Being depressed, then getting out of it, then falling into it again—does that sound familiar? If you are a depression survivor, most likely you know how it feels. It may feel like you are walking on a never-ending path or a journey that keeps dragging you to the same point over and over again. But eventually, it will come to an end, and you will be able to ward off this hideous depression because you are blessed with the power to do so.
My depression journey was uneven, full of highs and lows, however mostly lows. I had been a happy soul since my childhood until depression came. Growing up in a large extended family, having supportive parents, a sister, a big group of cousins, and an amazing group of friends, my life was exciting and full of happenings. It still is.
I loved going to school, meeting my friends, doing all the possible mischief, driving our teachers crazy, going out with my friends, fighting over petty issues then patching up in the next moment. Bit by bit, 13 years of school life came to an end, without me even realizing I was stepping into a new phase of my life, a phase full of struggles, tears, losing my mind, uncertainty, and suffocation.
Months before I got into college, I knew something wasn’t right with me. I started feeling pathetic, inefficient, numb without any particular reason. Even though I was surrounded by people, it would still get so lonely at times. I used to feel anxious about almost everything. Then college started. All the new faces and new setting scared me off instead of making me excited. I lost all the joys of my life even though nobody could tell by seeing me. I forgot to be focused, and my self-esteem tumbled down.
I hardly remember a day when I didn’t cry behind the door. It is beyond belief, but it took me two whole years to realize what I was feeling was not normal. Two long years to identify that I have been suffering from depression all this time. Two years to finally recognize that I wasn’t “just sad.” It was more than sadness.
To perceive that you are depressed is the hardest part of healing. Once you know about it, the healing journey that follows will be easier. I don’t promise that you won’t struggle, but now you at least know your enemy.
After acknowledging my condition, I tried my best to stop feeling guilty about my feelings. That was important. We cannot control our feelings. We only can control how we act upon them or check that they don’t take us over. I started checking on the words I use for myself and my thinking process. Our own words affect us a lot. Negative emotions always try to take over. But what if you nip them in the bud? Positive, tender, inspirational words and thoughts helped me a lot to change my feelings toward myself.
I observed my reaction inside and out and identified my pattern of depression, and noted it down. Whenever I feel like it’s returning, I become extra careful with myself. Depression can recur out of nowhere, but when you have trained your brain and mind on how to handle it, you will subconsciously conquer it.
Depression and anxiety almost made me forget how much I loved nature. I know many of you feel me on this. I stopped adoring the calming sound of rain, the smell of soil, the charm of wildflowers. Appreciating these things again gave me a strong mental comfort and a sense of tranquility.
One good thing depression did for me was I learned the value of self-care and me-time. Doing some skincare, taking a long shower, going back to hobbies, patting myself on the back for small achievements, reading a favorite book, eating in a favorite restaurant, etc., hold the key to good mental health. Another mistake we all make (even non-depressed people) is suppressing our feelings, thinking that this will bring a positive outcome. But in the long run, it does not. You are only bullying yourself by doing this. Let all your emotions out, cry until you feel that calmness. It’s fine not to feel okay sometimes. We are human.
When you are depressed, you put yourself in a bubble. I know because I also did so. It’s important to burst the bubble and step into the real world. Talk to people who you think might have felt like you, connect with friends again. You will understand you’ve been missing out on so much.
If you think you need professional help, go for it. It’s no stigma, no matter what people tell you. Seeking professional help never means you are weak. It means you are smart. We don’t have to fight all battles alone. We are allowed to feel down. What we can’t allow is to give up. Dare to take those baby steps to overcome depression (you don’t even have to do it all at once). According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people are suffering from depression worldwide. We’re together in this. We are together to ace it. Have trust in yourself and your power, and you will see the sunshine again.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.
About the Author: Mashrifa Sharin is a young writer for mental health and well-being. She also talks about personal growth, self-care, and productivity. Connect with her on Facebook.
Photo by Aniket Bhattacharya on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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