For most of my life I have struggled with depression. Recently I’ve been able to talk about it more. Long before the pemphigus even came, I was depressed and attempted suicide several times. So you can imagine afterwards it definitely lingered around. The thing about depression is that often it can be a very silent sneaky thing. There were friends I found who struggled with it silently, just as I did. But on the outside we always put on a good show around people. Suppressing your emotions is probably one of the worst things that you can do.
I can honestly say now, that this is the freest I have ever been from depression. I am ridiculously happy and have been for quite some time now! I thought the things I learned during Re:Write would wear off eventually, but every time I forget what I learned, overcome by life or emotions. I pause, I think about all that I have to be grateful for and I pray. My circumstances have not changed and honestly I’m still in the same place I was in before, but I’ve changed. And that is all the difference.
I know when you’re depressed you can get tired of being told to “think positive” but really that was the turning point for me. Just as I realized my own beauty by telling myself every day that I was beautiful, which is another story! By thinking positive every day even when the negative thoughts bombarded my mind, I was able to rise above them. My thoughts have always been my biggest weakness, I am my worst critic. I see everything that I do wrong and magnify it by 100%. In my mind, I am insecure and afraid. I could not mold myself into perfection, I always did something wrong and I punished myself in my mind.
I still have to battle that sometimes, however now when a negative thought comes, I do not feed it, I starve it. I don’t even give it a second thought, because I know once I start to dwell on it, it will settle in my spirit and slowly take over until I believe the lie. Then the lie becomes truth and I slip down the slippery abyss of depression, once you fall in it’s a lot harder to get out then if you just avoid the falling in in the first place.
So when the negative thoughts come or if you start to feel a bit down, grab a trusted friend and tell them about what’s going on and release everything. Don’t leave anything in your mind to quietly whisper lies to you. Talk to God about it, I know it sounds crazy but he’s listening to you too. Because I was ashamed of being a Christian and depressed, God was the last person I wanted to talk to about my emotions. But also the best person because it is always through his joy that I find true joy. Happiness is fleeting and passing, it changes depending on what circumstances you are in, joy is the one that will stick around! When you find your way to who you are, to truly who you are, sons and daughters of an amazing Father who only has your best at heart? There is nothing for you to be anxious about anymore, all you need to do is pray.
If you do need professional help as well, I encourage you to seek it out. I learned about art therapy in school and I just became my own therapist through art. I worked through many issues and expanded it to poetry, at the time my poetry was very dark. But it pulled the darkness from inside of me and put it on paper. Find a healthy way of release, be it writing or art and let everything out. See the pattern here? Never hold the dark negative thoughts inside, always find a way to release them somehow.
Don’t feel alone. Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. Don’t let that lie settle in your mind, people do care and other people may be going through exactly what you’re going through. Speak up about it, it really is okay if you’re not okay. If you need to vent a while, that’s okay. If you need to cry a while, that’s okay too. I still allow myself to cry when I need to, I cannot stress enough how much releasing everything helped me to find freedom. And if you don’t have anyone close to talk to, be sure to talk to God! Or get in touch with me, I’m more than happy to listen.
Overall, find things that you enjoy doing and do them. Make time out for yourself and relax. And when you feel yourself starting to become stressed, handle it, breathe. Don’t let it build up inside of you. You are loved, you are wonderful just the way that you are.