Yesterday, following my post ‘Why The Stigma?‘ and the comments that ensued I came to realise that even when I was depressed my greatest tool was talking. The 10 years I spent scrapping the bottom of the barrel were not spent in silence. I commented that all my friends and family knew about my depression, my employers, neighbours, even my landlord knew about my depression! The more I talked the more others would open up and admit that they too had been depressed or were currently suffering from depression.
I’m not ashamed of what happened to me, it is part of my life and what makes me who I am today, and I like that person. I was never scared of being judged, probably because I was the harshest judge of all. During the lowest points of my life, I lost so much, my apartment, my job at the time, but I never lost a friend. In many cases, it just brought us closer together, and for that, I am truly thankful.
In all honesty, if I had to go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change those 10 years. I would however, with the knowledge I have today, change the way I went about getting better. After all the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The top eight things that helped me the most on my road to recovery but took me a while to work out:
- I would find a good Doctor, who took the time to listen – like the one I have today.
- I would be more patient with myself and listen to my bodies needs.
- I would ensure I ate properly.
- I would take my medication and not expect an instant result.
- I would take the necessary time off work from the get-go.
- I would live during the day and sleep during the night.
- I would take up yoga.
- I would start meditating.
The best advice for anyone currently going through depression is acceptance. Accept what you are going through and talk to the people closest to you – they may just surprise you. Do not live in shame on top of the confusion, overwhelming sadness, the inexplicable anxiety and constant exhaustion. Depression is enough of a burden without piling on a bucket load of shame, and remember one-day things will get better – they always do.