Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Good Days

I think one of the hardest and most surreal parts of depression is that you'll have good moments when you feel light and cheerful and even laugh like normal with your friends. Sometimes, those moments will even stretch into a good day.

But you can't let your guard down.

Because if you stop taking your medication, working out, journaling, or doing whatever it is that you do to help keep depression at bay, it will overwhelm you again. It will swallow you whole because you will not be on your guard and you will skip your morning workout to get some extra sleep, only to discover that nothing seems quite as bright as yesterday.

Today was a good day. So, let's be honest, this entry is probably more for me than you. Because tomorrow is Friday, and it's been an absolutely draining two weeks at work. So I will want to sleep in instead of work out. And I know that, if I do, I will regret it because depression, that sneaky little bastard, will sneak up and throw a giant wet blanket on my day.

Don't let your guard down, loves. Stay alert, stay active, and stay focused on winning this battle. We've got this.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Five Tips for Dealing with Depression

If you missed my last post, let me catch you up by telling you that I'm once again experiencing severe depression. Yes, I will be seeing someone for it (only admitted it to myself yesterday), and yes, I have excellent coping mechanisms in the meantime, which is what I'm telling you about today. **Note: These tips do not replace professional counseling or, in some cases, medication.**

First Tip: Make A Schedule
Last night, my boyfriend made me make a list of things I needed to do today. He added things, including "get up no later than 7," "workout," and "write or paint" (which is partially why I'm writing this blog).

Second Tip: Find Someone to Hold You To It
In my case, my boyfriend made sure I was up, that I worked out, and helped me when I couldn't make a decision on what to do next, even with the list right in front of me. (That indecisiveness is one of those side effects of depression that nobody talks about.) However, it takes a village, and I have four people close to me who know my diagnosis and are helping me cope.

Third Tip: Go Outside
My boyfriend and I made sure this was part of my schedule. If it's sunny, this could mean taking work out onto the porch to do. But even just getting outside to go get groceries gives you a small dose of Vitamin D and some movement.

Fourth Tip: Work Out
This is what my boyfriend had me do first thing when I got up. Not because he wants me to look a certain way, but because he knew what I'm about to tell you: Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins help fight depression.

Fifth Tip: Connect
Making connections with people, even meaningless little jokes with your cashier, can help lift your mood. If at all possible, do this in person - handshakes, hugs, and other physical touch can be very good for you. However, even on-line can work if it's a connection with a genuine friend who you actually have honest conversations with on-line.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Falling Back In

Today, I've managed to shower, get dressed, walk next door to church, walk home, change into comfy clothes, start laundry, and now write this. 

Given that, last night, I took every available online depression test in hopes of finding just one that told me I was alright, only to be met with a constant result of severe/clinical/"see someone immediately" depression, that's quite a feat. And now I want a nap. Because the looming to-do list no longer urges me to do anything. 

I'm bad again. Maybe you are, too. But we'll get through this. We have to. We're survivors.