The Upside of Being Down

I really thought this Blog would have a few more “happy” entries than what have been presented to this point. That’s one of the kickers about depression… A lot of the times you’re not sure how long the spell will last, and when you’re unmedicated you tend to just roll with whatever punches get thrown your way untill it breaks. But even in the months of darkness I’ve encountered, I have been able to find a few bright spots that have kept me”
somewhat buoyant.

For one, I have been afforded the luxury of being able to “go to my room and think about what I did” to exacerbate my depressive spiral. Knowing that I hold myself accountable (which admittedly can make the moment worse at times) at least allows me to focus on the parts of my behaviors that need bolstering or eradication. If you know the root of the problem you can actively begin, or at least work on a plan, to solve it, right? This also helps me realize that if I am capable of creating said problem then I am also capable of solving or managing it. This goes hard in the paint for me in those “helpless” moments depression is known for.

My down time has also afforded me the opportunity to rest when I needed to… And a lot of the times I definitely needed to. When depression is made manifest by anger or stress a person tends to miss out on a lot of sleep due too worry or overthinking. And if you tend to “self medicate” then you know passing out and adequate, restorative rest are not in anyway the same thing. Lack of adequate sleep, even if it’s a few renergizing naps here and there, are to depression what gasoline is to fire (ironically so is resting/sleeping too much), so this goes a long way in helping me balance my mood.

Thanks to my dark days I have also been “gifted” the opportunity to read up on strategies that may help to make this downtime a little less oppressive. Whether it’s an article outlining ways to make my meditation more effective or a Website with a collection of wisdom to help me maintain through the storm, I’ve began building an arsenal of Wellness Resources to help me cope. Of course it’s no substitute for adequate counseling or therapy (which I can’t afford at present), it at least gives me a sense of “control” with little things to do in the meantime to lighten my load.

Because I spend a good amount of time on the Internet as a source of “entertainment” and “enlightenment”, I’ve had the chance over the past couple of months too adequately review a lot of the “sources” I’ve been plugging into while surfing the Web, and deleting them. This included newsfeeds that broadcast more negative than positive news, celebrity gossip columns, social media contacts with angry commentary, and virtual connections that aided in making personal situations I’m involved in difficult. For anyone, whether they are diagnosed or “normal”, a steady diet of those things is bound to bring you down, so I made it a point to remove this triggers from my life.

And last, but definitely not least, this time in the trenches has given me the opportunity to weed through the people I know truly want to help and reach out to me when they know I’m isolating. Those people who sort through the “craziness” alongside me and offer clarity. If there is one thing I’ve struggled with all my life it’s feeling as if I’ve always been alone, and that makes the downtime ten times more overwhelming. I’ve been blessed with an incredible support system, and while I may not always recognize it when I’m curled up in a fetal position wondering why I can’t shake this funk, they never fail to show up when I need them most.

So even in my times of sorrow I’ve found a way to construct a silver lining in the clouds. Some days it takes a little more effort to see it than others, but at least I know it’s there… And that is what matters most.

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