Two thousand twelve was a very HARD year for me. By the time January 2013 rolled around I was left feeling pretty depressed and sad. This is not new to me. I have suffered with depression for years and each time it has been the strength of my Heavenly Father that has pulled me up from the depths of sorrow. If I did not have HIM I would be a mess.
It is interesting because when I am depressed it is such a slow change that I do not immediately recognize it. I will become unmotivated, I will cry a lot, I will watch a lot of television, I will let my house fall to shambles, I will gain weight, but I will not know I am depressed. It is only, by the grace of God, when I start to peek over the top of my depression do I realize, “geez, I have been depressed”. When I finally start to peer up over and take a good look at my life I somehow find the strength to begin to overcome. Since I don’t have the strength to stand I muster what I have to kneel. I will kneel in prayer and ask for help, sometimes for days. You see, it is always the same thing for me, it takes something greater than MYSELF to pull me up out of the fog.
I have taken medication before for depression. I truly believe that the medication makes it impossible for me to fully come out of this downward spiral. It may stop the spinning funnel from swallowing me up all the way, but it only covers and masks the true problems that I need to deal with. So I never medicate, I am not saying you should not, I am saying that dealing with depression for 30 years it doesn’t work for me.
In this case I knew the stem of my depression, which is dealing with change. My family dynamic has drastically changed with my three older boys leaving around the same time. My children have been the center of my life and the very reason I live for so long that I have felt lost without them. was blind sighted by this because I didn’t think it would happen since I still have two children home. Also adding a job change for Doug and a huge move was enough to suck me under for several months.
Another thing I do is to stop feeling bad for myself. Seriously, I have so many things to be grateful for. One thing that has helped me is to start a gratitude journal. Each day I will write down a few things I am grateful for and why. This starts positive thinking. You see, if I can stop the ugly feelings from multiplying by adding in the positive then soon they will multiply and outnumber plus REMOVE the bad ones. I will remind myself that I reap what I sow, and no more sowing the negative. Stay positive!
How do I find something greater than myself to pull up out of the depths of depression? In almost every case it is through SERVICE. This can be service in my own family and often times it is. This last bought of depression I was able to focus on and surprise my daughter after her trip to visit her friends with decorating her bedroom. It gave me a reason to pick myself up off of the couch, it gave me motivation to surprise her, and it really started to give me my life back. I also attended the Temple, organized a get together with friends, and ate lunch with my son at school. We even got our first dog, a little rescue pup a friend of mine found and helped place in our home.
I think it is always important to have something to look forward to. A trip, seeing family, saving up for a piece of furniture. It may sound odd, but when I feel blah there is nothing better than thinking “it is going to be great when…”.
I’m not an expert, and will never claim to be one, but I am an expert when it comes to ME. For me I often remind myself that I get one life and I want to be happy. Moments pass by so quickly. Time moves continually. If I don’t grab hold and enjoy this ride then it would be a total bummer. I am tired of wasting my time on depression. I deserve better than that. So with new determination I wake up each and every day knowing that it is just going to get better and better. And as I make my way through the tunnel of depression I can see LIGHT. That light is the love of God, the love of my family, and happy days that lay ahead.