To say this year has been a rollercoaster is a bit of an understatement , with my lowest being this past May to July... No, August. Coming out of it now, I've found it probably could be the most depressed I've been since my postpartum and definitely the most I've been since the pandemic hit.
It's funny how you never realise that you are depressed until after you have started coming out of it. In retrospect, there were a series of occurrences that lead to this point (maybe I'll get into it at some point in the future, when I'm a little more removed from the situations) but for now, I'd like to talk about the things & people that are helping me get out of it.
I acknowledged that I wasn't feeling so great and in so doing, did my best not to compound
this desolate feeling with my own criticism. Although, if I'm to be completely honest, there were times I was mad at myself for being 'lazy'. My work was suffering and still is to some degree. That period seemed the longest and toughest to me. Exercise NOTHING! Prayer, NOTHING! Affirmations what? I honestly haven't even thought of that word until now.
Instagram felt like a fucking torture chamber. Everyone living their perfect life, getting vaccinated and going on vacation, while I'm stuck in my messy little house with any little device I could glue my eyes to, to watch the next suggested for you teen drama. *vomit*
As I said earlier, when you're in a hole, you sometimes forget how deep you've gone until you start trying to claw your way out of it. Netflix without chill was my go to.
I'd stay at home and binge watch these mind numbing shows, day in day out, honestly just to drown out the noise in my head.
This felt familiar but not healthy and I had to admit this to myself.
2. Leave the House
With some coaxing from my partner, I eventually decided to leave the house. Neither looking nor feeling my best, I did it anyway. I would take an extra long drive to the grocery store at times just to get some fresh air.
3. Visit a Friend or Family Member
It started with short visits. It may have been subconscious at the time but I guess I was just testing the waters. As much as I believe in talking about your issues, I also believe in vetting the people around you.
Just because someone was there for you in the past doesn't mean they have the emotional capacity to be there for you in this specific moment. Circumstances may change, they may not have the time nor energy to deal with your shit right now.
That, specifically, is the reason I vet people before opening up, 'cause I don't want to show up to your place, bawling my eyes out and then have to fight up for attention cuz your son crying in the other room and your dhal burning on the stove in the kitchen.
Which kinda' brings me to my next point.
4. Acts of Service
When I would visit a friend, it would not be to talk about my sad story but instead to see how I can help them. In the beginning I wouldn't commit to something I wasn't sure I could handle. Maybe just see where I could help stir a pot when I get there or listen to what they've been going through since we last spoke. You have to be careful with the latter; always be aware of how the conversation is affecting your already fragile mental state.
Physical acts of service help you focus on something other than your personal struggles, it gives perspective. When you see that someone else is going through so much pain, it makes you realise you aren't alone. As messed up as it may sound, it feels good to know you aren't the only one enduring a fucked up life.
Maybe then you empathise and empathy brings with it understanding and the more you understand others, the more you understand yourself. It's all healing I guess. Then maybe you're able to open up.
5. Opening Up
... And I mean really opening up. Not making bitchy, snide remarks or... my personal favorite: blurt everything out in an emotionless, factual way so the person can't say; 'OMG I didn't know!'. I mean really connecting yourself with your emotions and share from a place of honesty.
The opening up bit might take many forms. A conversation / cry session with a friend, a session with your psychologist or even journaling, which, funny enough, is what I'm doing right now.
After the release of opening up, I've found a glimmer of light enters the darkness. HOLD ON TO IT! I feel a little energized and I'm taking full advantage of it. I've started with some exercise, which then, kicks in the endorphins to chemically alter my mood. I enjoy bike riding because it is easy and fun. Yoga, running or weight lifting might be your thing, or maybe even a 1-2 combo.
Getting back to working on NWANNIA has also helped and although I haven't gotten back to peak performance, I'm grateful for where I am now.
Simply put, prayer is conversing with God. That means not just pleading for something earnestly but listening too. Centering yourself, looking at the pathway before you. Understanding your own divinity and listening within. This is called Discernment and it is what I have been praying for.
Listening isn't always the easiest thing to do, in fact it takes a lot of practice. We have been taught to trust others (teachers, doctors, professionals etc.) but haven't been taught to trust ourselves and I suppose if you have gotten this far in the blog there may be some truth in that statement for you too, as difficult as it may be to acknowledge.
I'm here to tell you though that there is no blog, coach nor guru out there that would ever give you the fullness of truth and enlightenment. Sure, they can help you find direction but even the best psychologists know that the answers are and have always been within you. It's just a matter of asking the right questions and being patient enough and honest enough to listen within for the answer.