I just posted a screenshot from a Daily Mail article on my Instagram, which shows me “living my best life.” Meanwhile I’m fighting back tears, lying on my sister’s bed, curled up with a blanket, about to watch Schitt’s Creek.
I don’t know where my funk came from, but as real and open as I’ve been about my past struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, I’m not about to ignore it.
Whether it’s Monday blues, stress, exhaustion from a weekend of work, or another hit of depression, I’m choosing (emphasis on choosing) to be okay with it. Life is just f*cking heavy sometimes.
So what do you do with it? I’ve gotta be honest, I’m a little scared of my depression. It has sent me deep beneath it’s weight more times than not. Leaving me hiding under the covers or inside my dark closet, gasping for air. It’s not something to ignore or judge...in yourself and ESPECIALLY not in others. I’ve been on the road of balancing my depression without medication for years. I’ve read over a 1000 self-help books, gone into treatment for it, tried to forgive those who’ve contributed to my PTSD (although it’s been really hard for me). Finally, after years of trying so many things, I’ve found myself feeling truly happy and at peace for awhile. Which is why, when a day like today hits, I grab my whole bag of tips (and Cheetos) to tackle it.
I’ve carefully curated this list for you (and me) of things to do when a day like today hits...
- Let yourself feel it. Let yourself cry. It’s okay. Have a little grace for yourself. Holding it all in and holding yourself up is EXHAUSTING. Let it go. I promise, you WILL stop crying. I’ve been in those moments when I genuinely wonder if the crying will ever stop. It will. These emotions come up because then need to be “in motion.” When they get stuck, they stick with us. When we give ourselves the voice and empathy we so desperately need and deserve, we find our way back to our peaceful center. If you’ve been avoiding this pain for a long time, you might have a lot to process. That’s okay. Just give yourself as much time and space as you need.
- Give yourself the day (or night) OFF. I realize how blessed I am to own my own company and have the flexibility to take today. But I’ve also spent most of my life having to dissociate to survive the workday, until I could fall apart. Whatever your situation is, when you can get some time off, take it. Play your favorite music, paint, dance, take a nap, watch your favorite show, take a yoga class, journal, meditate, and listen to some positive affirmations track (like this one).
- Reach out to people you trust. I love therapy and I also love opening up to those I feel safe with. It’s important to surround yourself with people you don’t mind being a mess in front of. Lean into relationships with supportive friends and family who you can be real and raw with. People who can listen without without trying to judge or change you. We all need (and deserve) a safe place to fall apart without those around us falling apart too. We don’t always even need people to pick us up, sometimes, all we need is for them to meet us on the floor where we are at.
If you are having a hard time, please remember you’re stronger than you realize. You will get through this. Not just because you’re a fierce betch who can crush anything, but also because of the simple way our complex minds work. Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s why, when we see a friend dealing with pain we can’t imagine, we watch in disbelief as they somehow pull through. And, when we are then faced with some of the hardest things life can throw at us, we also survive and are stronger and more confident for it. It’s because we are, at our core, survivors.
So let’s let these “downs” show us just how capable we really are. And let’s allow them to remind us of how real depression and the invisible battle for our mental health can be. Our minds and hearts are breakable. So let’s choose to treat ourselves and others with the compassion and kindness we all hope for. Days like these can remind us of just how fragile we are sometimes.
If you are having a hard time please reach out, even if everything in you wants to isolate. Stand up and speak up. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a confidential, 24 hour resource if you are feeling really down. They can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. You can also check out NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, for more resources at: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support.
I would really love it if you could share how you are feeling and if you have any tips on dealing with depression. Join the convo in the comments below. You never know when sharing your journey can help someone else. Let me know if you would like to talk about it publicly, maybe we can feature you! The more we stand together, the safer it becomes for those seeking support.
I love you and am here for you. I’ve got your back!