Beating Depression

It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.

You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.

I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.

It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.

However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:

  1. Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
  2. It is possible to recover from this disease.

If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.

The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.

I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.

When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?

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The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..

On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.

Success is “consistency”

It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.

Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.

Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.

None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.

As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.

Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.

Become free of the limitations you create

Joy and energy are items that can be attained – they are powers that are always inside you. The trick is finding out how to unlock these powers.

When you do, it will transform your life forever.

However, this is not a simple process. You will have to be prepared to look within yourself and work to release all the blocks and barriers that you have created throughout your life.

It is worth it though, because when you do, you and can experience absolute joy and fulfilment.

If you desire ultimate joy and freedom, then you will need to break down the following barriers:

Fear

Fear gets in the way of your dreams and goals.

You have to identify your deepest fears and then clearly surrender them. They do not serve you and your fear is a choice. Let go of fear.

Guilt

What do you blame yourself for?

You have to accept the reality that these things happen. You cannot let guilt cloud and poison your life. You cannot change the past and if you genuinely want to be a positive influence on the world – you have to forgive yourself.

Willpower

How have you let yourself down? What mistakes have you made?

It is vital that you accept and allow all aspects of yourself – even the mistakes and disappointments. Understand them, learn from them, then let go of them… they do not define you now.

Grief

Lay all of your grief out in front of you – in whichever form it takes.

Realise that love never leaves… never. You have to allow the pain to float away and re-birth love.

Love never leaves, it just changes form – allow this.

Denial

Be honest – what are the lies you tell yourself? What are the rules of life you create to protect yourself?

It is important to embrace your own nature and be happy in your own skin. You are imperfect, but that is okay – you don’t have to hide away or put on a mask – embrace the authentic you.

Connection

We are all connected, but often we see through divided eyes. Open your eyes and recognise that we are all the same – we all struggle.

When you can truly see we are all one life, you can understand others’ struggles, you won’t judge and you will be able to forgive – because you will see yourself in everyone.

Putting it all together

You have the power to live a life of ultimate joy and happiness – it is within you. Look deep within, release the barriers and become the best version of you.

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