How did I tackle a depression that felt never ending?
feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
"self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression"
a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
All of 2017 into the beginning of 2018 was a truly hard time for me. I fell into one of the deepest depressions that I have ever experienced. One of my biggest problems during this time when I needed help I never went out of my way to ask for it.
I am someone who easily questions my worth, any little thing will allow me to think I'm worthless. So during this period of time, I was completely unaware of my worth. Feeling worthless mixed with anxiety? I was far from feeling any kind of happiness. It felt like I was spiraling out of control. It felt like I was in the middle of the ocean with no life vest trying to stay afloat, couldn't even see land. I was my own worst enemy and I completely shut down.
My toxic trait? My independence and pride. When I'm dealing with something I don't want to burden anyone with my problems. I tell myself I can deal with it on my own so any pain I'm feeling I won't share it with anyone around me. I won't allow anyone to see me suffering. I rather just deal with everything in silence. I didn't tell anyone immediately that I wasn't feeling like myself, so the first couple of months I kept it to myself. if people noticed I was acting off I'd use the world-famous line "oh I'm just tired..."
After months going by and I felt no change what so ever I decided to go to a doctor, and I was diagnosed with Major Depression -- for those of you who don't know what that is, its feeling depressed most of the time. My doctor said I had most of the symptoms such as:
- Lost of interest in activities (Check.)
- Weight loss or gain (Weight loss you say? (Check.)
- Feeling restless and agitated (C H E C K !)
- Being tired without energy (Check.)
- Feeling worthless or guilty ( Did I hear worthless? yup, Check.)
- Thoughts of suicide ( Negative, no check there)
So there I scored 5/6, probably the first time I'm not disappointed about not getting a perfect score.
My doctor decided to prescribe me antidepressants and recommended for me to see a therapist. Did I do either? No, but allow me to explain. In high school after my grandfather passed away, I fell into my first major depression and I was seeing a therapist and taking antidepressants. I absolutely hated it. Yes, I was happy, but the happiness personally didn't feel like mine. It was temporary happiness prescribed to me. So with that being said I just didn't feel like they were for me. So I didn't go on them again, this time I felt like if it was my recovery it had to be on my terms.
I needed to self-care, and when I say self-care I don't mean social media's perception on it with the face masks and the bubble baths. This was about facing my demons head-on, crying from the soul over everything that is eating me alive, forcing myself out of bed in the morning, setting minor goals and accomplishing them, slowly opening up to people about how I feel no matter how difficult it was, and removing toxic people from my life. No matter what role they played in my life. It was time for me to sit myself down and analyze everything and everyone in my life... including myself.
The main toxin in my life was what took me the longest to get out of my system. It was the person I was in a two-year relationship with. Please know the relationship didn't begin toxically but it slowly grew into one, it was like a cancerous tumor that kept growing and needed to be removed. It kept getting worse and I didn't realize how bad it was getting, how sour it was becoming until about 6 months before it ended. I was so blinded by love and my own self-loathing that I didn't want to believe my relationship was adding fuel to the flame.
I was with someone who didn't understand the concept of depression and anxiety in the beginning, but it felt like once he fully grasped the concept he used it as a weapon and he knew exactly what to do or say to get me worked up. He knew how to trigger my anxiety which was a factor in triggering my depression.
This added onto me questioning my worth with his choice in actions, my happiness deteriorated. I no longer had that smile he used to love, I lost the sense of humor, I was not happy in the slightest. The worst part? I didn't even realize I was fading before him and he didn't even notice.
It took me almost a year to realize my worth and when I did there was no turning back. Not to be a bitch you guys, but extracting him from my life made a huge difference on its own. All the toxic people I removed from my life made all the difference actually, the fare weathered friendships that I got rid of made the difference actually. But that one specifically showed me my strength, and not allowing him back in my life was a huge step in me learning my worth. If I didn't receive the efforts during the relationship I didn't want them after it was over.
Removing all the toxic people and behavior from my life made all the difference. When I started speaking up more about my pain to those who were close to me, and actually received love and support back from them, not an ounce of judgment helped me so much. I no longer felt like a burden to anyone, including myself.
Daily I would set goals for myself, they started off extremely small. My first goal was to make my bed in the morning before going to work, once I made that a habit the next was to go for a walk after work and spend more time outside in the sun. From there I went all the way to make sure I went running when I was off from work. Goals motivated me to do something, and accomplishing them made me feel like I was doing something amazing... even if it began as doing the bare minimum.
My minor accomplishments did a lot for me, it allowed me to appreciate the small things and it had me change small habits which made me want to create bigger and better habits for myself. It started from how much soda I was drinking compared to water, or all the crap I would eat constantly. Analyzing and removing people around me was easy, but when it came to analyzing myself that was the challenge and it is one that doesn't stop. Even as I got better and I allowed new and old people into my life I still had to make sure I continued what I was doing and I didn't stop.
I ended my 2018 strong and now in 2019, I have such an amazing group of friends who are an incredible support system. A group who is constantly there for me without judgment or without being a one-sided friend. I have a boyfriend who constantly reminds me of my worth, and who loves me unconditionally. Most importantly I have a better version of myself... the best version I've seen of myself in a long time. And I only plan on getting better.