Depression: The Unruly Demon
Lately life has just happened and I have been facing a tough time. I feel as though I am constantly numb yet always upset; how does that happen?! I feel I am constantly having to drag this huge negative dead weight on my shoulders and I feel constantly anxious. The human brain is a beautiful work of art but by God it’s scary sometimes.
I am the kind of person who could be suffering from a debilitating migraine and I will try to ‘cure’ it through litres of water and sleep. I am not the type of person to take easily take paracetamol/ibuprofen for any kind of ailment which I know seems silly but it has always just been the way I have went through life. Dealing with these negative emotions lately I have been toying with the idea of perhaps speaking to a medical professional but instead I have decided to continue through this as normal- with no ‘unneccesary’ medication… I feel this is mainly because I am scared of the side effects/becoming dependant etc! However, I digress…
I have decided to compose a small list of ideas to help make you happy again and of course different things work for different people but I am hoping to show that through little steps you can conquer the powerful bastard that is depression. Personally, though altering my life slightly with these small steps I have learned to see outside my depression and I am beginning to remember what a bloody great human being I am.
It seems like such an obvious idea but I can tell you from first-hand experience that you will feel miles better than what you are feeling currently. I am pushing myself to go to my local gym 3–4 times per week for at least an hour each time. I am finding that running on a treadmill is really benefitting me. I find myself running and not having to focus on anything too intense yet I also find myself talking myself through all of my problems with a much more relaxed attitude. Running may not be for you and admittedly at times I feel like I can’t go much longer but you just need to find something you enjoy and push yourself. I also never take public treansport to get there and I thoroughly enjoy the walk to and from the establishment as it also helps to clear my mind.
2. Get a new hobby!
Following on from my previous point, find something you and enjoy and stick at it. I am rekindling my childhood passtime of drawing and it is having the same positive effect on me as running. I find myself carefully focussing on my artwork and also talking through everything with myself in my head. It is almost because I have a minor distraction whilst I’m having these conversations with myself that I am progressing mentally and dealing with my issues with a much more calm deameanor- as if I were giving advice to a friend. You need to learn to not always be in your own head 24/7 as it is draining both mentally and physically and you end up just going round in circles. I also find this works when I am reading a good book. Join a gym class, go for long walks, get on your bike! Find something that works for you and you will find yourself changing for the better. I also find even writing posts on Medium frequently is a great way to just release all of your pent up negativity and worries- try it for yourself!
3. Have a wee cup of tea!
My Dad’s number one remedy! If I am ever feeling down I feel just having a nice cup of hot tea and melting into the couch is a great way to have some down-time- whether this is through the help of the sugar or not it definitely helps me! Of course not everyone if a fan of tea but personally I really helps to relax me. Try it for yourself!
4. Change How You See Life
Depression is worsened through constantly battling with yourself mentally. You know what you need to do but sometimes the effort needed to do certain tasks is extremely difficult to conjure up. Whether you would prefer to do this through mediatation of affirmations, you need to really look at yourself, your attitude and the way you view life. Of course the depression is constantly hanging over trying to blacken everything with an inch of happiness but you need to take full control of this and push it all back. I am trying to view life in a much more positive way such as being thankful for everything I have in my life. My depression has spouted through being suddenly unemployed and it makes me constantly feel like I am worthless and have no purpose in life but then I wake up on my own bed, I come through and make a nice cup of tea start up my laptop to read the news. Many people in the world do not have these small luxuries that we all probably take advantage of in every day life and when you start to really appreciate these small things you become a lot more positive in your every day life. I am thankful I have my health, a beautiful and caring partner, a loving family and a roof over my head. Things could be a lot worse and through these small daily affirmations in life you will be able to rise up from your depression.
5. Do not hide, GO OUTSIDE!
Tonight I have plans to go and catch-up with many friends, many of whom I have not spent time with in a while, and whilst the prospect of this excites me there is the looming black cloud over my head whispering in my ear: ‘just stay inside, it’s safer’. You need to learn to shun this voice and get out there- even if it means just going for an hour long walk. Not just socialising, but just being outside will make you feel less weighed down and a lot happier. My flat has become like my prison and I am taking the steps to not hide myself away for days on end with just my own negative throughts to help me function. My partner is so loving and caring but with depression it is almost like sometimes it will not let me hear his words of encouragement and advice and I become numb. You need to make this change for yourself. Talking about your thoughts and feelings can feel like you’re ‘moaning’ at people so as a result of this I find myself locking away my depression and not really talking about it for fear of annoying people. You need to change this, deal with your own voice in your head. You are alive on this earth, we all have so much to give and depression is not the breaking point for us all we need to push forward and leave it behind. I have tried these small changes in my thought processes and although sometimes difficult, I have bettered myself from this. Now I push myself to do things that I otherwise would not have done. I make a list at the end of every day of tasks I want to accomplish the next day- even if this is just going for a walk and talking a certain issue over in my head. Pride yourself for these small changes you are willing to make, deciding you are wanting to make a change is step 1 of this process and is probably the most difficult thing. Now I am no longer waking up with a feeling of dread, I am pushing those thoughts out of my bedroom window, getting up and shoving my workout clothes on. You must have faith in yourself- you will get through this dark time.
It’s not a matter of ‘shutting off’ it’s a matter of dealing with your issues and problems step by step and changing the way you percieve them. I have become very anxious and I can not shut off- I find myself bursting into to tears at the click of a finger and shooting up from the bed at 4:30am with a wave of negativity overcoming me but I am learning to appreciate myself much more. You are a person, you can not shut yourself off so this is not a possible outcome. You need to learn to become friends with yourself and to learn to tune out those negative emitions and make way for much more positive ones. You can do this! You are special.