It’s been a little while since I’ve talked about my depression, so let’s raise a little awareness and have a conversation. If you’re not already aware, I’ve been engaged in active warfare with depression for most of my life. You can read some back story here.
Depression has been a part of my life for most of my life. I often refer to myself as warring with depression. I do that for one simple reason. Many battles are fought in a war. Some are won and some are lost. There are battles with depression that I win and some that I get my ass handed to me. At the end of the day though, it helps me to remember that this was but one battle in an ongoing war. I will regroup and come back with a vengeance. It’s just a different way of framing it because I don’t expect to win every battle but I know there will always be a rematch the next day.
Weird? Maybe but it helps me.
I’ve actually been doing really good. My life has evolved in ways I simply hadn’t seen coming. There are a great many things that have changed and change can be a really good thing. I get not everyone welcomes change but sometimes it’s necessary to move forward in life.
There are a few things I’ve noticed about myself lately and I think these things are helping me to better manage my depression.
I have become much more confident in who I am. This manifests itself in ways that help to eliminate the unnecessary anxiety in my life. I used to get so anxious about things and would perseverate endlessly. This was like rocket fuel for my depression and as a result, I would struggle. Now I find that I can remain calm and consistent. I simply don’t worry about some of the things I used to worry about. Depression is like a living thing. It needs air to breathe and I don’t give it nearly as much as I once did.
There are people in my life that are there for me no matter what and not the kind of people who tell me what I want to hear. They tell me what I need to hear and challenge my way of thinking. This is remarkably impactful because it forces me to step out of my comfort zone and see things from a different point of view. I’m incredibly grateful for because I’m becoming a better human as a result.
The other thing worth noting is that I’m working out for about 90 minutes a day, at least during the week. That has proven to be life altering for me. I recently found a picture from a few years back, before I lost all the weight. I was showing this picture to someone today and giving them a glimpse of how far I’ve come. When I looked at the picture, I saw someone who was barely recognizable to me. I saw the weight and that was it. They looked at the picture and saw how unhappy was. They saw beneath the surface and pointed out something I hadn’t even seen myself. Know what? They were absolutely right.
It’s true. I’ve lost a great deal of weight and I’m getting back into shape. People who haven’t seen me in a little while are blown away by the progress I’ve made. I’m proud of that because it wasn’t easy. I’m once again friends with my own reflection when I stand in front of the mirror. Until today, I always attributed that new found friendship with my weightloss. Sure that’s part of it. That’s not really the biggest change I’ve experienced though. When I look in the mirror, I see someone standing there who is genuinely happy with their life. I see someone who’s been through some shit but rather than be defeated or defined by it, I see someone who has channeled all the energy into something positive. The end result is genuine happiness.
Lastly, I want to mention that medication and therapy play a big role as well. I’m not going to spend any time on that here but therapy is a very good thing, as is medication (when used correctly and for the right reasons).
My life is far from perfect but I feel so grateful for each second I have to live it. There are times that depression creeps up on me a bit but I’m able to hold my own. I have a future full of plans and I’m laser focused on checking all the boxes I must in order to see that future through to fruition.
There may still be days where I struggle or battles I will lose but nothing is going to keep me down.
So yes, I’m doing well and I’m doing well for a number of reasons. I’m truly blessed to have the love and support I have in my life. I will continue to show up, do the work, and never take a single moment of life for granted.