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Depression Part 1

Posted 23rd March 2012 at 07:44 PM by mymondaymap
"Drag your thoughts ways from troubles… by the ears, buy the heals, or any other way you can manage it."
Mark Twain

This blog is not written by a counselor. It is written by someone who has suffered the effects of depression. There was a time in my life that it was a treat to have a depression free day. My life was a whirl wind of emotion, and I could never see anything better. Every thought was depressive, and every word that came out of my mouth was depressive.

This life of depression was taking its toll on my relationships and my health. Every day, I suffered with a migraine and muscle pain. No one knew how to help me, and I didn't know how to help myself. Many of my friends thought I was just becoming anti-social, so they withdrew from me.

Yes, there were good days, but they were seldom. Even my daughter, Snow, suffered, because I wasn't always present. There were times where my mom, Shirley, and Aunt Ellen had to take Snow for me. This caused even more pain, because I felt guilt and shame at not taking care of Snow.

There is good news, though. In the last ten years, my depression has decreased significantly. It did not happen overnight, because depression is multifaceted. Brenton likes to use the illustration of an onion. Once I started dealing with the emotions that were on the top layer, I always found a second layer. The bottom layers are emotions that are buried due to the pain it causes.

One by one, I have dealt with these painful emotions. Even now, after all this time, I still find emotions that I need to face. Now, I am getting to the primary emotions that are the most painful. This is how I see emotional healing: first, I dealt with the less painful emotions and now they don't bother me. Next, I deal with slightly more painful emotions and they no longer bother me. This goes on and on until I finally deal with the most painful emotions. Each time I learn to deal with an emotion, I have learned enough to go on to the slightly more painful emotions.

Sometimes, I want to jump right in and deal with the primary source of my depression, but, I am not ready to deal with the pain. This primary pain is too overwhelming and could cause my depression to worsen. Plus, I have reached a level of my emotions that I thought was the primary source, but, after dealing with the depression, I realized that there were many more levels underneath.

During this process, I thought there was no end. This is not true, because I have finally reached a place where I see the end in sight. It takes time, but, eventually, I began to feel like there was nothing I couldn't handle. Now, I realize that God has given me everything I need to conquer depression. It was my decision whether I received the healing or not.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your place; where there is your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, hope; where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy."
St. Francis of Assis

There are specific steps that I take to combat depression. When I feel depressed, I get up and get dressed, refrain from splurging, and talk to a close friend. It is also important that I continuously work on my emotions by creating a gratitude journal, forgiving myself, and eat a healthy diet and exercise. The first set of activities is what I do during a time of depression, and the second set of activities is what I do when I am not depressed.

It is extremely important that I get up and get dressed no matter how I feel. The more I lounge around and sulk, the more I get depressed. If I get up, put on some nice clothes, and put on make-up, I begin to slowly feel good, again. Yes, it is really hard and it doesn't always work immediately, but, eventually, I start to pull out of my depression.

There are times where I go the extra mile and get my hair done at the salon. Just to get my hair washed and styled makes me perk up and ready for my day. If I am unable to go to a salon, I style my own hair. Either way, I feel much better after I fix myself up.

One thing that causes my depression to increase is splurging. Sometimes, I try to suppress my depression by eating or spending money. After the depression subsides, the fact that I have over eaten and spent too much money sets in, and I start feeling depressed, again. It is important that I refrain from making any major decisions, which usually ends in me making a bad decision or splurging.

When I am depressed, the most important thing I need to do is talk to a friend. The friend I talk to is the closest friend I know, and that person is Brenton. He knows exactly what to do during these times, which is to hold me close and listen. There is nothing more special than a friend who actively listens or quietly sits with you without judgment.
It is important for me to never go through depression alone. Even when I feel like hiding in my room, I push myself to spend time with others. This is not just to cheer me up, but helps make sure I don't do anything rash. This includes splurging or hurting myself in any way.

"You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your head."
Chinese Proverb

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