For some reason, I thought I was special.
I was sure that certain things only happened to me. My life and experiences are unique, but I was positive that my trials and tribulations were one of a kind, no one had ever lived through what I have lived through.
Generally, I think this way in terms of the “bad” things that I have experienced.
But I know I can see that my positive experiences are one-of-a-kind, too. I can internalize what is happening and then make it completely about me. I can frame it in such a way that only I have ever had this happen. This then sets me up to be alone.
Depression loves it when I feel like I am alone.
Depression goes to work immediately to further isolate me from others. It wants me to be secretive, to feel uncomfortable around any potential supporters. It gets me to focus only on its mission, which is to crash me into the abyss, and then depression flees the scene just before all heck breaks loose.
This scenario has happened time and time again.
However, since I have been standing up to depression, I am catching myself. There are times when I recognize unhelpful thinking or that I am catastrophizing a situation. There are times where I can see that I am time traveling, and I bring myself back into the present moment. Now that’s pretty cool, but depression hates that.
In a Depression Support Group Meeting yesterday, I heard several attendees talk about things I have experienced.
This was an eye-opener because I was sure these things had only happened to me. The first one has to do with summer. Last year, it seemed to me that the summer heat was unbearable at times. This was unsettling to me, for I have always enjoyed summer. Yes, it can be hot, and certainly, the average summer temperatures in Virginia are higher than in New Jersey.
Even still, I spent most of the last summer thinking “why the heck is it so hot?’
It turns out others have felt this way. And certain depression drugs can have heat sensitivity as a side effect. Who knew? Certainly, not me. I thought this was just a new phenomenon for me and I just had to deal with it. Hearing that others were experiencing the same feeling actually gives me hope that I can figure it out.
I also was sure that I was the only one in the world who was having trouble getting going in the morning.
READ MORE: Can I just be myself today?
Boy was I mistaken. So many members of the group are dealing with this. Some allow 1 ½ hours to “get going” before they start their day. Everyone I heard from has different techniques for dealing with this issue. Some are working with their Doctor to adjust their medications to minimize this. Others, set up their days in a way to allow time for their bodies to “come online.”
My take-away from this is I am not alone as I live with depression.
The past few weeks I have let my self-care slip. This wasn’t a problem at first, well at least not the first day. I have even had or two “I am so happy just to be me” days recently. These were wonderful reminders of where I want to be, that is living a balanced life with depression. Skipping self-care is bad. Depression loves it, but I realize how much I need it.
Once again, I will kick depressions ideas to the curb and focus on what I can control.
I will not feel so isolated and will remind myself that others are going through the same issues as they deal with their depression. And knowing that I am not alone is powerful. Plus, it makes depression really nervous. I would rather have depression uncomfortable, than me. However, the flip side of that is the more uncomfortable depression becomes, the harder it works to win me back.
I do hear that with time, depression will slow it’s attacks if it keeps being thwarted.
There have been times in my life where I know this is true. But seeing that since my hospitalization last April has been hard. And remembering that “this too shall pass,” is not always easy. Yet here I stand, not alone, not the only one going through things. Support in my life with depression is an inspirational thing.
“I have depression, depression does not have me.”
READ MORE: If I live through this…
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.