10 tips dating depression
When depression crashes down on top of us, we usually want to shrink into the shadows of our own despair. It matters less about the size of the group – large groups, one-on-ones or anything in between – as much as the fact that you yank yourself from the inside to the outside, into sunlight, around others. Be around people even if you don’t say a word in the beginning. “I will smile at 2 people today.” “I will get out of bed and dressed by 9am tomorrow morning.” “I will call a friend or family member to meet for lunch this week.” Taking small incremental baby steps toward the light, toward movement, toward those things that will lift the burden, even if only temporarily and even if it doesn’t seem to work at first, are critical. Bottled up emotions under the heat of pressure behaves predictably in the long run. Sometimes there are no supportive people immediately to be found. Let your guilt and sadness, your despair and hurt, your anger and frustration, your loneliness and hatred drain onto the pages. Instead of paying so much attention to the underbelly of your life, look for a cause or a person you can help.We want to shut doors, hide under blankets and try to numb ourselves to the pain. I know getting around others can be the last thing you want to do. There is a child-you inside who desperately needs the parent-you. The movement toward little goals itself will help over time. Just like cans of soda, we explode when we keep the lid screwed down too tightly for too long. Other times, you may feel sensitive about overdoing the talk thing with someone you fear will start to pull away if all they ever hear is sadness. When you lift others, you are lifted, sometimes to ground much higher than the person lifted by you. The scheduled commitment can help you stick to it with greater regularly.How you feel about your life, in most cases, can be changed, no matter how chronic the root of your depression is or seems.My prayer is that something here will inspire you to take the next step on your journey to a better life.How we interpret the things we experience determines how we experience them.Our realities are reflections of what we think and believe much more than what truly is.But like any skill or talent, with practice, you can start to gain some. One boy decided he would sneak an unopened can of root beer into the fire pit. The can exploded, sending hot root beer everywhere. Getting the dark knot of emotion that feels stuck in the pit of your gut out into the open – even if only on paper – can be itself immensely helpful. You will start to feel stronger and more and more in control. It’s arming yourself against an aggressive assailant. Depression is understandably an inward-looking state of mind.
While the need to change may be real and the call for action urgent, the overriding challenge is that depression often inspires inertia.
There are different causes and types and degrees of depression.
Each needs to be diagnosed correctly to know how best to proceed.
And since we choose what fills our thoughts, we can change what we feel by changing what we habitually think. Happiness can even be measured biochemically, even neuroscientifically. The sun and cardiovascular movement helps create the chemicals needed to feel happy and alive. It may be helpful to look for someone who specializes in your area of need. There is no shame in seeking someone trained to help us heal our emotional wounds any more than needing a surgeon to help stitch our physical lives back together when they come apart. Back a few years ago, I took a group of boys to the beach for a beach party.
Of course, you may not feel like you have any control over your thoughts or feelings right now. As the sun dimmed, we started a fire to cook our hotdogs. But write it down, all of it, in all its gory detail. Over time, you may find the depth of your anguish a little shallower than it was. You will more likely be able to manage your feelings. “Know your disease” is much more than an empty slogan.