*I am not a psychologist, these are my personal thoughts and ideas, and should be coupled with professional help*
Depression is very real. It’s touching and taking lives, whether we choose to see it or not. Look at the news. Take a look at the entertainers who’ve gone away. Many of the characters in the movies we watch, and novels we read, are struggling with mental illness within the storylines.
… Gone, whether we “believe” in depression or not.
Today, I will share ten things I believe could be uplifting in hard times.
1. You want to disappear, but you don’t want to wither away for good – nothing permanent. I know.
It’s just that, you hurt. And you need your own pocket in space, where time doesn’t exist. And you want to crawl into that safe space, where you can’t be misunderstood, called upon, or hurt.
Knowing this makes it no easier. Just because you know it’s you, and not others, or maybe partially others, mostly depression, doesn’t make it any easier.
In your fragile state, you want to isolate and remove yourself. And it makes perfect sense, to keep from lashing out, making things worse, the list goes on. But isolating yourself, and allowing your mind to tell you that everyone and everything is against you, will only bury you.
When your mind is clear, write down the things that make you feel happy, peaceful, calm, grateful, useful … you’re in a state of pain and numbness. You need to feel.
Keep the aforementioned list. And even when you don’t want to look at it, as your mind tells you lies and tells you that helping yourself is a waste of energy – energy that you don’t have – you look at that list. Look at it and pick something. Even five minutes of peace, are better than that hell you feel all around you.
2. Everything that happens, you feel it on another level. Some wavelength straight from Satan’s lair. And it’s as if everything is crumbling. It’s as if everything is happening just to make you sink deeper into the ground.
There is truly no way around this. In your every day life, stressors will occur. People will make insensitive comments. People will minimize your feelings. Someone else will claim that they have/have had it worse. There is no way around it.
The only thing you can do, is carve out time for you. It’s hard to think about affirmations when self loathe is your main source of inner monologue. But if you can, as hard as it will be, breathe and distract yourself. Carve out time to distract yourself from, well, yourself.
Distract and distance yourself from any and all unimportant things that will zap your will to – well, remain awake and untethered from your bed.
Distract yourself how?
Silly games on your phone.
If you can manage, activities with people who remind you what it feels like to belly laugh.
Take a look at that list you made in step 1.
3. It’s as if you’re alone. Well, not alone, but more like you are hovering over yourself and others.
Deep down, we all know we are not alone. But what we don’t know, is who we can lean on, and if it’s worth it. You know you are not the only person who suffers from depression, but it hurts too much to interact and participate in daily activities. So, what do you do, when your mind has made you a ghost?
I think that it’s important to try to surround yourself with people who understand you. They know you when you’re at your best, and they know when you’re not yourself. They recognize how fragile you are, and not that it’s their job to cater to you, they just want you to feel comfortable. If you want to sit quietly, it’s okay with them. If you want to listen to music, they understand. If you want to observe and smile a vacant smile, they know it’s nothing personal.
That’s just the thing. You need to be able to trust that your loved ones do not take anything that you are experiencing personally. The people you need to encircle you, will not judge, tell you how to feel, throw things in your face, or accuse you of trying to stress them out with your issues.
One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives. Polly Toynbee
4. You’d rather not get out of bed. Why should you, you say to yourself.
It’s as if the bed sits underwater. And there’s an anchor pulling you down, under the covers, where you’re safe – safe but drowning.
You’re body aches from swimming upstream. Everything hurts from fighting off things and people that may not be against you. Stop. Try to stop. And the same way you are floating above yourself and everything around you, try to step outside of your thoughts. They are your enemy. One step at a time, you can free yourself from those shackles.
If you can stop those paralyzing thoughts long enough to say I’m going to be okay, then the next day, you can …
a. Stop the thoughts long enough to visualize yourself doing one thing – something – that is out of this bed. Even if that something you choose to do, is on the other side of the room, and ..
b. Breathe. Look around. You may feel lost. As if everything is unfamiliar, and you don’t belong. But you do. And you mean something. You mean so much. More than you realize … you’ve got to make yourself realize. It’s up to you. And if you can move yourself out of bed, and breathe, then the next day, you can …
c. Take a long shower. And keep breathing. And what if you pick a spot in a different room, and read or write or listen to or draw something that calms you?
d. Baby steps. Little by little, find your center, and as you find it, keep moving. Keep reaching. Keep searching. A little at a time.
Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed. Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed. Psychology Today
5. It’s as if those who don’t understand, say all the wrong things. Those who have experienced what you’re experiencing, are saying all of the wrong things. Those who haven’t felt this oppressive darkness, tell you to get up, work out, get over it – everyone has bad days. Those who’ve been where you are, may lump your problems together, or tell you that it will get better in a way that is nearly diminishing.
Guess what? Not everyone will understand. Hurts, but not everyone believes you’re as fragile and as broken as you say you are. The only thing you can do, is find a healthy balance between staying centered and picking your battles, keeping your focus on yourself and your recovery, and shielding yourself from the world – including those who know and love you. Please, don’t shield yourself from those who know, love, and want the best for you.
6. Nothing you do is good enough. You may smile for a day, an hour, minute, second … but there’s no consistency. Everything you accomplish … not good enough. The things you do for others … not good enough. Your reflection … not good enough. Your. Every. Move. And. Thought: Not Good Enough.
I know, it’s not a good time for me to say this. But, I want to say it, anyway: You are more than good enough. There’s no better you than you. It’s so corny, I know, but it’s true. Without you, and your thoughts, and idiosyncrasies, and flaws, and expertise – oh, yes, you are brilliant! … The world would lose a light. And not just any light. A star. You are so much more than this broken record that plays in your mind, and if you can step outside of what you’re saying to yourself, if only for a moment, little by little, you’ll defeat something evil. And you’ll go on to help the next man/woman who’s drowning.
“Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment ..” Regina Brett
7. You are sleeping with the enemy. An enemy who whispers to you, that you are worthless. The world is better off without you. Why lie down and go to sleep, when you could sleep for an eternity? Why not use that razor, those scissors, that knife, for better things? It’s not like what you’d inflict on yourself would feel any worse than what’s breaking your heart, right now … so, why not?
Why not? Because you’re here, reading this, and you know, now – please believe me – your wings are fireproof. Covered in dust, singed, a bit bent – but not broken.
You’re a sight to see. Wings and all.
The whispers are addictive, but like any addiction, they’re a lie. And the lies – well, they can’t win. They simply can’t. There’s help. There’s support. It’s a long road, but you’re worth it, and your story, the story inside you – waiting to be told or written – is a miracle.