Life’s not easy, we all have issues, we all have problems and nobody’s perfect. If you are perfect, kudos to you, but this article is for the rest of you. In today’s world trying to juggle work, relationships, family and friends, pay bills and be happy is hard. I had depression for a number of years and it still creeps up on me from time to time. I spent many days at home. All I did was hide under the sheets. It’s a common behaviour for people with depression, we don’t want to face the day. I could hardly get out of bed in the morning, much less take a shower, get dressed and go to work. Some days it’s hard to keep up hope, the whole world is so overwhelming. I think about death sometimes. I would never do anything bad to myself but I still think about it. When you feel sad for so long it just seems like an easy option. I know I’m better than that though. I was raised in a broken family, dad wasn’t home much. I felt alone during much of my childhood, never really felt loved to be honest. I was very stubborn as a kid, I was angry. I think I was damaged in many ways from the divorce. Depression is hard for people to understand I think. People who have it have been damaged in many ways. We’ve been hurt, we don’t see things the way we should and our perception of the world around us is distorted, fragmented.
I often feel alone, confused, ashamed and scared. Feeling this way use to paralyse me, but I’ve learnt to deal with it. I use to push my feelings aside until they all started to collide with one another forcing me to take my recovery and wellness as a life or death matter. I only ever dealt with my depression when it came close to killing me. It shouldn’t take that much for someone to get better, it did for me. Getting better has been a long journey. It takes time. I’ve been luckily enough to have the support of some great mentors in my life and I would like to share with you how they helped me overcome my darkest hours. I think being in routine has helped a lot. Depression really strips away the structure of your life. One day seems to effortlessly melt into the next. My mentors always encouraged me to stick to a routine and set achievable short term goals. I was also encouraged to exercise and eat healthy. I found that exercise and eating healthy boosted my mood and gave me those feel-good moments. I realised that in order to get better I had to work on my health. I started to exercise more often and eat healthy but the hardest challenge was dealing with my negative thoughts. Have you ever felt powerless, weak or worthless? I certainly have and depression forced me to put a negative spin on everything, including the way I saw myself and the expectations I put on my future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, I think it’s important to remind yourself that this is the depression talking. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes aren’t realistic. When you really examine them they don’t hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up. Just telling yourself to think positively, won’t cut it. Often, these thoughts are part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it. Many people think that being happy is a choice, but it’s not that easy when you have a mental illness.