I wish I could explain this weird cycle I am in when it comes to depression.
I have highs and lows, and the highs are almost manic, while the lows are so low that I find myself fantasizing about death. I don’t exactly know when these shifts will occur because sometimes they change after weeks and sometimes I experience both in a matter of hours.
I don’t have Bipolar if you’re asking yourself this question. I also don’t have Borderline, even though I scored very high on all the charts. So what do I have that I experience these depression phases sometimes often and sometimes not so often?
I don’t know really.
My psychiatrist didn’t give me any real diagnosis, just a bunch of words about trauma, anxiety and depression. Nothing that gave me any answers I was seeking – well, it did give me answers but I already knew them.
So although I do not have any specific diagnosis, I still experience this horrible depression phase when it decides to show up, and since I have learnt how to survive it, I want to share my 3 steps with you, if that’s alright.
The first step is to very clearly remind myself that this is nothing new. I remind myself that I know this dark phase always passes and that there will always come light when I will feel better. It goes the same way for when I feel wonderful, I am always aware that this too shall pass and the darkness will return. So when you are in the depths of raw and scary darkness, remind yourself that it always ended at one point – it is never permanent.
The second step is to allow myself to feel all the emotions. I wrote about this in this post where I talked about self-harm. Basically, I let the pain and sadness consume me and I accept it completely. If I want to self-harm I let it come over me and then I try really, really hard to not act on it. My meditation practice is what helps me stay mindful of the states I am in and accept them for what they are.
The third step is to never stop moving. If you have clinical depression and you are numb this step is not for you, okay? I am mainly focused on those of you who go through a depression phase without paralyzing effects of being unable to move – which is what I experienced when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. This third step is for those of us who are still able to move and do chores even if it’s really hard to do them. It fucking kills me when I have to do shit during this phase, but I still force myself to do them.
Life goes on and there are duties and responsibilities I have, so unless I can rely on someone else to complete my to-do list, I just get up and go through the day.
Of course, pills help and I didn’t include them in my 3-steps because a) they are so important that they shouldn’t be mentioned, and b) because I am not taking them anymore due to horrible side effects (read about them here). But please, please if you do have pills do take them and thank science for creating them.
I felt very afraid of writing this post because I felt ashamed that I still struggle with major depression at times. I especially felt afraid of writing about the depression phase I experience, because most people think you either have it or you don’t – the majority is not aware that there are conditions that make depression come and go and you are stuck in a hell cycle.
But this is my life and this is how I live. I went to therapy, I took the pills, I went to a psychiatrist and I read all the books, but it still remains here. It is a part of my life and hopefully one day I will heal, but I have to be honest until that happens.
Okay, so now that we finished, can I invite you to follow me on Instagram where I share helpful tips on how to thrive as a vegan? I also share cute and adorable photos of my cats and my dog.