Writing this has been the hardest decision I’ve made this year. I’ve read a lot of blog posts on people’s life events in 2016 and I struggled with the confidence to write mine because I wasn’t sure I was ready to talk about it. I started writing this yesterday and ended up deleting the drafts TWICE. “Was it that bad”, i hear you say. Yes it was.Here I am again, hoping this doesn’t end up in the trash folder. AGAIN!!!
2016, The year I took a casual stroll into without plans. For someone like me, that’s indeed unbecoming. As funny as it sounds, I just expected my life to fall in pleasant places with the help of dear fairy godmother, lol. What was I even thinking? like who does that?. That’s how I rented my life to negativity for FREE without struggle. You know the phrase “An idle man’s the devil’s workshop”? Ha! Mine was more like “a life without a plan is a playground for the devil and his minions”. They took me and bounced me so hard I couldn’t resist breaking.
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
Why didn’t someone prepare me for this life? Someone should’ve at least written a “Life after school” manual were the thoughts I wrestled with. Some graduates can relate to this. You can’t figure out what you want to do with your life in fact you have no idea what interests you anymore. Everyone around you needs you to get a job, you totally understand why. Despite having no idea what you want to do, you know the jobs that will bring nothing but frustration to you.
Helplessness, worthlessness, guilt, binge eating, difficulty remembering, withdrawal from everyone and everything, anger, crying to sleep, lack of focus, frustration, irritability, discouragement, loss of interest... became a daily routine. They didn’t all happen at once, it started in doses until I became overwhelmed.
Everything in my life suffered my blog inclusive. Talk about blog pressure, I tried to be like everyone because I thought “that’s what worked”. In trying to do so, I got lost. It was official I was failing at everything I tried to do, and used to do with ease. The worst of it all, when I decided it was time to talk about it, the response I got was unforgettable: “ I never knew you could be depressed, you look so strong yet you’re so weak”. I wouldn’t have imagined getting that response from anyone but it helped me. There and then I decided to get my life in order. No matter how little the progress would be.
Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.
I started working out I pushed myself so hard. That was the only thing i excelled at then. Believe it or not, exercise helps fights depression, I am testimony to that. I pushed myself really hard; I worked out 3 hours daily (asides Saturdays and Sundays), strict protein diet and juicing. I worked out so much I began to look 16. Here’s what happened, I barely had time to nurse negative thoughts. I started to feel good about myself. then I developed love for health and fitness. It wasn’t just about the weight loss anymore or fighting depression. I finally found something I was interested in.
I learned to challenge every negative thought, for every one that tried to come back, I had a thousand clap backs. The best of it all, I learned to talk to the right person, God. I realized I never gave HIM a chance to help me all I did was complain and shut my ears to his counsel. The moment I decided to listen, I found my way back to church and he gave me peace. I run away from everything that tries to stress me these days. I’m too busy enjoying the peace I found.
I learned to be grateful for everything (even the ability to feel depressed, now I can talk about it). God had blessed me with so much but I was drowning in negativity that I could barely see them. My gratitude challenge helped me count my blessings, I’m still counting them.
Here are a few things everyone SHOULD know about depression:
- Depression is a real illness,no jokes
- Depression affects people in different ways
It can happen at any age, but often begins in the teens or early 20s or 30s. it is more common among women than among men. Biological, life cycle, hormonal, and psycho social factors that are unique to women may be linked to their higher depression rate.
For women they may experience symptoms of sadness, worthlessness, and guilt. Men are more likely to be very tired, irritable, lose interest in once-pleasurable activities, and have difficulty sleeping.
Men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed. They also may become frustrated, discouraged, irritable, angry, and sometimes abusive. Some men may throw themselves into their work to avoid talking about their depression with family or friends, or behave recklessly.
- Depression is treatable
Don’t be in a hurry to buy depression pills. Exercise does magic. Believe me working out is HAAAAARRRRRRRDDDDD!!!!!! but you have to push yourself. Let me not bore you with medical details but here’s what MAYO CLINIC had to say:
Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:
- Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
- Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
- Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
- Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
- If you’re battling depression, you are not alone.
I read about people whose lives looked all put together on the outside but shattered on the inside, fellow bloggers, friends and family who were kind enough to share their experiences with me gave me hope.
I hope this helps you or someone you know that’s battling with depression. If you have more tips on battling with depression, feel free to share.