*This is a very critical subject and I am just sharing what I did to Overcome my Depression, in other words don't do anything drastic from reading my story.*
I struggled with depression from the age of thirteen to twenty-four. After high-school my then boyfriend (now Husband) and I got around an amazing association who are all about growth mindset, positivity and goal oriented. Through these amazing people I learned that happiness is a choice we make. I heard this a couple of times and it never really hit me until one day it had. Before I tell you what happened after my brain finally got the message, I need to share how I was a few weeks before I heard it again.
Depression was heavy on me, heavier than it had been before. I was very open with it with my Husband who always supported me and was there for me. He would tell me that I'm beautiful and special all the time (and still does). I'd thank him but I never really believed him even though he was genuine. Sometimes depression had a nasty claw that would lash out, which would cause me to lash out towards my loving husband. One day it got bad, so bad in fact that I was under my desk in my home office, (I had a huge desk at the time). I had hit rock bottom and I was extremely hard on myself and I felt ashamed for how I would act towards my husband who was just trying to help me. He came home and found me under my desk and then sat down underneath the desk with me and asked me what was wrong. I told him that he deserved better than me, he deserved someone who appreciates what he is doing and doesn't have a wife who is so messed up and a massive downer as I cried. He told me that I wasn't messed up and wasn't a downer (even though I probably was lol). He told me that he wouldn't want anyone else and he believed I would come out of this stronger. I was down in the dumps I couldn't even see a glimmer of light. Depression to me was a dark long tunnel that I was curled up on the cold floor at the very end of it. To me there was no point in trying to walk down the tunnel, it was too long and I didn't feel worthy enough and scared of the thought of overcoming depression, I was scared if I would lose myself completely and scared if it wouldn't work and I wouldn't be happy. Ridiculous I know but when your depressed and for a long time, it's almost as if you depend on it to make you feel something, and I must say once you overcome depression you one hundred percent feel something more and better than you ever did with depression. A feeling I never knew existed.
A few weeks passed and we were around the positive association once again and when I heard one of them share that Happiness was a choice I finally knew what they meant. I realized that even being in depression was a choice I kept making. When depression first crept up on me when I was thirteen, I didn't know that I had it and I didn't choose to become depressed, it can come upon you without notice but once I acknowledged that I had it, I unknowingly kept choosing for depression to live rent free in my mind. Letting it talk negatively to me, telling me harsh things that weren't true and that happened everyday and all day. I didn't want depression to win, to rule over me and I didn't want to live with depression anymore, it was time to kick this unwanted roommate out of my head but how?
I also realized that no matter how many times my Husband or anyone that would encourage me, tell me that I was beautiful, I'm worthy and I am enough was never going to fully work unless I believed it myself. So I did the most cringiest, the most cheesiest thing I ever had to do and that was going up to the mirror, stare at myself and say "I am Beautiful" and then quickly run out of the bathroom and shake off the cringe. My brain was so accustomed to believing in the opposite that it had found the positive cheesy and unreal but I kept doing it. I'd say "I am Worthy" and almost want to vomit, I'd get close to the mirror and walk away from it quickly, telling myself that was good enough for today. When people and my husband told me encouraging things I chose to believe what he and they were saying to me. I didn't believe in myself right away. As I would say those positive things to myself I still didn't believe it, it took time and energy to push myself to even say it. I know it may sound silly but this is literally how it was. I'd also try to replace every negative thought that I'd have with three positive ones to try and rewire my brain as the people we are associated with would talk about.
As I was working on my thoughts, I also began working with my past and to stop dwelling on what had happened to me and how people treated me. I had to come to the realization that not everyone is going to like me and that's okay. There were people I didn't like either so why did I think everyone had to like me? I switched with what I was choosing, instead of choosing self hatred and always thinking of my short comings. I chose the opposite, I chose self love and think of all of my blessings. Where there are bad things there are good things.
I chose to forgive those who bullied me, they were just kids to and I knew they had things that weren't going right in their life. No it wasn't right for them to take what they felt and put it on me but we are all human and we all do things we shouldn't and I truly forgive them.
