This week I am talking about the comfort of depression.
I have been out of the woods for depression for a little while now. I had made some major life changes and learned to look after myself well. The next time something happens, I hope I am at least better prepared than I used to be at recognising the signs and looking after myself.
I turned to music a lot when I was depressed, and had a lot of songs that I would listen to to try and work through my emotions. The unfortunate thing is that those songs are still on my playlist, and when they come on I get a familiar rush of a low feeling. Now I am able to recognise that this isn’t a real feeling. Depression to me now feels like I am not well. Back then it felt like I felt better, as I had shoved things to the back of my mind and didn’t realise that I wasn’t at my best.
Having depression means you can’t get out of bed, you can’t eat or eat too much, you develop fixation on things, and so many more factors. You go right into your mind and don’t worry about other people. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the loss of the awareness of the world around you is quite damaging. You lose entire days to it, and then start to be aware of the fact you don’t want to leave the house, even to just get milk. You feel safe in your own space, where you don’t have to deal with other people.
Even seeing friends is a real struggle, even though they understand and want you to be happy and healthy, because you don’t want to be treated differently. You turn down invitations to things, then scold yourself for not going to something.
I used to use fashion as a shield against the world. This was my comfort level. I would wear sunglasses to go out for a walk, no matter the weather, headphones all the time, and loud crazy clothes to focus the attention from myself (weird aye). I am now in the process of changing my style to be my true self (still a little crazy, lets be real) but where I am comfortable and it suits the age and mind state I am today. I will miss crazy clothing Taryn, but you can’t say I missed a trend in my 20s!
I now carefully look at my days and construct things so I have breaks all the time, I meditate, I exercise, and I can make time to lie on my bed and zone out with a tv series or movie. I no longer put pressure on myself to do a million things, and I am mindful most days of what I do and how I feel.
I don’t know if I will miss the comfort of depression. I know when it comes on and can usually adjust myself accordingly, however it takes constant work and patience to make sure that it doesn’t come. It takes little steps to get out into the world after being in the comfort of depression, from leaving the house, to going and meeting a friend, to attending a large social gathering.
The important thing is to keep chipping away at this. Leaving your bed to get a glass of water. Going to have a shower. Doing a household chore. Popping out and getting something nice for lunch. All are mountains to the heavily depressed, but the good news is it all doesn’t have to be done in a day. You can work and work and work at it, because you have the rest of your life to look forward to. Unfortunately for a lot of people, depression is a lifelong thing to balance and you have to make the right choices for you to make sure that you are okay with yourself and your health.
I have seen many friends fall into depression. Some are out, some are still in, and some are working their way towards it. I am grateful I can now see the signs and monitor friends from afar to make sure that they know they have a support base. It’s a journey that many people go on in their lifetime, some for only a month, to a year, to a lifetime. Some for different factors brought on. The important thing is to keep mindful of yourself and learn to say no to things that harm your mental health.
How are you in your mental health? Are you having similar thoughts? Comment me in the comments!
Read my other blog!
I had a major career change. But is it any different?
I got a job!
How to have a Great Mental Health Day