Wanted to encourage those of you today who are struggling with your recovery from depression. Sometimes it feels like you’re never going to get better. That’s scary. You’re sure you can’t take another day, no, not even another minute, of this misery.
Just like in the grieving process, we recover from depression in leaps and bursts. We feel we’re never going to get better. We have a number of good days, and then, bam, a bad one hits us between the eyes. It even gets down to moments.
Good moments are intercepted by bad ones. Depression, by its very nature, flings us all over the emotional spectrum. It’s part of the process of healing. Just like the learning curve, it’s never a straight line. It’s almost always a roller coaster ride. Eventually, it evens itself out.
Moods, in general, are seldom very stable, anyway. It’s a rare person whose moods remain consistently even. Some people are just naturally more of the “even-keel” type of personality. My husband is one of these. He’s the most stable person I’ve ever met. But he, too, has suffered depression.
Depression knows no distinction. Anyone, no matter how clever, talented, rich, intelligent or educated, can suffer from depression. It is also well-known that depression affects more women than men and older people more than younger ones. And yet depression doesn’t confine itself to these parameters. It can strike anyone.
When we’re having a “roller-coaster” kind of day, it’s discouraging, yes, but it doesn’t mean your recovery is in jeopardy. On these kinds of days, it pays to look over your day and try to see some cause and effect. And there is always a cause and effect. Your moods don’t jump all over the place for no reason. Just don’t give up. So let me ask you, how has your day been? Has it been up and down? Can you pinpoint any causes?
It’s a learning curve
When I started blogging I got so discouraged. I mean, my learning curve was unbelievable. While I had used a computer for years, nothing prepared me for setting up a blog because I didn’t understand any of the terminologies. Seriously, it took me months to figure out all the bells and whistles.
I look back on some of my older posts and wonder, “What was I thinking”? Half the time, I didn’t even add any tags. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone ever found my blog. Now I can talk blog language pretty well. I’ve even figured out a little HTML. Whoa!
Requires hard work
All of this is just to say that almost anything important is hard work. There are some things that come easily to us, but even then, refining them takes work. When I started painting, it came pretty easy, but I spent hours painting everything grey until I figured out the art of mixing colors.
Measuring success not easy
Depression is harder, of course. There’s no way to measure your success except by measuring your emotions, which certainly isn’t easy when you’re depressed. If you’re doubting how your recovery is going, ask someone close to you if they’ve noticed a difference. I can always tell when the people in my life are doing better even before they can.
So no matter where you are in your recovery, take heart knowing that the roller coaster ride you’re on doesn’t mean you’re recovery is in jeopardy. If you’re working on your depression, you are going to get better. Don’t give up.
With work, medication and/or cognitive therapy, depression gets better. It’s actually a self-limiting illness, although it doesn’t feel that way when you’re wandering around in the pit.