“I stand for living your truer life – and that means your whole life. That means all of it, the shit and the swamp, the love and the golden sunset, the 3am staring at the ceiling and the trudging down the stairs at memory care, sobbing. True means whole, means owning it, working it, all of it.”
~Jennifer Louden, “Navigating Through Depression“
I have a post in the works, & this post from Jennifer Louden, found via a Curvy Yoga email, touches on the subject. I didn’t want to be just sharing another post from someone else, so I came up with my own title. I didn’t realize how almost exactly the same as it is to the original. Sometimes we absorb more than we know. I couldn’t think of a title I liked better, so there you go.
I talk a lot about being gentle with yourself during a depressive episode & about just letting things be okay when you need to. Let yourself & what you are able to do right now be enough. It is so important. Depression will give you plenty of reasons to hate yourself, don’t pile on. Not to mention, so much around us, including some of the people in our lives give us more to feel guilty about.
In her post Jennifer talks about feeling ashamed of being depressed. I have felt that way myself, not just about the depression, but about all of it – the bipolar disorder, the OCD, the anxiety, the being super slow, other things I haven’t talked about here.
I used to feel such shame for being depressed. I used to tell myself, “Why are you depressed? You have an incredible life. You could live in Mosul or Gaza, for God’s sake, buck up.” Under that, I would think, “What kind of self-help teacher are you if you’re depressed?” Even writing that makes me want to scream. That kind of self-talk not only made my depression worse, it made me believe I needed to be somebody I’m not.
I also understand when she talks about not knowing why she was depressed because she has a great life & shouldn’t be depressed because so many people have it worse. A lot of people think “counting your blessings” or thinking about how much worse it is for someone else should make it go away, but sadly that’s not how depression works. I spent a lot of the time I was depressed thinking about the good things in my life, but it never made me feel any better. If anything, I think it made me feel worse because I had no reason to feel depressed which left me nothing to fix to make it go away.
Recently I have been talking a little more about mental health issues on my personal fb page. Nothing big, just mentions. I posted the other day about what a good day I was having & said I was afraid it was just one of those normal times in between the depression & the mania. I rarely talk about that stuff like that. I posted yesterday about how many friends I will have around me when I move & how long it’s been since I’ve had a significant number of friends around me. I mentioned it had been since I had to move home initially in 2006, & for months before I moved back I had isolated myself.
The rest of her post outlines ways she copes when she is depressed. She is writing about a mild depressive episode, so keep that in mind when you read it. There’s some good stuff in there however deep yours is, but don’t feel like you should be able to do those things.
What are some ways you cope with being depressed?