Popular or unpopular topic depending who you ask…
Listen first and foremost I have suffered from anxiety and depression throughout most of my time growing up so when I speak on depression, it means I have been there. I’m not just talking about it because it seems rather important in a society attempting to ignore the reality of the issues at hand. So to begin I need to explain perhaps my association with depression…I`ve felt it all and I have felt nothing at all. I have cut, I have contemplated suicide, I have felt pain greater than the world and above all, I have felt my heart beat a million times per second during the most forceful anxiety attacks. You get my drift? Intense stuff.
So in conclusion, after a really long period of time, finding out the ins-and-outs of my depression and how I can best win the battle every single day, I have found a way to get massive joy in life.
I also want to point out something REALLY key to life… there cannot be good if there is no bad, there cannot be bad if there is no good- like the yin-yang sign, you can`t feel MASSIVE JOY if you’ve never felt MASSIVE PAIN. That’s my concept at least.
This is not a piece of cake. This is not easy by any means. But what I have realized for myself is that if I am not living my life up here *stretching my arm as high as it goes* or at least look up towards “up there”, then I can very easily fall into the hole- the hole that is depression. I literally can`t do average because it makes me depressed. Sorry, not sorry. Probably seems harsh to those wanting average, but this is me. I`m not sure how to make this any more clear, but once I even dip my toe into the hole of self-misery, self-doubt then its seconds until I hit somewhere near rock bottom… and those days look like sadness, anger, never leaving the bed, no working out, non stop distracting myself from actually going through the motions of my emotions. TRUTH. HARD truth. And something occurred in my life about three weeks ago that kind of pushed me into that hole, life kind of made a choice for me and I had to deal with the consequences. It wasn’t fun. It was a test. And I did make it out. But not without a fair fight.
The thing is when you are depressed, or have depression it never goes away. And I think this is where people get shit fucked up. They don’t understand that it is a battle every day. And I guess this is where I go kind of controversial on your ass- I think depression is a choice. Well not really, but kind of. Your emotions are a choice. (if we are talking about a chemical imbalance, okay different story) but any other, like hardships in life- well they make you or they break you, and either option is OKAY. Depression isn’t like a friend you can get to know and be able to cater to their every need. But IT IS kind of like getting to know that neighbor that never is in the mood to talk to you. There are PREVENTATIVES – and this is what I mean by it’s a choice. If you go the length to create or DO those preventatives you are putting yourself in a position to succeed, in everything and anything. And this is what I think is KEY information that people are missing. That’s not to say that once in a while you actually SHOULD feel, and let yourself go through all of the emotions because that is HEALTHY AF. Like I said how do you expect to feel the happiest moments in your life if you’ve never felt the saddest?! You can`t. Plain and simple.
SO let me get even more real with you… if I myself fail to set up the preventative, then I am seriously screwed, so if I don’t work hard, go to the gym at least fives days a week, if I don’t read books to grow my knowledge, if I don’t attempt to achieve my kind of greatness, then I am making a CHOICE to LET myself fall into that hole. And that is NOT self-love if I let myself do that. Again, this is me, this may not be you but I want to share what this looks like from my POV – point of view. Take what you want and if you don’t like it, leave it.
I almost want to say that preventatives are self-love if you are someone that battles with depression. Let’s go back to that neighbor metaphor… if you make sure to do things that prevent your neighbor from freaking out then maybe you get a peaceful week or weekend. So every morning you put newspaper on his/her porch, you cut the grass and stay in your lane, you send a holiday card EVERY god damn holiday, occasionally drop off flowers, you wave every time he or she looks grimly in your directions…THEN you have a chance, a CHANCE, to not have the neighbor come over and throw a fit. Do you see where I’m going with this?The newspaper is a morning ritual you do for yourself, made begin your day with repeating “I am enough, and I deserve love and greatness”. The grass means you make sure every week you are doing things that make you happy, keep your spirits up while staying in your lane- focusing on YOU. The holiday card is just another example to not fight fire with fire, but rather always vouch for kindness. Fight your depression with kindness, positivity. Give back, give and you will receive. The flowers- sentimental but honestly if you’ve come OUT of the depression for a breath or maybe a couple breathes… show appreciation, be thankful that you got THAT breath, and know that YOU would not be the person you are today without the battles you`ve gone through. Mic drop. The wave: a salute that you got through another day. The recognition that you got the CHANCE to be grateful for continuing to breathe. Yes, the process of depression is a battle, but the preventatives are quite peaceful.
Occasionally unfortunate circumstance by life can push you into the hole too like it did for me, and well at that point your pretty darn screwed because none of the preventatives did shit for you. As a type A personality, someone who loves to plan and prepare this is kind of one of my worst fears. AS a person, as Sara-Lynn, I tend to play the scenario game with myself all the time, like for fun… no joke. So I was pretty positive that I had thought of every possibility of anything that happens to me and therefore was prepared. But as life will have it, I got given something I had never even considered or even processed as a possibility, a scenario. I was massively unprepared. And this frankly upset me greatly, and if I’m being honest hurt my ego too. Besides this entire debacle, I was really focused on this primary issue: it has been a really long time since I`ve have had to deal with depression itself ALONE. Usually, I`ve had a massive support system. But-hey moving an ocean away from everyone will do that to you, my own ‘fault’ I guess. SO this was a first (in a while), and relying on others is kind of death if you ask me, remember the born alone, die alone concept? Yeah well, I might have made that seem a little harsher than it really is. Yes, ask for help – when you need it. But I am such a strong believer that you have all the answers to you its just a matter of time and asking yourself the HARD questions. This is also why I find it really positive if you choose to go to a therapist, talk it out man, TALK it out and YOU will find the answers. So essentially that’s what I did, but with myself, and the easiest way I can break it down for you is this: I questioned my entire belief system, and took a lot for time for myself. Kind of isolated, which was counterproductive but in the end got me to where I needed to go. Questioned my beliefs- were they terribly strong or terribly weak? Did they make sense? Were they matters of the heart or of the mind? Who made them? Why do they matter now? Just breaking everything down piece by piece. And truly it pointed me in the right direction because I figured out what ACTUALLY matters to me RIGHT NOW… because literally YOLO. Life is too short man. What if you die in 2 weeks? Why not make the present you feel validated? Make your morals and beliefs fit the YOU that exists right now, with a slight curve towards the best you. Do some positive self-talk, find an outlet – clearly mine if writing, yours might be scrapbooking I have no idea- create space for you to be yourself. Ask the hard questions because they will push you to parts of your mind you`ve never been, and that’s where the magic happens. I realized that you actually can`t predict or prepare for everything in life, sometimes you`re meant to learn from the unknown, let it happen to you. Depression isn’t bad, it isn’t really great either but I like to think that I have a lot more skills because of it. My empathy has grown and my ability to help others has developed.
I am grateful for my depression.
NO shame is falling, failing, struggling, changing. DO YOU. Depression or not, BE YOU. And quite literally that’s what I`ve decided to do. Unapologetically be me. Set up my own preventatives and face everyday head on with my own battle with depression.
This article would go on for ages if I would express every POV I have on depression, but I promise more will come. I`ve got a hefty opinion on this subject.