I grew up knowing that I was different. I don’t remember the first moment I realized it. I just did. I felt different. I felt sad all the time, unhappy with my life and the people around me. I felt as though the world was coming to an end every second I was in it. And even at the best of times, I felt the world would be better off without me in it.
I didn’t realize back then while growing up that I had been suffering from depression.
Depression comes in all forms. Along with it comes another nasty thing to deal with called ANXIETY. An ugly word that causes even uglier emotions. I had a hard time coping with these things being I was just a kid and spent most of my life trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with me.
I say coping because that is what you do when you are dealing with depression. You cope. You can’t make it go away with wishes or prayers. No amount of medication can reverse the effects. Though medication does help to lessen the emotional turbulence one feels while on the “depression train to nowhere”.
You can learn, however, to cope with depression without using the fact you suffer from depression as an excuse in life.
Now before you get angry with that last statement. At least let me explain. I realize depression is difficult to deal with, and I’m not saying it isn’t by any means. I know because I live with it every day.
I was 22 years old when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
I was 35 when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I know — believe me — just how hard dealing with depression can be.
What I felt growing up was nothing compared to what I felt as an adult – isolated lonely, afraid, unloved, unworthy, sad all the time, lost, empty, living in a world without peace, nothing but darkness.
Depression can be so debilitating, it can lead to physical and emotional impairments and the lack of someone being able to enjoy their life. When I say don’t use depression as an excuse, I’m talking to you about understanding what it is that motivates depression and how you can help yourself.
I know it’s not easy. I’m on medication for dealing with my mental illness. And no you cannot just wish yourself happy or plaster a smile upon your face to make everything go away. But you can work at dealing with depression to not use having a mental illness to keep you from being a functioning person, member of society and happy in your life. You really can.
Aren’t you tired of feeling depressed? Don’t you hate having mood swings? Treating people badly because you lash out? Feeling as though nobody loves you? Or worse — the world doesn’t care about you?
I stopped being an obstacle, and it took a lot of hard work, determination, block building and realizing that even though I cannot help my mental illness because medication only calms before the storm. I CAN take CONTROL of it, learn from it, rise above it, and not allow it to determine or dictate how happy I am in my life.
Really… you have depression? You don’t seem like it. You are so happy. How do you cope and deal with things? What’s the secret? I wanna be happy too…
It’s not about forcing happiness… It’s about not letting the sadness win!
Get out of your own head and out of your own way. No — plastering a smile on your face isn’t going to take your depression away, but negative self-talk isn’t either. So the first thing you need to do is understand your own self-worth. Stare in the mirror and tell yourself…
I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM WORTH IT, I MATTER, I FEEL WHAT I FEEL AND IT’S OKAY, I’M NOT PERFECT, I CAN DO BETTER, I CAN BE BETTER, I LOVE ME!
Words are powerful and so are the emotions attached to them. Getting out of bed in the morning is hard, I know trust me. But I have to work at it. So do you, and you can improve your life without allowing your depression to become the excuse you are using to not THRIVE, SURVIVE AND BE ALIVE.
Feel your feelings, understand them, where they come from and accept them. Moving on will become easier.
Surround yourself with POSITIVE influences, not ball breakers or people who bring you down. Get rid of the negativity in your life.
Be KIND to yourself. Understand your LIMITATIONS, accept your IMPERFECTIONS, acknowledge your need to get through it, and take a moment to BREATHE.
Challenge depressive thinking. Remove negative self-talk, remember you are valuable but only if YOU believe it.
Cultivate friendships, relationships and make a point to not just love others every day but to love yourself. Start with 5 things you like about yourself and why. Do this daily.
Write down your feelings on paper. Nobody has to see them. Better out than in – as Shrek always says.
Laugh OFTEN at whatever you find funny. It can be silly, messed up, not funny to someone else. Who cares. Laughter is some of the best medicine a person suffering from depression can enjoy.
FORGIVE yourself and others. Don’t hold the bad in. Let it go even if it’s not something you can deal with, or out of your control. Holding onto it makes you a victim. So save yourself instead of waiting for someone to come along and do it for you.
Ask for HELP when you need it. There is no shame in talking about what you feel, or asking for help. The only shame comes from realizing you need a hand and not taking one.
Don’t give up on yourself. You will have good days and bad days. Lord knows I do. Some days I’m happy and it’s easy. Other days I have to work hard at finding peace. No matter what though, stop the madness, stop the excuses, understand you are worth it, you can survive it, don’t let it define you but strengthen who you are and RISE ABOVE!
You are not ALONE!