Depression, as you will know if you suffer with it is one of the most draining experiences you can have in life. It is one of those times where when we most need to find our inner power and yet that power seems so far away, or it feels as though it doesn’t exist. The trouble is that we are the only ones that can connect to that source, find it and access it. How the heck are we supposed to do that when the world is caving in, when we can’t stop crying or worse when we feel nothing at all.
If you are there I really get it.
As someone with Bi Polar I have fought with depression my whole life. And recently after a long break (2 and a half years) it has come back with avengence. And at a really stupid point in time. Because actually everything is going well in my life. My business, my love life, even my garden is blooming and yet here I am constantly on the brink of tears and struggling to even make a cup of tea and write this article. It sucks.
So how do I get through this? How is it despite feeling all of this you find me still here sitting and writing to you all?
I get through it by connecting with my power source and by not giving up.
Now when I say power source I don’t mean I plug into the battery and hey presto! I am super woman! Instantly feeling better. Nope. Finding your personal power and drive during a depression is nothing like that. Infact some of the things I need to do other people, people fortunate enough to not get like this would not see them as powerful actions. But for me they really are.
What I mean by power source is finding that bit of you that knows deep down under it all that this will pass. No matter how long it takes. It will pass. Your power source is there under all the emotions, the exhaustion, the hurt, the darkness. In the core of your very being there is a little voice that knows that this is temporary. The more we try to connect with this voice the stronger it becomes. And it is this voice, this power that will carry you through to the other side of your depression. It’s god damn hard. Believe me. But those of us that get depression. We are tough. Our emotions have power which is why they are sometimes so incapacitating. When you have power in one part of your personality, it is safe to assume that you have strengths in other parts of you. Even if you don’t really feel like it right now.
So in practical terms how can you access your power source?
Well this is what works for me
Check in with your body
When did I last eat?
When did I last sleep?
When did I last have a drink of water?
When did I last have a shower?
Depression will often stop you taking care of your body and that just makes it worse. So if you haven’t eaten all day eat. If you haven’t slept. Sleep. If you can’t sleep then do something which allows you to rest. Not staring at blank walls but laying on the sofa with a good book or some tv helps. (Even better lay on a blanket outside and get some vitamin D). Taking care of your body will recharge you. Just get yourself to do one thing. Start there.
Know what not to do
There are things that will make your depression worse. Drinking alcohol is one of them. Over working or lots of social arrangements are others. You want to feel better not worse. So don’t do, or at least do as little as possible of the things that will make it worse.
In the long term a doctor or medical practitioner might be necessary, but for right now tell someone how you are feeling. Someone who you know won’t just tell you to buck up. And ASK THEM FOR HELP. Whether it’s help you to make food, tidy up, help with a work project, get the kids from school or just come over and give you a hug. I had a friend I called when the emotions were too much and i had to attend a family funeral. I just said ‘I need you to distract me from feelings’. She did. It helped me regain my strength to face all the people.
Do what gives you energy
This can be anything. Crying. In my case doing the washing or gardening. Hugging a pet. 5 mins of exercise. I had a friend who once told me if you can’t do anything, do the washing up. It might feel like a mountain, but when it’s done you will have achieved something and feel better for it. There are many ways to boost your energy in a positive and healthy way. Which is really important, by the way. Healthy boosts. Basically don’t do a lot of drugs, alcohol, coffee and impulse buying, it will just make you crash harder after it. Do go for a walk (you can ask someone to come with you to help you get out of the door), listen to you favourite music, have a shower and put on some clothes that you feel good in.
Cut down and delegate
I know there is a lot to be done. But right now you can’t do it all. Cut out what is not necessary, delegate, even if it is something as small as filling up a hot water bottle for your bad back ( MR T is doing that right now bless him). Basically right now you need help. You are not weak, you are indisposed and that’s ok.
Tire yourself out physically
Seriously you need to get physically exhausted. I don’t mean to breaking point. But getting physically tired is going to help you sleep better and that is going to help you feel so much better. You need rest right now. So get a good quality of rest by being physically not mentally tired.
Some days it will be easier. Some days it will be harder. Some days will start hard and end good. Whatever happens. Find your Sishu, your resilience and keep moving forward. Personally I believe a person suffering with depression who gets out of bed, makes a cup of tea, makes food, gets into the shower, loves their kids, and manages to do maybe one of the things that needs to be done IS a Superhero. Take it one step at a time. Do something. Check in with how you feel. Ask yourself what do I need now? What can I do now? Then do that whether it’s crying, making dinner or resting. Put one foot in front of the other, don’t burn yourself out, slowly just keep going
As I said I know it’s tough. But I do firmly believe that despite it all we will get through this. And I promise you we will be stronger for it. Only we can tap into our power source my friends. It’s a choice. Ask yourself – Do I want to feel better or not? And then take a step forward. And eventually you won’t need to think about the steps. You will agree with that voice inside of you and you will be guiding yourself out of the dark hole stronger than before.
Storms don’t last forever. They take the time they take
You will get through this, eventually
I believe in you <3
How do you access your inner power when you have depression ? Let me know in the comments below