If You Can Get Out of Bed You Can Overcome Depression
I’ve struggled with depression since I was a teenager. Now in my 30’s I’ve overcome many cycles of depression.
In college, depression took over my life. Growing up family life was tough but I was an active equestrian.
Riding horses and teaching people how to ride helped me get out of bed every day.
Then as a high school graduate in 2002, I thought that I must go to college to become successful.
I threw all of my equestrian aspirations (like becoming a top dressage rider) away and headed off to college.
In college, I discovered parties and alcohol. Growing up I rarely drank. I always had a horse show to go to.
I was homeschooled so I wasn’t exposed to the typical teenage stuff. I rarely even went to the movies.
While I had some trauma, overall my life was calm. Filled with beautiful horses and people who strived to be better riders each day.
In retrospect, college taught me contrast. The bad and ugly of life was revealed more than the good.
College negatively impacted me in ways that I’m still processing today.
All I wanted is a good job so I could afford my equestrian dreams. What I got were hard life lessons that helped me in the long run.
Expect success but don’t be attached
I was very attached to societies prescription of success. It nearly destroyed me. My self worth in college plummeted.
I used alcohol to become numb. I was lost confused and broke. Some days I wouldn’t even bother to get out of bed.
I also discovered more junk food. Growing up my mom cooked mainly healthy meals. Junk food I found soothed my angst…temporairly.
Eventually, I started to gain weight.
After 5 years of bad grades and permanent struggle, I left college with no degree.
The only thing I had was a mountain of debt and hard life lessons.
I turned to serving tables for money. While my financial outlook started to improve, my junk food addiction and depression grew.
In my late 20’s something had to change. I was fat, sick, and depressed. I was forced to get help.
Depend on your inner world for support
Getting support for my health was the best decision I ever made.
My whole life began to shift. I found what I ate mattered more than I realized.
I also developed a meditation practice. I began to trust my true self.
You know, the voice that’s always right but you don’t tune into it often enough.
As I changed what I ate, exercised often, and developed more positive relationships my depression started to wane.
My cycles of depression were less. I started to bounce back from the toxic lulls faster.
I began to find my inner strength and use it.
Depression is such a mystery to me. It falls down like a ton of bricks then maybe days or weeks later it lifts suddenly.
I depend now on my inner world through spiritual practice and healthy living to help me through the worst.
Yes, I still have my bad days. 2011 and 2018 by far have been my worst years of depression to date.
These years have also been my biggest teachers.
Sometimes you have to go back to keep going forward. Going back I mean it feels like you’re regressing.
But you’re actually gaining strength for the next phase of your life.
Make life as simple as possible
Peace and freedom is my motto for life right now. The more simple my life is the less depressed I am.
The more love I allow in the better life is.
A busy and complex life is not for me.
Now I focus on building my online business. My days are filled with tons of writing supporting others through my work.
My dream is to travel, write, coach, and make videos again. Horses will be also part of my future.
They’re great therapy animals like cats and dogs. You feel more grounded around them.
In the past, I complexity was the key to success. Now with amazing technology, you can run a simple business from your cell phone.
No meetings in the office required.
Positive habit formation makes overcoming depression easier
Studies show that over 40 percent of our behaviors stem from habits. If you struggle with depression developing awareness around your negative habits is a game changer.
Old programming keeps you stuck in depression. You don’t have a chance to rewire your brain.
If you don’t seek to habit change your brain will remain in survival mode. Your brain doesn’t care about happiness. It cares only about keeping you alive.
Perhaps you’ve had thoughts that seduce you into staying in bed and watching Netflix all day.
I’ll have thoughts like:
- “You work so hard, you need rest.”
- “Tomorrow you can write that post and email your audience.”
- “What’s the point?” “You’re not making much money writing now anyway.”
- “Save your energy for the serving shift tomorrow.”
The best way to overcome thoughts like this is positive self-talk.
This way when toxic thoughts come up it’s easier to override. This method won’t work 100 percent of the time but over time you’ll get stronger.
I found that developing one good habit at a time works best. First I started with cleaning up my diet as I mentioned earlier.
Then I started finding workouts that I actually liked. After that, I started to build a morning routine to provide a solid foundation for the day.
My morning routine helped me realize I had tons of negative speak swirling in my head.
I’ve been working on developing a system to thwart depression for years. Progress has been made. I’ll continue on the journey for the rest of my life.
Good habits become automatic. Willpower is reduced or eliminated.
I’ve found that if I get out of bed no matter how hard it is, depression loses another day.