Here’s the thing.
Everyone’s different. No surprise there, huh?
Everyone’s different “looks” and feels different. Maybe a little surprise there.
There are certain hallmark strategies for recovery that will benefit most people on their way to recovery. No surprise there. But just like the unique people we are, some of the recovery strategies that you will develop will be totally unique as well.
Just as everyone’s depression does have similarities, so do they have their differences. Some people find sleeping difficult, some sleep a lot. Same with eating. For example, when I suffered clinical depression, o functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I walked in a fog all the time.
For example, when I suffered clinical depression, I functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I was in a fog all the time.
The worst part was grocery shopping.
I don’t know why grocery shopping was excruciating but it was. For one thing, I couldn’t avoid people. And I just knew that everyone could tell I was depressed. Plus, it seemed everyone was happy. Also, I couldn’t make decisions about what to buy. It was overwhelming.
The next hardest experience was simply being around other people whether at church, birthday parties, family gatherings. I felt so disconnected from everyone. Back to the whole “walking dead ” thing. Again, I just knew everyone knew what a mess I was.
These were all my perceptions, but they were very real to me.
For my own recovery, there were certain strategies that worked best for me. Exercise was crucial for me to keep my depression at bay, as was (and is) keeping my “gut” operating as normal and regularly as possible. My spiritual life and keeping “short accounts with God” was also crucial. (Keeping short accounts with God means keeping a constant “communing” with God, especially in regards to forgiveness.)
I also made my bed everyday. Watch this video for someone else’s opinion about this. It’s really good.
Something else I did was to make sure I was presentable when if you’re depressed is pretty darn hard to do. But I would look in the mirror and at least do my best.
Other people might find it’s what they’re watching on TV or what they’re reading that is the trigger for them. Some people find it’s other people that trigger their episodes because they are so negative. So they avoid them when and if they can.
Someone else I know finds that keeping busy works. A different person I know finds controlling their thoughts is their first line of defense. (This is a big one, by the way, for everyone. Some just find it easier to reign in their thoughts.)
I think the point is that while the symptoms of depression are the same for everyone, they are tolerated differently. Recovery from depression always means a different way of thinking and adapting to our world, and yet the how and the timing is different for everyone.
As Dorothy Rowe writes in her groundbreaking book called simply “Depression”, “depression is a prison we create for ourselves. So if you think of it that way, there are many different ways to break out of a prison, aren’t there?
I hate depression. I hate it for you. I hate it for me. I hate it for everyone I love. Does that make it clear enough?
Depression is not a death sentence. Most everyone survives it. And sometimes, there are some great lessons we learn.
You know that eclipse we all watched yesterday. To me, it was very spiritual. It reminded me that no matter how dark it gets, God is still there shining his love on us and leading the way.
God bless and I really hope you have a good and happy day.