I’ve been writing a ton about depression lately here but I feel like you need to read this. As someone who has been at the lowest and has been in the recovery stage for the past few years, I have a few things that I need to say.
I already talked about my story and I already talked about what I did to get better but I want to point out to you, yet again, that it won’t last forever.
Maybe you are a rare breed and you are extremely unlucky, in that case, you probably will suffer from heavy depression until the day you die, but most of you reading this, you will be OK one day.
I remember standing outside of the building where I had my psychiatrist in and right around the corner was my high school that I was regularly skipping. It was autumn, typically, and I was just standing outside thinking how I will never get over this.
You know that dark circle of thoughts, right? It seems like there will never be any sunshine in your life and you develop this weird addiction to death and depressed art. It’s like darkness is the only thing you can look at and feel at home.
But once you put in the work and you start taking steps forward, you start letting go of that rope. You are moving forward and starting to see the sunrise.
Many of us have experienced this and many of us look back now and think how utterly pathetic we were. That’s the beauty of life; it constantly gives us new opportunities to start again. We don’t need to move, we just need to change the program our mind is playing.
Of course, depression is much more than just a mind thing. It’s an illness that needs to be treated and I am not trained to know what exactly will work for you but nonetheless, I know that you need to be a part of your recovery.
It would be so wonderful if we could just sleep all day and pop pills down our throat whenever we start feeling suicidal and then suddenly we would wake up from this nightmare to a bright day with pink clouds, wouldn’t it?
But a fact remains that in order to heal from any disease we need to want to heal and we need to do our part in the healing.
So here are three things that I wish I knew when I was depressed:
- It’s okay to take pills. I was heavily influenced back then by the New Age cult and one of the things that most gurus preach is to turn to nature for all healing. Yes, I used to be an anti-vaccine kind of a gal. I stopped taking anti-depressives after three months and even though they were working their magic and my doctor promised I cannot get addicted to them, I stopped taking them because I wanted to heal myself without any drugs. Looking back now, I am pretty sure my life would look much, much better if I would just stick to them.
- You don’t have to suffer because you are suffering. We want to punish ourselves for being depressed like we chose this and like we could stop it in a second if we would really want to. It’s a really twisted thing we put ourselves through and I wish I knew you can’t fight pain with pain.
- Self-harm is not only cutting your wrists. For the longest I was counting not cutting myself during my depression as something to be proud of while so easily forgetting that I would quite literally punch myself in the face with my fists, hit my head against the wall (I had epilepsy and I wanted to trigger a seizure) and scratch myself until I was bleeding (my arms will always remind me of that). Not putting a knife to your wrists is admirable but self-harm comes in many forms and all of them are unhealthy.
Recovery takes time and there is nothing to be ashamed of. When you look back and remind yourself of how far you’ve come, you will feel the sense of pride. Maybe you will even be proud of yourself for the very first time.
Our stories may be different but all of us have a chance at recovery and we should all help each other. The biggest problem with depression is that we think we are alone in this and we don’t let others help us.
But so many of us are here for you, so reach out and open up. I promise to do that, too.
I would love to hear from you and what do you wish you knew when you were depressed? Is there anything that you can share with us and that could help someone else that is reading this?
I wrote a FREE eBook From Feeling Low to Living Green where I talk about self-care and recovery from depression and anxiety, so download it and find even more tips there. Get it here.
p.s. – If you are a vegan that is currently depressed, I have a post here that is written specifically for you.