I haven't been shy about my issues on this blog, but I haven't written about them in a while. I'll try to do more of that kind of thing over here, but honestly, I've been doing pretty well. Just trying to work on the questions of mortality and life in general, but I may never find those answers.
Either way, the support has been so encouraging. A lot of you understand that depression isn't as easily cured as some will have you think. Reaching out may not save anyone. Talking to someone may actually make things worse. It's very hard to get out of your head when you are supposed to be able to trust your body. If you can't trust yourself, what do you have?
So I just want to say thank you. The comments, tweets, and messages were all outstanding, and I'm so grateful to have you all in my life. Things haven't always been peaches and cream over here, so I try to take some time every day to remember all the good in hopes of keeping away the bad. Hopefully it works.
I'd like to talk today about some of the things that really helped me during my short bout with depression. I can't honestly say if they helped it go away, but they were a shining light through the bad times. I refused any and all medication, and I did end up seeing a therapist three times. Other than that, here's what helped:
- Watching comedy.
Shows like New Girl and Modern Family made me laugh even in the dark. It was fairly mindless, so I was able to disconnect and focus on something else. This wasn't all the time, but more often than not, the TV shows worked. I'm certain a funny movie I'd already seen might have helped too, but this kind of thing doesn't work for everyone. I can say that going to a live comedy show did not make me feel any better, but that was more because of the anxiety of being in a large group of people and possibly having a panic attack.
- Not fighting it.
The less I tried to hate myself for going through the depression, the less it affected me. The less I focused on it, the less it took over. Not by huge amounts, but the more I sat with it and tried to accept it more than push it out of my mind, the more I felt a bit better. This is probably why the comedy worked. It also worked for the panic attacks. The more you fear a panic attack, the more they'll control you. Try to let go, as the panic attack will not, in fact, kill you. Your body can handle everything about a panic attack. Trust it even when you think you can't.
I'm thinking more like some yoga here would have been good, but trying to get up for walks around the block helped. However, getting myself off the couch or out of bed for a walk wasn't exactly easy. It's not like you feel able to walk down the stairs, and it's not like you're eating enough to support a cardio workout. But movement, even if it's just walking to the bathroom, reminds you that you're alive, even if you don't feel that way or want to be.
- Good food.
When I was able to eat, I was eating fruits and veggies for the most part. That's basically by diet anyway, plus some grains, starches, and beans, but the better the nutrition, the more likely you'll start seeing the darkness fade. Makes sense, right? Also, I'd highly consider a gluten-free diet if you're battling depression.
Notice what's not on the list:
- Reaching out for help.
- Talking with loved ones.
- Calling the Suicide Hotline.
In either case, I hope these posts find people who can use them. I am always here for anyone who needs to talk about their depression, anxiety, panic, etc.