I am doubly blessed with alcoholism and depression. I quit drinking 38+ years (1976) but the depression will be part of my daily life until I die. I also have a slow thyroid which needs daily medication. So I have these 3 physical problems all of which lead to emotional and mental problems if I am not daily vigilant. I know that I have to: (1) take my medicine if it is helping, (2) vary my daily activities to stay out of a rut, (3) seek out others to help to get out of me, (4) spend time alone with the God of my understanding, (5) remember to have fun and laugh everyday, (6) get enough rest and nourishment to feel comfortable, (7) walk three or more times a day, and (8) share my thoughts and feelings with others.
How do others deal with their depression?
1. From Mary Christine (onesobercatholic): “Back to Basics”:
So, yesterday I asked someone to go to lunch with me (I usually eat at my desk). We walked downstairs to the Thursday lunch time trucks on the street. I took a photo of the wood fire for the pizzas – in a truck! – while I ordered a little pizza. My co-worker and I sat outside and talked and ate, it was very enjoyable.
I wrote an e-mail to an old friend, a Catholic Priest, asking him if he had time for dinner any time soon. He answered almost immediately and said he would love to see me. I will write him back today and schedule something for next week.
On my way home from work I stopped at the knitting shop and bought some yarn for a beautiful new project and got to sit with the ladies as they knit as a community on Thursday evenings. What a beautiful thing to sit and do needlework with other women. It feels like something I would have dreamed as my adulthood when I was a child… of course, it didn’t turn out that way, but I can still go knit with the ladies.
On the way home from there, I stopped at a church that has perpetual adoration. I prayed silently with a whole chapel full of other silent souls for an hour. That’s something I should be finding a way to do every day!
I got home and visited with my neighbor.
I need to force myself to behave as someone who is not depressed. I need to force myself to think of others, not myself. When I can do this, my mood lightens appreciably.
Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
2. From John-Folk Williams (Storied Mind): “Does Finding Purpose in Life help You Overcome Depression?”:
Finding purpose in life that goes beyond your personal needs is often mentioned as a major stepin overcoming depression. That’s a hard thing to imagine, though, when you’re in the middle of a severe relapse, and survival is the only goal in sight.
Yet, one of the hallmarks of depression is loss of motivation to do anything because you feel that your life is meaningless. You are meaningless, empty, worthless, bad, nothing but a burden. There’s no sense of future, no purpose to give you hope and help pull you back to an activelife.
A sense of purpose goes along with building hope for the future, hope for recovering from depression and getting your life back. Even though you can’t focus on it when you’re struggling, hope and purpose are pretty basic for regaining a sense of who you are.
3. From Erin (Daisies and Bruises): “Surviving My Invisible Illness”:
A lot of people use their blog as a place to vent about their life. I try not to use this blog like that because I want to spread knowledge, share tools, and give people hope. I don’t feel able to do that right now, though, so here’s a bit about what’s going on for me in a less-than-uplifting sense:
I’m aware that I’m in a bad spot. In light of everything I’ve experienced, this is minor, but I should stay in tune with my feelings so that I can take care of myself. And my biggest feeling tonight is fatigue. Depression is so hard. It’s always present, sucking at my energy, draining my positivity. Murmuring in my head about how the bus just blew past my stop today only because I am insignificant.
Lately I’ve been spending only a few hours a day with others. More social interaction would probably help me feel better and so I try more and more to be social. But then when someone says no to my invitation, it kind of wipes me out. It’s like, “Okay, there goes my shot for today” because it takes so much out of me. Same for shopping, going to therapy, hell, even going out and ordering a coffee. Functioning is so much work!
And then it pretty much goes without saying that it makes applyingfor a job extra hard, yet having a job would lead to consistent daily social interaction, and more friends, so I really want one. I just can’t predict how I’ll be feeling from one moment to the next.
Then I judge myself for not trying harder to be “normal” and “productive” and “sane.” I fear that the world sees me as self-indulgent, irresponsible, and most of all, lazy. I see myself that way, though I need to take full scope of what’s going on: depression, therapy, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that are keeping me from being at a place where I can work.