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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A Surprise Picnic

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. That’s what happened today. My grandpa was admitted to the hospital yesterday, and everyone’s schedule has been off. I had plans with my friend, but we got delayed, and then the website we needed wasn’t working. Between me, my friend, and my husband, we were about to blow our tops.

However, a little ingenuity and a lot of homegrown tomatoes came to our rescue. We decided to have a picnic. My husband and friend did the cooking, and I did the decorating. I’ve inherited a talent for making photogenic place settings from my mother, who does it for a living on her lifestyle blog. Since my husband and I live with my grandpa, who can no longer live alone, I don’t get to use my talent often. He’s not appreciative of my efforts, and by the time we’ve listened to the local gossip channel blaring from the TV at full volume all day, I’m not feeling very creative.

Bouquet

Today, I picked some flowers from our yard and put them in an old spaghetti sauce jar, with it’s label removed.

Tea Cups

I pulled out the old tea cups I used to love to drink from.

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My husband made honey-limeade and I poured it into an old, giant mug I found.

Meal

I pulled out old plates and an old blanket, covered in whimsical florals. My husband made homemade spaghetti sauce and garlic bread- all gluten free, of course.

That sauce has housemade chorizo from a local Latino grocery!

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I even pulled out an old serving platter for our garlic bread and pesto.

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We all had a good time telling stories and de-stressing! It was nice to be able to spend time with my friend, who will be spending the next three weeks in Mexico for a class.

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Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make it good. Sometimes you just need to take a minute, do something spontaneous, and reduce those stress levels! Spending time outside in the beautiful weather with people I love, and good food, did just that.