Depression is a very triggering subject, it takes a lot of vulnerability and courage to talk about it despite so many of us dealing with it. It isn’t easy to share our darkness along side the high light reels and filtered photos. But I feel that it is necessary to share our experiences. To remember that nobody is alone, to create connection and community even out of our sadness.
I have dealt with depression for a long time and for months I have felt the need to share what I have learned. Which is how to fast forward it. It is my personal opinion that with every cycle of depression there is a valuable lesson to be learned that will not only bring you to the other side of the depression but up level your bad assery and personal development. There have been times that I have spent months being depressed and there have been times I felt only a day of being depressed. Through shadow work and meditation I have noticed the faster I learn the lesson, the quicker I will be back on my feet. The perspective that I am offering is to see depression as a tool. Depression can be an opportunity to approach your life differently and operate from a place of awareness and compassion.
NOTE, depression is deeply personal and different for everyone. This may not be the thing for you, or it just may be your solution. Depression is a topic I have found that requires an open mind and awareness, especially when you feel triggered. If this perspective doesn’t resonate with you, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong, and it doesn’t mean that you are either. It is just a perspective.
As a person who practices and preaches intuitive eating, I talk a lot about feeling your feelings. If you find yourself in a depression spiral, it is okay to feel depressed, necessary even. Sometimes, it may just be that you need a break and when you give yourself the time to just feel the way you feel, you might find that is all you needed. No more steps required. You don’t have to shove your feelings down and keep going for whoever’s sake. You don’t have to paste on a smile when you feel like shit. I am so guilty of this but I still say that it does more harm for your loved ones than good to pretend that you are okay.
If you aren’t used to feeling your feelings I highly recommend the feelings meditation. You can look up a guided one or feel free to send me a message and I can send you instructions.
When you are depressed, you may have a cycle of words, phrases, or voices going through your head that sounds something like, “You aren’t good enough”, “You are stupid”, “You haven’t done enough”, “nobody likes you”, etc. Like the feelings, don’t shove them away. I know this advice may come across as very backwards because it is all very if you feel depressed, be depressed. Obviously you don’t want to stay in this state of negativity, but, if you push the feelings and words away you are pushing away the very tools to pull you to the other side. So follow your negativity spiral to the end. pay attention to the words and the way they make you feel. It won’t take long for you to notice a pattern. For example, you may notice that most of your thoughts are, “I am not enough”, “I am not good enough”, “Nobody likes me”, “I suck”, etc.
The phrases in the previous example all lead to feelings of unworthiness. And that is the lesson. If your negativity spiral is your mind telling you that you are shit and you have feelings of unworthiness then worthiness is the lesson that will pull you out of the spiral. This may seem obvious but it isn’t always obvious when you are depressed. When you feel this way it feel so true and there is no way to overcome it. But once you pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors and realize what the problem is, you have already fast forwarded so much. The work is half way done.
How to actually solve the damn problem
Unworthiness is a big one to start with and you don’t necessarily have to feel worthy and perfect or whatever to stop feeling depressed. You have probably had these feelings for years and it may take longer than a day to undo the damage, but that doesn’t mean you still have to feel like shit. Even just working on yourself can pull you out of a depression.
Once you have realized what feelings, thoughts, etc are making you depressed, you can start making small steps each day to improve them. For the example of unworthiness, you can start by hugging yourself and saying, “I love you”. Even if that means you do it while crying and not even really believing it. You can look in the mirror every day and repeat affirmations such as, “I am worthy”, you can watch inspiring you tube videos, or talk to someone. Just a few small things every day will make a huge difference in the long run. And of course, I highly recommend meditation.
Now, you may find yourself depressed again in the future and maybe even with the same problem. Which can be frustrating, like, I have to learn this lesson again? And sometimes, yes. That isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes you need a reminder.
The last time I had an episode of depression I found myself constantly thinking about where I should be. How things are going to be better in the future but wishing I was there now. Once I started paying attention to the thoughts and allowing myself to feel frustrated and disappointed, I realized my head was stuck in the future. I realized that just because my situation may be better in the future, it doesn’t mean that I won’t have depression. Just because I may have more money in the future doesn’t mean I won’t still have struggles and frustrations.
When I am depressed I like to ask a lot of what if questions to get me to where the depression is leading me. So I started asking, what if I was happy now? What if I dealt with things as they happened, moment to moment instead of worrying about it to death? What if money didn’t even bother me? After writing and meditating I came to the solution of mindfulness. I started small, I started bring intention back into my life. I created intentions for the small daily things that bore me, I created intention for the big daily things that bore me (work), I started to pay attention. I made an effort to make more connection and really notice what was happening around me. Now, I feel more excited about the process of building the life I want. I am bringing in more playfulness and enjoying many things I previously found boring.
I just wanted to use that as an example you could see from beginning to end. When you look at this way, depression was helpful. It took me from struggling with my life to a state of flow and enjoyment but only when I paid the fuck attention. It is so easy to just check out once we feel unhappy with anything and I don’t want you to feel guilty if that is what you do. Start small, and bring awareness into everything. Start making intentions for the things you struggle with and then watch your life turn from drab to literally magical.
Let me know if you have any questions! You can leave a comment or send me a message. I am creating intention + actions combinations for anyone who wants one for free. We talk for 15 to 30 minutes about what you feel is missing in your life and I will create the intention and action you can do to start bringing that into your life! Send me a message if you would like this.
Pin for later!