Ok, here we go, day 2 of this assignments wants us to make a list. Fair enough. Here’s a (subjective) list about what I’ve learned about depression:
- Depression Lies – As Grant Morrison once said, we are not our emotions. We may feel like crap at any moment, but we all need to take that feeling with a grain of salt. That’s because depression lies.
- You’re not alone – It’s a cliché’ but it’s also true. There are more people than you think that wrestle with this illness. If you doubt this, find a support group in your area and go to a meeting. You’ll be surprised at the cross-section of people you meet.
- Routines Help – Getting into a routine protects one from the tendency towards inertia that depression creates. Having a regular schedule forces you to get up do something when you’d rather just sit there. And when you just sit there, you start to think. And then you begin to think the worst as often as not. Structured activities and a timetable help to fight this.
- Self-Care is not Self-Indulgence – There are times when you will want just sit back and relax and treat yourself. Go right ahead and do it. Being good to yourself is beneficial, even if that means breaking your routine a bit. However…
- Self-Care includes Self-Discipline – There are many times when you won’t want to do anything. You won’t want to do routine tasks like cleaning your bathroom sink or exercising. This is a trap. You’ve got to do your best to push through that and do what needs to be done.
- It’s not all or nothing – You’ll make mistakes along the way. Sometimes you’ll fall behind in keeping up with a routine, sometimes you won’t cut yourself some slack when you need to, and sometimes you’ll believe the lies Depression is telling you. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means that you slipped a little. The key is to realize that you’re not perfect and to forgive yourself and keep working. This is because…
- Battling Depression is a process, not a goal – There will be good days and there will be bad days, but what matters the most is to stick with what’s working for you regardless of how high or low you are at that particular moment. I liken it to running – there are days when I feel as if I am gliding effortlessly and then there are days when I feel like I’m carrying a 50 pound weight behind me. It’s like that with Depression: You shouldn’t decide to quit because you think you don’t need to work at it anymore or because you’ll feel like it’s just not working. Either way, you have to keep trying.
And that is a list of what I think I’ve learned about depression. Feel free to tell me what you think about it, however. I could always you some good advice and/or insights.