Once I started to actually believe in the positive self talk I felt depression cower away like a dog with it's tail between it's legs. I began walking down the dark tunnel I mentioned before and only a very small sliver of light appeared. As months went by I kept choosing to do what was best for my mental health. I surrounded myself with positive people and limited myself around those who weren't and who were sucking the positive energy right out of me. I changed the music I was listening to, from heavy depressing metal music to lighter and upbeat and alternative music that weren't downers. Music is very influential and can really set your mood in the wrong or right way. We feel what the music is feeling and so I would and still do now listen to feel good music in the morning or especially when I need it when I am feeling down and need a pick me up.
If you want to know the music I listen to for a pick me up as well or just to get some ideas for your own playlist, click the buttons below. These will take you to my playlists on Spotify.
I do allow myself to have a bad day but I try my best to never let it go past twenty four hours. (Depends on the situation of course)
I also went for walks outside that always made me feel better, not sure why it does but it's really good to get out of your comfort zone and away from the current area you are in while experiencing negative energy.
Then I would read positive affirmations pretty much daily and listen to growth mindset audios and read self development books.
Then after two years of being consistent as well as constantly picking myself up when I had fallen off of consistency.
I woke up one morning and realized I hadn't been depressed for months and right then and there I said "Depression no longer lives inside me" I overcame that huge mental barrier all because I made a choice to overcome, I made the choice to not let it define me, I chose to believe in the positive rather than the negative, and
I chose to never let depression try and attack me again. I could feel that I finally made it towards the end of the tunnel and I could see the vast and bright landscape before me and once I made the choice to accept that Depression no longer was apart of me, I stepped out of the tunnel and I was free!
Remember before that I had I mentioned that I was scared to overcome because I was dependent on depressions pain to make me feel something and that overcoming would make me lose that feeling but like I said before you don't lose the feeling, you gain feeling, you gain a feeling of purpose. Honestly I felt like I could feel my heart for the first time. It was better than any feeling depression had given me.
After I overcame there would be these whiplashes of depression trying to rip away everything I had done to get me to where I am. Trying to overpower me but I wouldn't let it with the system that I had built for myself. I would tell depression "NO! You don't belong here." or "Go away depression". Yes I would say this out loud, I feel this sets it in stone. Of course I would never say it out loud around people but once I was alone I would. I would say it in my head around people but the affect was never the same.
Since I was changing my thinking pattern it now has become easy for my mind to quickly replace a negative thought with a positive one.
I know some people will say that no one can overcome depression and they have to have medications for it. I have to disagree, and this is just my opinion and what has worked for me with my mental health. To me, Antidepressants are just temporary and will not hundred percent cure depression (Unless you or you know someone who has but I just haven't heard it)
I understand how it feels to just not want to deal with the feeling of depression. The numb feelings, the I want to feel alive feeling. Believe me there were days I did consider it but I am one of those people who won't take medicine unless I absolutely have to and when it comes to depression I feared more of the side effects of those Antidepressants which aren't so Anti. They can create suicidal thoughts, make you even more depressed, agitated, anxious, cause insomnia, dizziness, loss of apatite, etc. The list goes on and I was already experiencing all of those things, why would I take something that could heighten it or make it worse?
If you have taken them and they work wonders for you then that's really good! I'm not a professional here so don't stop what your taking based off my story.
Please talk to a psychologist and see if it makes sense or if it's safe or necessary for you to take or stop taking. I know those who did want to stop taking them were advised to come off of it slowly and gradually. For me I knew that taking antidepressants were not going to help me, not in the long run.
Although I overcame depression at age twenty-four, I still didn't believe in God.
I am so very blessed for the people who have instilled a strong positive and growth mindset within me and for my loving Husband who never gave up on me and stayed by myside through it all, even on the worst of days. I have become a whole new person and love who I am and grateful for what I have endured.
(Chapter Four: A Knock at my Hearts Door, is Coming Soon)