The Warrior Queen & The Jellied Eel I got my rock moves...
I’ve been too damned busy to truly engage with Depression.
And that is my big revelation: the biggest weapon you have against Depression is action!
See, Depression is sneaky; it saps you, leaching away your energy and motivation until you can’t do anything. Then, when you’re immobilised and vulnerable it sends in the Thought Troops, flooding your every waking moment with negativity and self loathing,
You have to summon all the willpower you have and move; it won’t get any easier through waiting. Pick something, anything and commit yourself to doing it; put that Black Dog in the kitchen and shut the door firmly – don’t open it no matter how much he whines; take action. If not now, when? Why then not now?
It doesn’t make the Depression go away but it sure makes it recede and, most importantly, taking action in this way wrestles your life back out of that his dog’s slobbery chops.
I know I’m very lucky that I have university to focus on, and to be at a stage where I absolutely must pass this course; it makes it easier to say, “No, fuck off Black Dog, you’re not having my future as well as my past”. However, it was taking the steps during summer break and forcing myself to do the smaller things (personal hygiene, basic household chores) that enabled me to be strong enough to keep Depression at bay and focus on uni. Don’t underestimate the impact of those little rounds of action; they have a cumulative effect against the enemy!
I was told something that really clicked with me and has moved me forward in a huge leap, giving me better understanding of my own depression; it was simply this:
“You can’t think your way out of depression”.
Obvious huh? Because of course, when you’re depressed you have distorted thinking; not the best way to reach sensible conclusions!
It’s hard though, for someone like me; I like to ‘work it out’, find the flaw and the solution, ‘get to the bottom of it’; just not thinking about it and doing something to make my life a Life is not my natural way. I’m glad I gave it a shot though…there’s a sort of positive feedback loop created:
I focus on my uni work and get on with it; I am too busy to sit and ruminate; my stress levels are reduced; negative mind talk fodder is reduced; depressed thinking is not fed; (back to the beginning)
Depression is still there, lurking at the side of Quiet Moments, stronger when accompanied by Tiredness, but not strong enough; this Warrior Queen has a big gob and is learning to tell Depression and his dog to get back behind the barriers. Sometimes I find myself saying things aloud (when I’m alone, obviously!): “No. I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to think about (something nice) instead”...it can feel a bit silly but it works.
Tiredness and Hunger are two great allies of Depression; don’t let them in if you can help it. If they do breach your defences, take a moment to acknowledge that it is only because they are in that you are feeling crappy and low…it’s not because you’re shit/useless/stupid/whateverthefuck…it’s just that you need to have a snack or a nap (or a drink of water…I find dehydration affects my mood dramatically). Don’t let Depression’s back-up troops make you a prisoner in this war.
Be aware of what’s real and what’s Depression’s voice; don’t carry on a conversation with Depression, it thrives on it; starve it of contact and shut it down.
So there you have it: take action and don’t feed it…two keys to winning this fight!
I’ve stopped slapping and I’m all guns blazing.