How I Kicked Depression In The Butt
Depression is something else-- I tell ya. That thing has a way of creeping up into your personal space and taking over everything as if it pays the bills. Depression sucks out the energy in you and makes you feel crappy as if it believes it's the cure to your problems.
I remember the day when depression knocked on my front door and before I could open it, it barged right on in. January 23, 2015 is when it happened...well when I recognized it that is. It was as a result of my father's illness, the constant nights spent in the VA hospital with him, the silent days I would just hold his hand, and so much more. I was sitting at my work desk working on my company laptop and out of nowhere a dark mood just casted over my body. It was something that happened so quick that I didn't know what was going on.
As months and years went by, it began to creep into other areas of my life and I started to lose control. I didn't want to tell anybody because I was scared they would judge me, recommend me to some mental facility, or something...so I kept it to myself and I dealt with it on my own. I was a hot mess but I wore my mask so well I think I deserve an Oscar.
So after being secretly miserable, I decided to slowly figure out how to kick depression in the behind. It all started with realizing I have control over how I react to what happens to me. So, how did I do it? I'm glad you asked. Here's a few things that helped with my depression.
I started to intentionally pray more: I was raised to always pray to God so prayer was something I never lacked but the quality and intention of my prayers were what had to change. I was praying out of habit and reciting repeated prayers instead of being intentional about my prayers to God.
I attended a virtual 8-week mindfulness meditation workshop: If you don't know what mindfulness meditation is, let me tell you-- it's a gift from God. It teaches you to be oneness with yourself, be aware of what you're sensing/feeling in the moment, not worry or think about things around you, and have control and balance. It also teaches you to declutter your mind and get rid of negative thoughts.
I found a therapist: Therapy is essential to having a healthy mental state. Therapist, life coaches, counselors, etc have a negative stigma that you go see them when you are crazy, something is wrong, or it's a waste of time and money. You don't just go seek out counseling when things are wrong; you can also leverage them when things are good or as a sounding board. My therapist made me realize a lot about myself that attributed to my depression.
I started to journal my feelings: This is something I started and will never stop. I am never good with expressing my feelings so writing them is how I express them best. I didn't start this until I started going to therapy though. I've always heard people doing it but never actually did it until my therapist made it homework. I've found myself writing pages on pages on pages and not realizing I've written like 4 pages of thoughts, feelings, expressions, and reflections.
I exercised more consistency: About five years ago, I became this gym rat and started working out with two guys who I met at the gym-- Jerome and Mr. Bill. They quickly became family because they definitely held me accountable, made sure I wasn't slacking up, and checked up on me from time to time when they hadn't seen me. I'll be honest and say I fell off from being consistent due to COVID but I want to get back right.
I leaned on family and friends for support: It's never easy for me to ask people for help better yet but vulnerable. I finally broke down and decided to tell my close family and friends about the things I was dealing with. This was actually therapeutic for me because I no longer held it in anymore. Instead, I was able to share with others and allow them to help me.
Depression should never have a permanent address in your life; it doesn't belong there.
Let's defeat depression together. This beast has affected so many lives and it's time we get back control of our minds and conquer it. What are some things you do or did in the past that helped with your depression? Feel free to share them in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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