Continued from Part 1 http://en.arabwomanmag.com/enduring-depression-part-1/
By Najwan Al Khatib
Depression…You think every minute of every day about death and it goes on and on until you reach below point zero; you reach underground, you have sadly shattered yourself.
What to do?
Think small, start small, walk slow…
How to do it?
The first step to better health is to admit there is something wrong, even if it goes against all your conventional lifestyle or if it goes against your family’s conservative beliefs. Crack the eggshell and snatch your life back! We only live once!
Make that “dreadful” appointment with the Dr. and drag yourself to it. Let it all out and start the rewarding journey of healing.
The first few months, might it be seeing the therapist or psychiatrist is a long road to recovery. While one of them might be an answer to your problems but in my experience both are equally very important. It is also vital to listen to everything they say, learn and follow instructions and follow leads. Open up the internet and go to trusted websites and read all the articles you can read. Buy books about self-help and learn everything that should be known. Sometimes one sentence from a book is enough to shed light on something about your life. Read about your medication, its side effects, and its benefits and how it works in your body and what does it do and how long it will take for it to set in. Eat healthy; home-cooked meals, fruits & vegetables, and drink lots of water. Eat dark chocolate to alleviate your mind and feed your soul, for dark chocolate is loaded with the endorphins chemicals (to feel happy). Shut down the shallow people that say mental medicines makes you lose your mind, for those people are miserably illiterate.
I learnt through depression that falling back on family and loved ones is not the worst thing in the world, no matter how much pride you have. You might be surprised how supportive & empathetic they can be. If you are lucky they will never pressure you and never force you to do anything. They let you be, and lend you a helping hand to whatever you might need.
Then comes the struggle of getting better, of moving on, and you start collecting all the shattered glass your life has become. You will have bad days and better days. This cycle is another thing to consider. At first, the bad is more than the good and then the good becomes very slowly better than the bad. Imagine it a curve on a chart and imagine the good going further up, as time passes by. You must always remember though, when you have those bad days, to ride it out. Don’t push yourself and force yourself to feel better. Ride the storm out and accept it as it is. Nothing lasts forever! Imagine a road so dark and you are walking it. Look far far ahead and there is a lamp… keep your focus there till you arrive safely to the light. Then… breathe again… for depression is a mental suffocation.
A few tricks to learn that might help:
- Breathe deeply in, and breathe out. Each time you exhale, say to yourself “relax”. Repeat for 8-10 times.
- If in the morning you find it difficult to shower, pick yourself up and hit yourself for a couple of minutes with icy water. It stimulates the brain and refreshes your blood vessels.
- Light candles in the bathroom; it might help to calm you down.
- OR find anything else that agrees with you.
One of the first things they teach you in therapy is that you are not alone. The first time you hear this, you think, this is absolutely nonsense, no one feels like I do and no one feels the scorching pain like I do. But, as you get better and start feeling good, it dawns on you that there are many around you who are depressed and many of them sadly do not admit this to themselves. It dawns on you that you are blessed for doing the right thing.
When the shadow of depression is lifted from your head, you reach to clarity no one has ever reached before. You see things differently and from a wider and deeper prospect; a broader angle. Be sure and be proud that your eyes are open to many things people don’t see. Count your blessings, for most of the people who live and die do not appreciate the bliss they are in, no matter how little it is. Look at the small things in life that makes us happy: like food, the sky, the sun, the water, the breeze, the ruffling of trees, birds singing, water, children or anything else you see worthy in yourself and in your surroundings.
When you see clearer so do your goals in life begin to clear up. You start categorizing the people around you and you prioritize what is most important in life onto less. Work becomes a happier place, and your social life is much more fun. Your family becomes a bright sunshine and you are born into a new peaceful soul.
Some of the strongest people on this planet are those who took the difficult first step towards recovery and who have followed through, and those who survive depression every day. Become the person you always wanted to be and finally be happy where you are. Be content with yourself and be joyful with life.
When your mind awakens from depression, it starts realizing the blessing of a good day, and when the bad day comes, it calculates the risks, and it alone comes to a conclusion that it is not the end of the world. It no longer sees problems, for problems are now migrated to challenges. Negative thoughts are replaced with positives ones and every challenge becomes a learning process instead of failure. You walk, you fall, you pick yourself up and you go on. This is life…
One of the greatest rewards also comes when you start lending a hand to anyone who goes through what you did. You share advice, experiences and feelings, and people lean on your shoulder for you to help them see the sunshine again. Your self-esteem blossoms and you feel stronger, and you realize how resilient you are and how indeed you are a warrior.
The bad news is, which you have to adapt to, is that in some cases depression is not cured, but hold on… the good news is (and please keep clinging onto this), is that depression doesn’t kill, and the sun always rises again. Throughout the survival of depression your soul starts to become peaceful and serene… Just grab the moment and seize the opportunity to be a much better version of yourself.
Now, run with your life…
For part 1 of this article click here http://en.arabwomanmag.com/enduring-depression-part-1/
Photo credit: Victoria Nevland / Foter / CC BY-NC