11 ways I Overcame Depression and suicidalness
Help Yourself; Love Yourself
I took some time off Medium because I was really confused about whether I should write this article or not. Deep down, I knew I should write this. We all need a saving grace or helping hand, especially in these horrible times of COVID.
I come from an emotionally abusive (and narcissistic?) family. There was a time when I was all alone and the scapegoat for my two siblings and parents. There’s an Indian song lyrics that translates to “the whole world is with me yet I’m alone”. That’s exactly how I felt. At 17, I was actively suicidal. Psychologists and therapists were temporary help. That’s when I realized that no one can help me better than ME.
I’m 32 now and happily married. It takes guts for anyone to talk about their dark times, but I choose to remember my abuse in hopes to help someone else come out stronger. These are the steps that helped me and I hope they’ll help someone else too.
- INSPIRING STICKY NOTES ON THE WALL (or a vision board)
Put inspiring hand-written notes on your bedroom wall and/or wherever you spend the most time. In my opinion, it’s important to write these notes by hand. DO NOT TYPE. If you see an inspiring quote that you’d like to print…DON’T. Hand-write it. As you hand-write, you feel, experience, and understand that feeling. Also, write your goals, dreams, song lyrics or just things that make you happy. Some examples are, ‘You are beautiful’, ‘Be the best you can. Success will follow’, ‘Ur beautiful just the way you are’, etc.
2. FIND HAPPINESS IN LITTLE THINGS
$2 shirt from Ross? Yaay love it!!! There’s a favorite tv show coming up? Time to put a face mask and relax. Self-love is important. Take a hot shower, cuddle up with your favorite blanket, and Netflix and chill. Just a little self-love goes a long way. You don’t have to spend tons of money to be happy.
Whenever you find the time, think deep about yourself. Get in touch with your spirit. Why do you feel a certain way? Why are you the way you are? We often hear people say “forget the past. Live in the present”, however, it’s necessary to recall past events to introspect. After you find out which past event impacted your present behavior, work on changing or improving it.
4. FIND A HOBBY OR SEVERAL HOBBIES
Take up knitting. Color books while watching tv. Coloring books are a relaxing activity. If you’re not too good with your hands, take up other hobbies like dancing or gymming. I’m fascinated with color block fashion so I find color coordinating my clothes relaxing.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
Your bedroom is your sanctuary. This is where you wake up, so put something good to look at on your front wall. This can be inspiring quotes (See #1), nice scenery, or a picture or collage of pictures that bring back good memories. You don’t necessarily have to put family/friends’ pictures. Only put them if you want to. Don’t do what everyone is telling you (see #7)
6. FIND INSPIRATION FROM THE MEDIA WORLD
Find meaning in songs lyrics or movie dialogues. Watch movies that you resonate with. Learn about your favorite self-made celebrity’s background story on youtube or any other social media. Find inspiration from their success stories.
7. DON’T TRY TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
Yes, we’ve seen rebellious people, people with tattoos, feminists, opinionated people, etc. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking psychologically. We are taught to love certain people . However, a psychologist once told me, “you can love someone, but you don’t have to like them”. Don’t paint your room white just because everyone is doing it. Don’t follow trends if you don’t want to. Remember when gladiator sandals were a thing? Never followed it. Feel like wearing 2 sweaters in 70 degrees? Go for it. Only uggs keep your feet warm? Rock them!!!
8. BE KIND
Be kind to everyone that crosses your path. Even if someone is angry, it is our responsibility as a human to be kind (as long as they don’t go crazy….in that case, stay away lol). Someone dropped their things in front of you? Help them out. See someone wearing a nice shawl? Compliment them! Got a compliment? Thank them with a big smile and maybe compliment them back.
9. DON’T BE MATERIALISTIC
Yes, it’s true that money is a necessity but it’s also true that money can’t buy happiness. Learn to be happy with that $5 shirt from Ross rather than the $50 purse from Gucci. Buy that secondhand Toyota car rather than the Lamborghini just to impress your friends. Don’t have the finances for a car? Be happy with public transport/uber. Spend your extra time with loved ones rather than at work. (But go to work if you can’t get the day off…don’t get fired 😆).
10. THINK YOURSELF HAPPY
Easier said than done. Happy people think happy and optimistic thoughts. Don’t go overboard though and be a crazy person lol. But know and trust yourself in handling that new project at the office. Nervous to start a new job? It’s ok. Everyone gets nervous (being nervous tells you that you’re a normal person, not crazy over-confident). Know that you will be trained and will learn the work in a few days. Stop thinking about bad memories and think good thoughts. Remember that entire day you spent with your friend Netflix and chilling? Remember when you LOL’ed and that relaxing vacation?
11. YOU CAN'T CHANGE OTHERS
You can only change yourself and your thoughts. This is something my mom always tells me. (Surprisingly, she says good things which she doesn’t apply to herself). If something or someone really bothers you, only you have the power to do something about it whether it is getting up to leave the room or arguing about it. In most cases, the former is what's preferred. If the person is mentally mature, you can usually talk to them in a mellow tone.
These are some of the things I’ve applied to my life and hope you will benefit from them too. I know it’s hard to feel happy if you’re constantly made feel worthless. But like anything, happiness also takes hard work. Remember only you have the power to change your situation.