A lot has been written about this subject that I feel that me writing this is redundant and moot at this point. However, I feel the need to do so because it seems like writing things down is the best way for me to communicate with myself. So yes, I am writing this mostly for myself. Perhaps for some selfish reasons, but also because I don’t expect this to help anyone in anyway. I just don’t think I’m inspirational enough for that.
Living with depression is like constantly being at sea, with no assurance if and when the next wave comes back, if you still have an anchor attached to your ankle weighing you down, if you can swim on your own this time, if you need help– and if you do, how much, and ultimately, what happens after. Of course you’d want to survive, but the question is, would it change you this time, and if it does, to what extent and how?
It’s been almost a week since I felt it creeping in. It was about the same time, coincidentally, when I received an email from one of the psychiatrists I was considering to consult, asking me if I still need help. I haven’t replied yet, until now, because I’m not completely sure if I do. So here are the things that I have learned to do to keep myself functioning well, to say the least.
First is to tell yourself that things are probably just normal and that they’re just a lot worse and scarier in your mind. I’ve had paranoid thoughts about almost everything, and the first time it happened to me, I literally left a place because it was too much for me to handle. I was physically unable to do everything because the thought of everything going bad was just too much that it leaves me unable to move or do anything productive at all.
Second is to allow yourself to be honest with how you feel. There were times in the previous week when I would just feel sad or start crying without any reason why. There probably is a reason for it, but I haven’t worked that out yet, so the most that I can do is to admit that I am crying for reasons completely unknown to me, and that’s okay. As long as I just let it out and not dwell on in, I should be fine. Sometimes, pain is just too much that there are no words for it, and all you could do is cry. I try to write it down, and still, after years of trying, I haven’t completely encapsulated it into a single piece. But that’s kinda what makes it beautiful, isn’t it? The fact that the attempt to write it down, and the failure to do so, is what keeps me writing, and as long as I write, I feel better. Sometimes I listen to really cathartic songs, and after crying, it just makes me feel a lot better and a lot more motivated to stay happy and afloat. There are times when I just want to sing, or draw, or write, or play the guitar, or read while listening to music, I don’t know. As long as it is a positive activity, I think it’s ok . The same goes for any emotion, actually. I guess the key is to find what works for you– any way for you to let your emotions out.
Third, as always, is to appreciate the small moments in life. As I promised myself a few years back, I do not want a glamorous life, or an extravagant one. I just want a quiet life for me and my loved ones. And that means finding the beauty on the simplest things. I have learned to slow down a busy day by finding time to eat a hearty meal and having a cup of tea. I have learned to focus on that small feeling in my heart when my partner holds my hands (which hopefully is not heart arrhythmia hahaahahah).
Fourth is just be yourself. I have a weird way of saying things, slightly dark humor, and a whole lot more, and I know that not everyone could tolerate me as much as my friends and family do. That’s why it’s important to be yourself especially around people who know you. This way, you’d know that you may feel down, or you’re not completely alright, but that’s okay because that’s what our relationships are for. It might not be the case for everyone, but a t least for me, the mere thought that I have these wonderful people around me just makes me feel that no matter how deplorable I see myself to be, there are still those who think otherwise, and would really stick with me. And what better way to show my gratitude by trying harder to love myself? Yes, it is true that we must love ourselves, but it’d be hypocritical of me to say that I never needed another reason to do so. I sometimes feel like I cannot even live with myself, and it is only for their sake that I try my best not to let myself down. Again, it possibly isn’t the case for anybody else, but it works for me, and at least is an interesting perspective to look at.
Fifth, take care of yourself. There is nothing like a nice shower to start or end your day. Sometimes, I feel so lifeless and unmotivated so I just lay in bed doing nothing. Then things change when I get up and take a shower. Just take time to take care of yourself. Doesn’t it feel good to feel so fresh after a shower, then eat something nice or read something interesting afterwards, preferably with a nice drink of your choice? This also includes reminding yourself that you might not be completely alright, but the world doesn’t stop for that. There are students to teach, evaluations and plans to write, I have an indoor plant whose little life relies on me, and people who’d worry about me if I don’t take care of myself. So yes, again, if I cannot take care of myself for my own sake, at least for this time, I must do so for others’.
Sixth is to allow yourself to make mistakes once in a while. For the past few months I had gotten a pretty good standing in my job, and I can say that I’m doing pretty well. However, it came with a little more responsibility and a little more stress. It gets me at times, but I have to remind myself that as a young individual, I am bound to make mistakes. Not as an excuse for anything wrong that I could possibly make in the future, but because I know that I am just bound to. I tend to rush into things sometimes, or get into something too much, or anything else that could possibly screw me up in some ways, and I have to accept that it’s gonna happen. Just like this time, I’m just rambling on and on and I totally lost my structure but heck, I just wanna write. I’m not planning to submit it for anything whatsoever soooooo yeah.
Seventh, is to not push yourself too much. Yes, we must persevere to achieve what we want, but anything excessive is bad. Case in point is this very thing I’m writing now. I cannot think of anything else to write about, as these seem to be all that’s in my mind for now. I’m stopping here because there’s no use in pushing my mind to think of things I’d pretend to help someone else. And also because I have a class in a few minutes.
To anyone who managed to read up to this part, thank you so much. I really have to stop writing now. Please do share your thoughts if you so desire. Have a good day!