For as long as I can remember, I have lived with depression. I have spent years hating myself and wishing I was dead. I have lived in a constant state of depression and hopelessness. I have been full of self-doubt, and negative talk. I am my own worst enemy, constantly putting myself down, not taking care of myself, choosing to believe those negative thoughts swirling around in my mind.
I’ve been waiting for some miracle cure, a magic spell to rid me of these feelings. I have hoped that someone, anyone would come along and make everything OK. I haven’t allowed myself to work through the reasons behind these feelings. I haven’t allowed them to be important. Instead, I’ve created the truth in my head that these things have happened because I’m depressed, because I’m a bad person, because I deserved them. I’m slowly starting to accept that that isn’t the truth. That I am depressed because of the things that have happened in my life.And that to rid myself of the depression then I have to acknowledge their importance.. and confront them face on so that I can put them to rest
When we are born, happiness is an innate quality that we possess. Unfortunately, as we grow and are exposed to negativity, violence, suffering and sadness, the happiness that once we took for granted leaves us. Happiness is a skill that we have to practice, to work on. It won’t just reappear, we have to actively seek it out and invite it back into our lives.
Letting go of depression
It’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of behaviours, feelings and emotions. To some extent, we make the decision to be depressed. Safe in what we have always known, we hold on to our depression, afraid to make the changes necessary to move on.
I’ve been doing lots of thinking lately, and have started being truthful with myself. One of my biggest obstacles to being happy is myself. I have grown comfortable with my depression, it’s almost like a safety net, a get out clause for me…. oh I can’t do that I’m too depressed… It is the only way I have ever known how to be. I’m afraid of happiness because it’s unfamiliar to me
Removing Negativity and Introducing Positivity
If you’re trying to move away from depression, the last thing you need is to be surrounded by negative people. They drain your energy, waste your time and reaffirm your old habits and thoughts. Cut your ties with people who don’t make you feel good, see less of them, or change the subject every time they start complaining! There are a few people in my life who fit this perfectly. They spend their time complaining about how hard everything is, etc etc… they hint at changing but when it comes to it they don’t. They are not healthy relationships for me right now, so whilst it’s difficult to cut ties entirely, I am cutting down on how much time I spend with them.
Whilst cutting out negativity from your life, it’s also important to surround yourself with positivity, be it images, people or what you are reading. Positivity creates more positivity.
There are times when I can feel myself slipping back into negativity and depression. In the past I would allow those feelings to overwhelm me, to give in entirely to them. But now I am learning how to stamp them out, by listening to uplifting music, or reading books/articles online that encourage positive thinking, by painting/crafting, by reaching out to a friend…. things that make me feel good.
Confront your demons
To overcome depression, it is vital that you confront the negative things in your life in order to be able to accept them and let them go. For years and years I have done everything possible to avoid having to deal with anything. I’ve turned to drink and drugs to block things out, restricted my eating or over-ate, self-harmed… all ways of trying to ignore my feelings. I am slowly starting to confront my past. I’m waiting to see a counsellor… but in the meantime, I’ve been writing it down in my journal, and writing it all down… every last little thing. Sometimes I feel as if my heart is going to burst out of my chest, my head starts spinning and terror threatens to take over. When this happens, I slow my breathing down, close my eyes and go inside myself. I repeat to myself that everything is going to be fine, that it’s ok to let go of my old ways.
The old self will fight and scream and kick to be allowed to keep on living… you have to fight back and not give in to it. Let it go.
Allow yourself to be alone
Sometimes I’m scared to be alone, scared that the depression will overwhelm me again. It’s all too easy to cling to other people, to hope that they will create your happiness. While having friends is very important, and others can help you on your path, ultimately it is only YOU who can create your own happiness.
Allow yourself time alone, time to write or paint or think or just be. Become aware of yourself, of who you really are, what you think, what you feel. Turn your self-pity into compassion, and then into love. Love for yourself, and love for living. Separating the lies from the truth, and becoming aware of just how powerful you can be.
Know you are loved
Yes there are many cruel humans about, but there are also tonnes of good people too. Open your eyes and you will see them. Let go of the people who have hurt you in the past, they are not important. The people who matter are the ones who see the beauty in everything…. they are the important ones.
You are loved. Life is short. Don’t waste time worrying over what may be, or what has been. You can’t change the past, but by accepting it and letting yourself move on, you can change your future.