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Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Dear You,

Don’t be afraid. It won’t be long before you get to be my age, but do enjoy the time you have in between. Remember that you do not know everything, and more importantly, although it may not feel this way, you are not expected to know everything. You have more to learn than you can even imagine.

Don’t give up yet. You have so many wonderful things to do, places to see, and people to meet. You will travel. You will marvel at things. You will make so many people smile. You will fall for a person who loves you for reasons that had never even occurred to you, and although it will be difficult, you will learn to accept this love. You will leave every place better for you having been there, and the world will be glad that you did not give up.

You will cry yourself to sleep with your face buried in your pillow or your lover’s chest, sometimes alternating between the two, but the sun will rise the next morning to remind you that it always will, and it will be beautiful.

You will make glorious mistakes, which you will learn from just enough that you only have to make the same ones a few more times in order to learn how not to make them again. You will be awkward at times. You will wonder why you were put on this earth, and wonder if perhaps God made a mistake. You will probably lie, and will most certainly be lied to. You will work at awful jobs in order to pay your bills for a while. You will try new things, and sometimes you will fail. But other times, you will succeed spectacularly, and it is only then that you will realize: the times you failed were worth it, because they were only leading you to this.

You will make many gut-wrenching sacrifices, and have just as many made for you. Your life will not be empty. It will be filled with wonder and an unlimited amount of love. You will make a positive difference in the world.

I know the tunnel may seem dark now, but hold on, because it won’t be long before you can see the light at the end of it. And in the face of any other darkness in your life, just hold on. Hold on to love. Hold on to faith. Hold on to hope. Because I promise, I promise, it will get better.

Someday, you are going to have the life you deserve, because your spirit is beautiful and strong and it cannot be conquered without your permission. Hold onto that. Don’t give up.

Love,

You, a few years down the road

 

What advice would you give to your younger self? Please share in the comments!

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“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death, I will protect you still. I am strong than Depression, and I am braver than Loneliness, and nothing will ever exhaust me.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

You know the articles: “Top Ten Ways to Feel Better Now! … Number one: get outside and go for a jog! Number two: volunteer with the homeless!” And so on. Unfortunately, these “genius tips” are often not useful to someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, like me. When I am having a “bad” day, the last thing I feel like doing is going outside and exercising. Are you kidding me?!

Well, having gotten fed up with these bogus Top Ten lists, I decided to make my own. These are coping skills (arranged in no particular order) that I have personally tried when I am feeling especially low (I’m talking, sobbing in a fetal position under my covers), and they have helped, at least for a little while. I hope that you may find some comfort in them, as well.

  1. If you can do nothing else, go to sleep. Life may seem less daunting after you’ve rested a while.
  2. If you can manage to get out of bed, change out of your pajamas and into “real” clothes, even if you don’t plan on going anywhere. Even something this small can affect how you feel.
  3. Call a close, trusted friend or family member and see how they’re doing. You don’t have to talk about yourself if you don’t want to.
  4. Make a quick mental list of five (even tiny) ways you have made the world a better place.
  5. Watch an episode of your favorite show or log onto Pinterest. Just do something to distract yourself from your depression.
  6. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while and make plans to meet up in the next few days.
  7. Close your eyes and repeat positive affirmations, even silently, like, “I am beautiful, inside and out.” Or, “I am strong and capable.” Or, “My depression does not define who I am.” This may sound corny, but it has helped me immensely.
  8. Find someone you love and let them hold you.
  9. Go for a drive. This can be surprisingly soothing. You don’t have to worry about looking presentable, either, since you don’t even have to get out of the car.
  10. But, if you want, do stop and buy yourself something nice, even if it’s something very small.

Above all, remember: You are uniquely beautiful and more wonderful than you can imagine. You are loved, and what’s more, you are worthy of that love. You are worthy of being happy, and you deserve all the joy that awaits you in your life. You have made it this far; you have survived. In today’s world, that’s not such an easy task, so you must be doing something right.

I want to hear from you! What do you do on your bad days, regardless of whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with depression or another mental disorder? Please let me know in the comments!

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