I find that depression is more than an illness, its like my brain default for every negative circumstance that comes my way. The negativity just overwhelms my mind to the point where I huddle in a ball, pretending that I’m okay. I’m overreacting. I’m in recovery, this shouldn’t be happening. Why is it happening?!
I have nothing to feel sad about but my irritability is my best friend. My self-hatred is my comfort and my mind doesn’t understand the depth of how I feel. Nothing aligns to my present situation in life. I have good friends, a loving family, I’m in college, running an afterschool program, and exercising more. I’m putting in more effort to take care of my responsibilities and manage my life. I thought this would bring me happiness and stability. I thought the negativity would die, but instead it retreated to the back of my mind.
No, I have to remember that this is a healing process, not a destination. There’s no magic pill that will take it all away. I’m going to have relapses, it’s perfectly normal. I’m training my brain to be positive, energetic, and outgoing. I’m teaching it perseverance and self-love. I’m learning how to be happy and that takes work.
Relapses are only bumps in the road. They are learning hurdles where I have to push through to make it to the other side. I understand that life isn’t always happy, but I need to train my brain better in how to handle disappointments. It’s not allowed to overwhelm me, make me feel weak, and undesirable. I refuse it to let me think I’m better off dead or that I’m a failure. I’m not fragile or vulnerable. I’m a strong, independent woman.
There’s absolutely nothing to feel “depressed” about but let this be a learning opportunity. Never allow relapses to dictate your path to recovery. You’re recovering and learning your triggers. You’re learning your limits and your talents. You’re learning how to be stronger than your “mean” brain. While people may try to undermine “depression” as just a state of mind, it’s not their reality. They don’t understand sleepless nights, daily crying sessions, “zombie mode”, overeating or starving, and recurring thoughts of worthlessness. It’s not that easy to slap on a mental band aid and think life is rosy again. It’s not that simple. It’s an illness for a reason.
Whatever it is that is fueling these symptoms, battle it. I don’t care if its the result of colliding chemicals in the brain, your dog just died, or the world is ending. You just have to fight. I’m fighting and it will be okay.
It’s okay to cry every now and then. It’s okay to have a few symptoms or relapse, but don’t let it be your reality again. Find different ways of coping and build resistance. Go to the gym, be with friends, write it down, or even just watch a funny movie. Do whatever makes you happy. We’re on the road to recovery. There will be a few bumps, wrong turns, and possibly traffic.
So, fasten your seatbelt and don’t forget to smile.