Feeling so depressed for so long was really really hard.
I don’t remember feeling happy often growing up. I don’t actually have any memories of happiness after about age 11. I grew up in a very toxic environment, but I didn’t know that, because everything looked good on the outside.
That’s something that I’ve stopped trusting… things looking good on the outside… people looking good on the outside… Looking good on the outside was never an issue in my house. Feeling good on the inside was.
I made a commitment to myself early on that I would heal my depression without the use of prescription medication. We all have to make our own choices. I don’t condemn anti-depressants. I saw my family members taking them daily, but they didn’t really seem any happier than myself, so I chose to believe I could take a different path and it would work. And it did work. Part of coming through to the other side of a 20 year depression is learning powerful healing strategies.
One of the biggest challenges for people who are depressed is not necessarily the depression itself. It’s how we feel about being depressed, how much we berate ourselves, torture ourselves and feel ashamed of how shitty we feel. That’s the kicker. It’s bad enough to feel like shit but it’s so much worse because of how we treat ourselves as a result.
That’s what I learned in my own situation.
The day my depression started to shift was the day I chose to stop fighting, kicking, screaming and gnashing my teeth about being depressed. I accepted my depression as part of who I was. I realized that I had been depressed for longer than I had not been depressed. My depression was there all the time. It had never abandoned me. It was with me wherever I went, whatever I did. I took it’s hand and welcomed it as I would an old friend. It was scary as hell, because I was worried it would take over and I would be depressed forever, but I did it anyway.
That’s when things stopped feeling so hard. That’s when I began to feel some relief.
Now, when I look back on that moment, I realize why that worked.
I chose acceptance and I chose peace.
I cut myself some slack and I was gentle with me. I was gentle with a part of me that I had previously hated.
It was the deepest act of self love I had ever committed, in my entire life.
It was as if I unclenched my fists and relaxed my jaw and surrendered.
In a good way.
Depression is hard enough without fighting with it all the time.
So, what happened after that?
Well, I took my depression by the hand in my mind’s eye and walked away.
We became friends.
I stopped fighting.
I had more energy.
I started treating myself with kindness whether I felt sad or not.
I started reconnecting with me.
And my depression began to dissolve.
There were A LOT more things I did, but this was one of the biggest steps I took towards healing.
I am sharing this here, because there are so many people hurting and suffering and depressed that might be able to benefit from this experience, from my experience.
I know I had many mentors along the way that helped me grow and heal. I couldn’t have done it all alone.
So, here is my question to you…
Where are in your own life could you be much more kind to you?
I want to know. Share it below.
I am here. I see you.