The strange thing with depression is that once I accepted I was a depressive, life became so much easier. I go through trauma and I get depressed.
When I was younger I thought it would be so much easier if I was bipolar. At least that way the lows would have been offset.
I can predict when my depression is going to hit as I get a couple of weeks after a traumatic event where I lose everything and 90% of it turns up in the fridge. The fridge becomes a Pandora’s box of wonders. Paint brushes, keys, hats, the odd book – all turn up in the fridge.
I automatically analyse the crap out of everything and I reckon my fridge becomes the Mecca of my belongings as I also lose my appetite at this time. I think it is because I am conscious of not being hungry so keep going to the fridge to try and eat. I must take food out and just leave what I am holding in the fridge.
Unlike the swift mood swings associated with bipolar disorder, I have a couple of weeks where I put together my strategy for how to get through the black clouds to come.
I do this with structure. I am incredibly gentle on myself but don’t allow myself to wallow in self pity. This is my life. This is who I am, so get over myself.
The routine helps enormously as if I have had a really bad day, I can focus on the fact I’ve stuck to my plan and achieved 3 things each day. That way I know that a bad day is just a bad day. I am not going back to the depths of hell.
For anyone reading this who has depression.
Get structure in your life, your head is your own worst enemy.
Be gentle but realise you are not a pathetic useless creature.
And, lower your expectations of yourself. You can always raise them again later!
And my own top tip.
Accept your depression. Whether it is a fleeting moment or a life time embrace. If someone is judging me on my mental health without getting to know me, I don’t want them in my life.