I haven’t been doing so great lately. I’ve been depressed, and indulging too much in unhealthy habits. Also, I’ve been slacking on work, and giving into the urge to just lie in bed too much. When life gets like this, I often have trouble finding a way out, and I know I’m not the only one.
Depression is a funny beast in that you never know when it’s going to strike. This recent episode is a great example; I was doing fine until I wasn’t. What happened? I wish I could tell you. All I can say is that things were going swimmingly, and then one afternoon I went shopping and everything started falling apart. Standing in line, listening to the excellent Flight Risk Podcast, a feeling of dread overtook me. My stomach dropped and my eyes flooded with tears, which I quickly wiped away. Crying in a Chinese supermarket is nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s also not great.
After paying for my goods, I walked home and crawled into bed. At least, I put my groceries away first, a small thing, but something to be proud of nonetheless. For the next two and a half weeks, at least, my days consisted of work, junk-food, booze, and bed. These are not winning way of finding a way out of depression.
How I am Finding a Way Out
I’ve taken some measures over the past few days in an attempt to break out of this deep darkness. I’ve started eating better, cutting out most of the junk-food in place of fruits and veggies. I love fruits and veggies, but when depression strikes, I find them difficult to eat. When the soul aches, I crave unhealthy junk, which is always a bad idea. Sure, greasy fast food burgers may taste good (they don’t, really), but they just add to the sadness.
In addition to attempting to change my eating habits, I have cut out the booze this week. I love to drink, but when finding a way out of depression, alcohol is not a good guide. Aside from being a depressant, it makes for sluggish mornings and unclear thinking. Furthermore, it is full of calories, which leads to weight gain, which can lead to more awful thoughts. It’s a vicious and terrible cycle.
I’ve also been trying to go for walks more. I haven’t necessarily been too successful on this front because of low energy levels, and it’s really hot here. But, I have at least made some effort, which is more than I’ve done recently. Walking has always been good for me. It gives me time and space to turn my mind off and clear the cobwebs. Of course, it also provides me time to overthink, something that is not always a benefit when dealing with depression. Still, it offers a way to get moving, gets me out of bed, and those have to be good things.
The methods I am using for finding a way out of this funk I am in seem to be helping, but it’s still really early in the process. Almost anyone who’s suffered from depression can tell you there is no easy fix. Exercising and eating a proper diet can help, but they are not miracle cures. However, if we keep at them, and continue to build good habits, we can reinforce our defenses against this beast that drags us down. They can help us say no to the terrible and dangerous thoughts that rush through our minds.
By keeping our efforts up, we can show ourselves that we have worth, that we can accomplish things, and that we are not the scum depression calls us. To that end, I am going to keep my alcohol consumption to a minimum for a while, and I am going to keep eating fresh food. And, I am going to start writing more. I’ve already done this by starting a short story a couple days ago, and now by writing this blog post.
Battling depression is not easy, and it takes time, but I will continue to fight it. This battle is one I’ve been engaged in for most of my life, and I am not going to stop now.
Mental Health America link for those looking for help and resources for their depression.
Thank you for reading.