Take care of yourself.

And then go do that thing that only you can do — that God put you on this earth for. And I promise I’ll do the same.


Okay, so let’s get real.

I have depression. The kind that is a chemical imbalance — the kind that creeps in without any known external cause.

The kind where everything can be awesome, but you don’t feel like doing anything but writing.

I have two triggers to alert me I am near a depressive state:

  1. I have feelings of not wanting to be here any more. I quickly retort that with the fact that I have children, a husband, a mom and dad, etc. that would be devastated if I wasn’t here anymore. And the fact that it really is super selfish. But I do understand why people do it. Ex: Robin Williams. The depression can get so bad, your thinking becomes completely distorted.
  2. All I want to do is sit in my walk-in closet or sit on my cozy bed and write. Writing is the only thing that soothes.

Lately, a trigger is that my joints start to hurt. And I get sick more often.


It started as major anxiety in college, then into my 30's is when it started to manifest as depression.

Major bad mood, coming home from my part-time job and laying in bed until dinner. And then going to sleep.

I started medication, and it worked. And over the years have had to tweak it. But thank God I always find medicine that works.

My last “episode” was about 2 years ago around this time. I tried a new med that made me not be able to sleep for 3 months. Then I changed back to my originals-Welbutrine and Cymbalta. And got pregnant around that same time.

Pregnancy was AMAZING for my mood. I felt so good.

But I was also taking stellar care of myself.

So now that I am in a slump again, I am not taking care of myself, which just exacerbates the problem.

I know your suppose to do cardio and eat right and get sunshine, etc etc. I know it could be hormones. I know what I am suppose to do.

But the catch is, “how do you be consistent when you can barely do the minimum of what your suppose to do?”


I have 3 kids. My husband is great. A big help. Works hard. Thank you God. I don’t know how single moms do it. God bless them and give them strength.

This may be triggered by overwhelm. Having a 1 year old, a 5 year old, a 9 year old, and an 18 year old step daughter. Before I ever got my kids (my first two are adopted) I did think “I can barely take care of myself when it’s bad, how am I suppose to take care of kids when it’s bad?” But they are independent, and are best friends.

Clinical depression actually changes the structure of the brain (see link at the end) which makes it difficult to impossible to “snap out of it” without treatment. I’m taking my meds regularly.

But I also think when you are dealing with depression half of your life, you pick up depressed habits.

And then it just becomes a vicious cycle.


I constantly study about self-improvement. And strive for excellence.

I work on adopting successful habits, hence “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”. Actually, since I could read, I preferred self-help type of books. My number one is the Bible. Which has pulled me out of dark places several times.

I have had the same bible since I was 15. It was to me as a gift from my parents on Easter, 3 months after I had an abortion. I’m not sure anyone realized the impact it had on a 15-year-old, 9th grade girl. I was so broken. My boyfriend was a criminal who was in jail at the time. I felt so much unbearable pain at the time for years.

I think emotional pain can become a habit. I used alcohol and drugs for a long time to numb that pain — from about 14 years old until I was 34, I used them to numb.

It’s been 6 years since I stopped drinking. But the self-destructive habits are still there.

Drinking use to be my excuse for being less than excellent.

Now I know why I drank. Pretty much to escape from what was really going on. From deep deep feelings of loss to cleaning my house.

I use to down a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine while I cleaned out a closet, or mopped the floor. To numb the pain of cleaning?? Yep.

Back to depressive habits — What I know is that whatever it is I need to get done, usually, if I just start, I can get on a role and finish it.

I know that is one way to start adopting life-bringing habits.

I’m sure that is the main way successful people thrive.

They start-and complete.

They practice life-giving habits.

Another life lesson is to focus on what you can give to others, without neglecting yourself. And you can’t bring life to others if you don’t have life in yourself.

So, on this Monday, where I should be at my studio working, I am home in my pajamas at 1:40pm writing this post, instead of working on my business projects. Hence The depression cycle.

But I also believe that if you are going to do anything, try to make it worthwhile for someone else. That’s why I am sharing this post.

So, if you are reading this post and struggling with depression, or know someone who is, I hope my words give some encouragement.

No, you can’t snap out of it. But If you haven’t tried medication, it usually works. And has helped saved my life.

Also tons of other things like Omegas, sunshine first thing in the morning, cardio, laughing, moving, eating — medication is simply that little boost I need to help me get up and out and do those healthy things.

There is a great book I recommend: The Depression Cure

Did you know if you don’t treat depression, it gets worse, and more difficult to come back from?

Take care of yourself.

And then go do that thing that only you can do — that God put you on this earth for. And I promise I’ll do the same.

Happy Life-Giving Habit Creating!

Alison

PS

If you have depression and have people in your life who believe you can just “snap out of it”, share this post with them. It is crucial that your support system understands instead of judging you.

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