Therapy wasn’t the only thing that got me through the dark days of depression
Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied, “Nothing! However, Buddha said, let me tell you what I lost, anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”
When I close my eyes I can still see myself three years ago, downstairs in our new townhouse. I’m sitting on the living room couch crying my eyes out, with the volume of the TV turned high so I won’t wake my husband who laid sound asleep upstairs.
I remember night after night and whenever I was alone with enough time to reflect on my life I would sit and cry. I didn’t know I was in a deep depression at the time. I was supposed to be happy according to everyone else. The past four years of my life might remind you of “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, however, I assure you there was no traveling across the world to find myself. There were three years of denial, depression, anxiety, and heartbreak.
Being depressed is definitely not a fond memory for me. However, I wasn’t afraid to meet with a therapist to discuss what I was going through. I met with two therapists who allowed me to speak my mind freely without any judgment. A move back to my family house four hours away. A ten-month divorce process and a whole lot of self-reflection that allowed me to see who I was and who I wanted to be.
My first therapy session was a little awkward yet at the same time, it was actually a window into hope. It was so nice to have an unbiased ear, a professional, and a cheerleader there who I was paying to help me through the toughest time of my life. I thought after I lost my grandparents would be the hardest times for me, but this was an experience I had to go through on my own.
I met with my therapist every two weeks. I sat on her sofa, looked her in her eyes, and told her what I felt I was going through, as well as what I wanted for myself and my relationship. I was so deep into depression that it I was to the point that I was envisioning myself taking a bottle of pills and ending my life.
Every session I became more aware of my thoughts, patterns, emotions, and desires. Every session I got a little stronger. While in those sessions I took more and more responsibility for my life.
One, there were some days I did go into a dark place especially when I was spending time alone. See, meeting with my therapist wasn’t enough. My husband and I were spending less and less time together due to his new career change. I had to find something for me do in between sessions.
Two, I wanted to evaluate what I wanted aside from my relationship with my husband. There was a lot of tension in the home and it wasn’t healthy for me or him. It’s been a long time since I put my needs first.
Three, I felt it would be beneficial to be around my people (family, friends, and peers). Be in an environment where there was no tension or loneliness. An environment that was inviting, supportive, loving, and fun. Where I can cut off my co-dependency and focus on my needs.
I moved back to my hometown and found a therapist. I felt it was still worth it because I couldn’t speak to my family or friends about what I was going through. Their responses weren’t comforting. They were worried and stressed, and I could just feel that energy when I spoke to them.
I had to do a lot of the work on my own. No one could figure me out better than I can. No one can make decisions for my life other than I. So I decided to do the following things so I can get better:
- I sat and meditated every day and sometimes several times a day. It was nice to quiet my mind because my mind was always going. My thoughts and emotions weren’t always positive all the time. Especially since I was making the major decision to get a divorce.
- I stopped my design business and left a job that was no longer fulfilling to me. Focused on planning a career that would satisfy me.
- I wrote in my journal all my thoughts and feelings every day. It’s good to get it out on paper when you can’t talk to someone about it.
- I reached out to friends and family members so I can have some fun. It’s easy to cut yourself off from people when you want to hide in the darkness.
- I did things I loved doing on my own. I love to paint so I did that. I love to dance so I did that too.
- I spent time with myself in a healthy way. I went for walks and went to the movies.
- I exercised and started to eat healthily. There is nothing like a good workout and good food to get you in better spirits.
- I practiced on becoming aware of my triggers and my dark thoughts. Only you can defeat your darkness by facing it.
- I became brave. I promised myself that I will always put my needs first no matter what. I won’t hide. I won’t cry. I won’t cut myself off from the world because things aren’t going the way I envisioned. I am strong enough to handle whatever comes my way.
- I let go. I let go of those who no longer served me. They were cool people, but they weren’t meant for my future I was building.
- I found true love within myself.
So, I want you to know that you should never be afraid or hesitate to ask for help. Never give up because your health is worth every second you fight your own darkness so you can reach happiness. Live your life for YOU! Remember that, nothing is final in your life and you’re NOT stuck! You’re strong enough to get through whatever life throws at you.
Be safe. Be love.
Thank you for reading my entire article. Depression sucks! I learned that there are many ways to tackle mild depression without medication. I want to share with you a FREE list of things you can do to get past depression. Free tip sheet download: Ideas to Get Past Depression. xo