It’s a new year and I am so thankful. I am so ready to kick 2018 to the curb. It’s been almost one year since I spent 12 days recovering from a severe depressive episode in the hospital. I am not ashamed to talk about it. It’s a part of my life story. It deserves to be recognized and talked about because maybe I can help some of you out there who read my blog. I needed help desperately last year. I had spiraled out of control into the deepest darkest place where no one wants to go. Questioning my self worth and struggling to see the good in anything. Getting help was one of the toughest things that I had ever done but one thing that I am most thankful for. Depression sucks. Depression causes your thinking to lie to you. Depression turns truths inside out. Depression steals the good moments away from you and fills you with worries and anxieties and darkness. Depression pushes away those close to you. It causes you to want to isolate. It’s a place no one wants to be. A place that it can be hard to see the way out of. It can be totally debilitating. Convincing you that you cannot do anything and that you cannot do anything right.
Does this sound familiar to any of you? Well, you know what? You are not alone. I am here with you and together we can get through this and bring each other along in the search for brightness and light in life. Some days I feel like I am just barely glued together but somehow I am able to pull through and move forward.
I am taking action. I am so done with feeling this way. I want to take steps to find the positivity in each day. I want to be the old me. I want to see joy. I want to laugh. I want to dance. I want to run. I want to inspire. I want to be here for my small and wonderful family.
So what am I doing now to keep on trucking on?
I am going to be more gentle with myself. I must allow myself to feel the pain and the sadness. It is ok to cry and it is ok to tell my kids, my friends and my family why I am sad. There is no use in stuffing those feelings away. All that does is cause them to fester and to bring more pain.
I am in therapy. Talking with someone about the range of emotions that happen can be helpful in sorting things out and also in recognizing that what you are telling yourself is not necessarily the truth. My therapist is helping me develop strategies for turning around my thinking.
I am working on changing my internal script from one that is negative to one that is positive. I often tell myself that I am not good enough or that I “can’t do it.” The perfectionist in me always wins. I don’t want her to win anymore. I am not perfect. We all have things to work on and that does not mean that we are bad people or not good enough. My therapist has suggested journaling, keeping a log of whenever the negative thoughts creep in and take over to begin to recognize that these are lies. I need to learn to replace this script with thoughts of positivity and “I can do this.”
I am surrounding myself with positive people and working on making new connections. Last year we moved to Hanover, NH leaving behind the community that I had been a part of for 18 years. While we are only an hour away from where we were it has required building a new circle of friends. I want more connections and friends in my new community. I am trying to reach out to old friends and new and to make plans to get out and do things. It can be hard to get out of the comfort of your home when all you want to do is curl up and stay home alone.
I am a work in progress.
Remember, you are not alone in this. There are so many people around you who support and love you.
How do you cope with depression? What do you do to turn around a negative internal monologue?