Dealing with Depression

When you’re ill, it’s easy to get depressed. You’re not on track like your friends, your body is attacking you at every turn, and nobody really seems to understand.

When it’s real, clinical depression, you need to get help. I’ve been there! Counseling and properly medicating my pain got me back to a more normal mindset- but here’s the thing. I still fight depression. Daily.

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Yep. That’s right. Me, Miss Positive Blogger, fights depression every single moment of every single day. Sometimes it’s the pervasive empty kind, and other times it’s just an overwhelming sad. So far, my best line of defense has been overwhelming positivity. I’ve done #100HappyDays, I’ve done the Seven Day Positivity Challenge, and I’ve read The Happiness Project. When I was sunk into my deep dark pit, I thought everyone who said “fake it til you make it” was a lying jerk who needed to leave me alone. Now? I cling to every little happy moment I can get.

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Sometimes, like when I get glutened or have an especially bad pain day, faking it isn’t enough. Those are the days I have to be gentle with myself. I drink hot chocolate and vanilla coke. I buy a large milkshake without beating myself up about it. I spend extra cuddle time with the kittens, even though there’s laundry to be done and dishes to be washed. I lay in the hammock and watch Minnie chase bugs around the yard. I take a million selfies and delete all but one.

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After I self-care crawl back out of a slump, I like to keep busy. Whether that means painting in the floor, calling up a friend, or binging on video games while my husband sleeps at night, I do whatever it takes to keep my mind active. This is also the time I take special care of my body, because a healthy mind needs my body as nourished as possible (especially since I have some nutritional problems from my celiac.) So the post-slump peak is full of fresh juices and cute, vegan salad bowls.

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But the most important thing about tackling my depression is being able to reach out. Sometimes, all the self care in the world won’t be enough to tackle that bad brain. In those times, I have to know when to call in a backup team. Whether it’s talking it out with my mom, crying with my husband and best friend, or actually sucking up my pride and seeing my counselor early, knowing when to reach out is a huge step in fighting depression. Reaching out and getting help can mean the difference between a bump in the road and digging a depression well from which you refuse to emerge.

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If you’re anything like me, it’s scary to reach out. You don’t want to admit you’re sliding back into depression. After all, everyone has fifteen bad days in a row, right?

Well, some people might, but you don’t have to. If you’re struggling, please take care of yourself and reach out. If you’re not struggling, reach out to friends and family who are. You’ve all seen the “depression hurts” commercials. It does. But we can all do our part to make it hurt less.

If you feel like you can’t reach out to someone, I am happy to connect you with resources!

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4 thoughts on “Dealing with Depression

  1. Hi Brittany,
    I find myself feeling really down often because of poor health. It’s amazing how much depression can worsen our health, and then how much poor health can be the catalyst for depression. It’s an ironically vicious cycle. Counseling has shown me that lots of my sadness stems from loneliness, actually, from the autoimmune diseases that it seems like I’m grappling with on my own. I wrote a blog post about this too, maybe this will resonate with you? https://kmadsblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/combatting-autoimmune-loneliness/

    But I think this post was beautifully written, and I totally understand your feelings. Wishing you the best though your good days and your not so good days. 🙂

  2. It’s not easy to live with depression or any chronic illness. I do wish the medical profession would come around to understanding that the mind and the body are part of the same person. I think a more holistic approach to healthcare can mitigate some of the unnecessary suffering and shame that attends the process of learning how to cope with and compensate for the illnesses. I admire your courage and honesty.

  3. Depression and chronic illness are such an awful combo. I totally understand. Reaching out is hard. I don’t talk about it as much as I could because I’ve had people use my honesty about depression as a weapon against me which sucks. Sending love xo

  4. Love this! One of my many chronic conditions is depression and it’s definitely not fun. I also struggle to reach out to others. For the longest time, being emotional was seen as a weakness and used against me, so I shut off my emotions completely. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone though. And I completely agree with you that self-care is incredibly important!

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