it as a part of you that needs your most tender care and infinite love.
It is hard, no question about that, but knowing that you are not alone is a great comfort. You are there for yourself and so am I. I have put together an article of little things that you can do to nurture yourself. I hope it helps.
It is really okay. All you need to do is be kind to yourself.
With all my love,