Any stranger on the street would think I was crazy for saying one of the best days of my life as been the day I was diagnosed with moderate depression. And I don’t blame them, because when I walked out of the doctor’s office with sleeping pills and hormone stabilizers (not mood stabilizers. More on that later.) , I felt alone, upset, and a complete mess of emotions. Relieved, maybe, but happy, I was not. I felt guilty for letting myself get to a point where the only thought keeping me in this world was “Do not take the gift of Life that I [God] gave you and destroy it”.
However, that day was the day that made my family stand up and take notice that I needed help, that the girl in control of everything had no control over anything. It was the day that I had no pride blocking my desire to ask for help.
Because I had been brought so, so low, I was open to anything.The first advice I received was from the Nature-path Doctor, who diagnosed me. She gave me Women’s Phase I supplements to regulate my hormones from pregnancy. (Side note: I had the baby blues after my kids and didn’t know it.) The other implementations to my life were water, sleep, therapy sessions and 3 30-min sweat intense exercises a week. I still faithfully do them. Why? Because when I gave my all to make me better first I noticed a difference and it was surreal.
After having a soul-sucking job, giving my career up for love and then having three dear children within four years, I hadn’t practiced self-care. I didn’t even understand there was such a concept. Putting yourself first meant you were a horrible self-absorbed being. After my doctor visit, my vision changed. I put a focus on getting sleep, water, exercise and therapy first so I could be a good mother. Not the other way around and my kids are so much the better for it. When people say, “you have the happiest children”. It is reaffirming to know that self-care isn’t selfish and it is the best you can do for your children.
Besides the basic needs, I had let slip, I devoured self-improvement ideas. Read books of self-love. My favorite, Christine Arylo’s Madly in Love with Me. She gets past the social pressures we put on ourselves and opens up a desire to be happy with one’s being, not just one’s body but who and what we are. If we don’t have love and respect for ourselves no one else will but as women we often don’t see that. There are so many more books that have helped. Many of which have been reviewed by yours truly in other posts.
Journaling was another practice I returned to after the big D. It helps me sort the thoughts in my brain. I use it to help me meditate. I try to include affirmations and a gratitude list (recommended by my lovely therapist) in each entry to help remind myself of the wonderful things in my life. Journaling has also revived a passion of mine, writing, which is where this blog came into being and a few of my novel ideas have made it off the ground.
The ideas became goals. Novels to finish. Goals are some of the best things for a person struggling with self-doubt and self-hate because it gets us out of our heads and doing something with our hands. Being so busy chasing dreams that the demons inside can be silenced for a time is rewarding. I find my hiding place in writing a new scene, painting a room, and teaching our children in preschool activities.
So many good things came from being labeled depressed that I can hardly be embarrassed by it. It gave me a starting point. Rock Bottom. That doesn’t have to be the end though. When I accepted the tools to begin my climb, I began to see the trees, grass, the waterfalls. Sure, I backslide. Often. But I take another tool out and try climbing again.
Natural ways I battle depression:
- Spiritual Mediation. For me, this is reading my bible, praying, and ten minutes of guided affirmation mediation.
- Journaling. I write three+ things I am grateful for.
- Exercise. At least 3 times a week I do 30 minutes of cardio/weightlifting/pilates exercise. I often do more because it feel so good and cleanses the negative energy.
- Creating goals. Short term and Long term. I keep them in my journal so I can always find them and remind myself of how to achieve them.
- Balanced diet.
If you battle depression, you aren’t alone. YOU ARE WORTHY!!! Worthy of joy, hope, and a full happy life. Life is MESSY but even nature has beauty in its worst storms. If you struggle with self doubt and self hate, but have found tricks and tips that work for you, please comment.