I will not claim to be an expert on this topic. What should you do when depression hits? No single solution exists. When my mind goes to that dark place, I need to know that someone else understands exactly what I am going through. But, the fact is this: no one truly does, because these emotions are uniquely mine. So, I will not claim to be an expert on your emotions and experiences. What I do know is this…when your mind goes to that dark place, the best thing you can do is something.
Often times, when we feel sad or stressed or helpless, we think what our body needs is rest. So we throw on our favorite pair of comfy sweatpants, grab a cup of coffee and hit play on that new Netflix original series. Now, let me be clear – there is nothing wrong with giving your mind, body and soul this type of break. I do it all the time.
Here comes the but…
BUT – it is unlikely that this type of action will heal you (mind, body and soul).
So what do you do? Here’s some advice, straight from the heart.
Remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Well, its not okay in the sense that of course, you don’t deserve it and of course, you shouldn’t have to live in pain. But, it is okay in the sense that it doesn’t make you less than, or weak, or broken. That feeling of despair, doubt and dreariness sucks the big one – but you can and you will rise above it. You are bigger than your emotions. You are bigger than your diagnoses. You are in control here, remember?
Now that you are working on forgiving yourself (mind, body AND soul), it’s time to talk. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. Don’t sit around and wait for them to go away. Do not wait. Share how you are feeling with a friend, family member, medical professional, coach, support group…support is always just one step away.
When approaching the conversation, remember three things: be honest, don’t expect too much, and leave your fear at the door. Don’t sugar coat what you are feeling because you are afraid or ashamed. Honesty heals. Don’t expect the other person to fix your problems for you. Likewise, don’t be surprised if they are not able to relate with what you are going through. They are there to lend you an ear, a heart, a shoulder to lean on and a lifeline. In time, these conversations will make a massive difference! And finally, tell your fear to take a hike. There’s no room at the table for it.
Be patient. I know it’s hard – you just want to feel “light” again; to release this heaviness. Have faith. You will feel like yourself again because you have, a) forgiven yourself, b) asked for help, and c) given yourself time. Even when the path seems too dark to navigate, you can rest easy knowing that the stars will always come out at the end of the day.
Don’t give up. I believe in you.
If you or someone you know is suffering, don’t hesitate. Call 1-800-273-8255. There is no struggle too big, or too small. Seek help today.