You can’t tell if it is the tide pulling you under or the weight of the world holding you down…doesn’t matter, either way, you drown.
Depression is no joke. It’s a silent assassin lurking around the shadowy corners of your inner sanctum, patiently eroding your foundations until that final crack brings the whole damn thing down on itself.
How do you defend you against you?
Here is what nobody with depression wants to hear. You can’t win. The reality of the situation is that combating depression is like bathing. You don’t just wash once and you’re done forever. You bathe daily, or at least you should. The irony is that people who are going through a low point of depression often don’t bathe. Get up stank ass, right now, and rinse off. I can smell ya from here.
Don’t give up and think “Great, if I can’t win, what’s the point?” You may not be able to defeat depression, but you can stay on top of it. If you lift weights multiple times a week, you build muscles, right? If you stop lifting, what happens? You lose muscle. If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight, if you eat less, you lose weight. If you apply this principle to depression, guess what? Same results!
There are several, PROVEN methods to fight depression. My Favorite 3 are Diet, Exercise, and Sleep.
Personally, I use a combination of Diet, Exercise, and Sleep. Sleep being the most effective and important. I have built the habit of recognizing when I’m falling into a funk and then I do an HONEST check in with myself to see where I’m slacking. 9 times out of 10 it is my sleep. I stay up too late to play video games a few nights in a row, or my neighbors are loud (I live under some shady characters), or I was just going to watch ONE more episode of that show…
Often, it’s a slippery slope leading to slack in the other two categories. I am too tired to cook so I order Chinese food, then I feel like shit, so I skip the gym. Then, I feel like a piece of shit for skipping the gym, so I eat more junk, lather, rinse, repeat.
Eventually, usually a few days, I will say to myself, “Enough!”
Then, I focus my entire day, solely on getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. I don’t care about the gym or eating right (just for that day), but I make sure that I am in bed between 9-9:30 pm. One good decision leads to another. I feel rested the next day, so I take myself to the gym in the morning. I feel great with the endorphins pumping through my body, so I cook a healthy meal. Lather, rinse, repeat, and before long, I’m back on top of my depression. I am in control again and try my best to make better decisions to prevent another dip.
That dip inevitably comes again because nobody is perfect and shit happens. However, I’ve managed to get my life to a place that the dips are fewer and farther between, and the recovery time from them is minimal. Of course, this took years to master, and I am aware that it could go away at any time, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to just look in the mirror and say, “You know what? You’re pretty badass my dude.”
The thing is, when you’re in a good state of mind, that isn’t the final step. What you are feeling when you’re having a “good” day, that’s what people without depression operate at daily. For depressed individuals, you must put in this extra work just to get to the starting line. Don’t stop there and think, “Wow, I feel good today, I wonder what’s on the TV.” That’s how you get stuck in the loop.
What you must do when you’re up is actively work on fixing the cracks in your foundation. That’s the way to get AHEAD of your depression and not just beat it in one wrestling match. Trust me, if you repair enough of those cracks, over time, you will be able to get out of a depressed state easier.