Depression is a big word. Nobody can make a topic like depression as uplifting and motivating as a list of tips on how to get on with your goals. It’s not as fun as talking about how amazing your future can be if you put work into it. Or a “glamourous” subject because it’s bleak. It’s dark and linked to parts of us we are not ready to deal with or too tired to overcome.
But it’s real.
THE BAD DAY (Cue Daniel Powter)
There is the light depression. The bad day. It starts off bad and doesn’t get better. It’s waking up late and getting scolded by the boss at work. It is opening the wardrobe and in a sea of clothes, not finding anything to wear. And think “why try to look good anyway with this haircut/this wrinkle on my face/the extra kilos I have put on?”. It’s the text back we never get because people are busy posting on social medias instead of making plans to see us.
Dealing with a bad day is: taking ourselves by the hand and finishing the day in front of the TV, eating comfort food and thinking “at least the day is over”. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Then there is the depression that we can’t shake off with a takeaway or a drink. In this case, something goes wrong every day. There is the feeling that life instead of going up, seems to be going downward. Today, the hours at work are killing you with every passing second. You hear the news that someone in your family is sick. Your bank account is in the red and it doesn’t look like next month’s salary will help you pay off your debt. You’re still waiting on that text. You’re starting to think, after all, there could be something wrong with you.
At this rate, a pattern seems to be taking place. With some strength left, positive ways to balance the negativity will help: meditation, journaling, sport… Some people reach the point of pain where they get their creative juices flowing. This is where songwriters produce the revenge break-up song. The killer body from working out for hours. The successful moments unraveling during a montage with Beyoncé’s songs.
That’s the upside. There is also the bathroom floor reset. Or ending up ugly crying on the cold tiles, choking on the tears, mascaras running on the cheeks. When it becomes impossible to breathe so hours of sleep is the best way to make the days shorter. Socialising and drinking with friends is to feel happy and to forget. Pills help elevate the mood. Numbness wins over suffering. Begging not to wake up the next morning becomes a recurring thought. Some think there is a radical solution to this.
Guts Over Fear
Depression is a touchy topic because getting to that low point and not knowing if life can improve. And how long it will take.
I am touched by the recent stories of people getting to that point and ending their lives. I find scary the idea that someone could have those thoughts and decide to act on them.
Talking helps. Yet, nowadays, nobody wants to be the Debbie Downer of the group. Some friends might brush off the subject. But other will understand and listen. And the loneliness can disappear.
I wanted to remind people that visualizing the upside is always an option. It’s a choice to make. To trick the mind into believing good can come out of any situation is the key. We all get lost at times, but that’s temporary.
The real champion is the outsider. The one who has been so low that there was a point when they couldn’t picture themselves winning. There is no real happiness without real darkness.
While it sucks to read this when you are feeling down, reading it when the tables are turning can bring the opposite feeling. Life is a never ending sparring match but there is always strength inside to throw another punch.