My journey with depression

Hello Sunshine! How are you? I hope your week is starting well.

For my part, I’ve been having a slow couple of days, but getting busy with a lot of different activities now that I have the time. I’ve been dedicating some time to my writing, which has felt good considering I abandoned it for some time. I’ve also dedicated some time to read again, which has helped me clear my mind every day.

Today I feel ready to be a little more open and vulnerable in a post for you guys.

In countless posts, I’ve written about how my mental health hasn’t been at its best or how I’ve taken some time to take care of myself in that sense. I am finally ready to talk openly about it.

In my last post, I spoke about five lessons I’ve learned about going to therapy. I wanted to start mentioning that because therapy has been a great help in my recovery journey from depression. This is a small bit of my journey with depression.

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A journey with depression

There it is.

I’ve said it.

There is nothing wrong with it. It is just that some family members read my blog from time to time, and it’s hard to talk about this with them.

Mental health has always been a big elephant in the room. Most of them refuse to acknowledge because “those things didn’t exist back in their days” or because “there’s always someone doing worse than us.” So I have spent years battling a silent illness because I’ve never dared to bring it up to anyone I could trust.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression around the world. Even if it is more common than people tend to imagine, it’s still a hell of a lonely illness.

Truths hard to swallow

Depression is a lonely illness. Even if there are other millions of people around the world suffering it, it can make you feel like there is no one who can understand what you are going through.

It is an illness. That’s one of the things I had the most trouble grasping my mind around. I couldn’t understand how an illness caused all the sadness, the loss of interest, and reduced energy. I was so used to listening to my mom say I was being lazy or overreacting.

Accepting I have it was another difficult step. It is one thing to think you might be depressed and a different one having someone confirm you are. As I mentioned in my previous post, deciding on going to therapy wasn’t an easy one. I had to find myself in a very dark and lonely place to decide it was wrong to feel so hopeless and sad. There are still days in which I find this hard to accept. I keep thinking and going back in time, trying to figure out where things went wrong, where I started feeling this way.

The truth is nothing went wrong, and these things happen.

Even once I was in therapy, my therapist and I tried our hardest to keep me away from pharmacological treatment. Still, in the end, I decided it was necessary.

That was the third hard blow to grasp.

A journey with depression: antidepressants

Going to therapy was a hard choice, but starting a medical treatment was harder. The first thing that crossed my mind when my therapist and I discussed the option was, “How will I tell my parents.”

Growing up in a family where mental health is never an issue, bringing the subject up with my parents wasn’t easy, especially with my mom. Even after four months of having started my treatment with antidepressants, my mom thinks I’ve had enough. She keeps trying to convince me to try some other options like vitamins or “making more friends.”

I want to clarify with this post that my journey with depression hasn’t been easy. It has been bumpy and full of ups and downs. At times it gets lonely, and recovery isn’t a straight line road. But at the end of the day, I am the only one who matters. I am the only one who has to live with the choices I make. Today I am choosing to live a healthy lifestyle… mentally and physically. Sometimes it might be hard to make the right decision, but you’ll know when the time for it comes.

A journey with depression: how I cope

Coping every time I have a relapse is the last thing on my mind. Although with time it has gotten easier to identify a depressive episode to make something about it.

Breathe

Trying to remain calm and collected is the first thing I do when my symptoms kick in. I breathe and remember that it will pass after some time.

List of positive things

This might be hard to do, but I try my hardest to focus on the good things in my life. I tend to spend days on this, as long as an episode lasts, but it helps me keep track of the positive side of life.

Not give up

There are days where I have no desire to even lift a finger. Yet I try to. It doesn’t matter if it takes me one hour or two or three to get out of bed, I do it. Once in a while I allow myself some breaks from doing what I have to.

Cry

Crying gives me relief from the endless sadness and darkness. There’s nothing wrong with it and it helps unburden my heart and soul for some time.

Wrapping it up

The most important thing I remember whenever I fall into relapse is that nothing’s permanent, and I will get through this. Depression is one hell of a silent illness, but things are not as dark as it might make you believe.

Dear Sunshine, if you have been feeling blue more than usual lately, remember it’s not okay. I know how scary it might be to think about being depressed, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, and you are not alone. Whatever you do, remember you are not alone.

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