I’ve been depressed. I’ve written about it before, here and in my book. Off and on and with varying degrees of severity, it was part of my life for over fifteen years.
I wondered why I was here at all, what was worth living for, if it would matter if I left. None of this was objectively thought out and I never attempted suicide, but it was the lens through which I was seeing myself and the world. My body felt heavy, my thoughts were dark, I couldn’t really express myself, and I couldn’t feel loved even though I was surrounded by good people. Everything was a monumental effort and none of it seemed to matter. As beautiful as the world is, none of it was for me; it belonged to people who could enjoy, participate, appreciate. I thought myself a forlorn visitor here, really bad company, the distant echo of the woman I wanted to be.
All of that to say I get it. I don’t know what your specific circumstances might be, but I do know what depression feels like, how it makes us outsiders in our own lives. How it’s simultaneously numbing and excruciating. How it seems like nothing will ever help.
But there are things that help. I promise. I’m happier than I’ve been in years, proof that it doesn’t have to feel like that forever.
Here is a short, outside-the-box list of techniques and treatments that have helped me regain my mental health and happiness. Some practitioners (including me) work virtually, so geography doesn’t have to matter. Please use your best judgment and do your due diligence to make sure you’re receiving the best treatment from qualified professionals, and then go make your appointments. Reach out. Start feeling better, because you matter. I know it doesn’t feel like it – believe me I do – but I promise: you matter and the world needs you.
If you know someone who is struggling, let them know that you care. It’s easy sometimes for depression to be compounded by shame, so offer support with a lot of love and don’t give up. Direct them here, or suggest these alternative practices. And as someone who has been on the receiving end of friendly support and couldn’t receive it well, I will say thank you on their behalf– thank you for stepping up for your friend. We all need to know we’re not alone.
THINGS THAT CAN HELP WITH DEPRESSION
A fast and effective psychotherapeutic tool that can resolve trauma, anxiety, addiction, and alleviate and enhance creativity and performance. Find a practitioner here.
Profound on its own and a wonderful complement other healing work to bring spiritual, ancestral, and ceremonial aspects into your support system. Contact me to schedule a session.
Homeopathy doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does. After taking a teaspoon of remedy water for a few days, suddenly I was expressing myself and feeling more determined. After a few weeks, I didn’t feel depressed anymore. When I’ve had bad weeks or when I was grieving my dad, I took it again for an extra boost with no side effects. A good homeopath will take you way beyond the blue tubes in the health food store and into partnership with a remedy that is exactly what you need. Find a practitioner here or ask me for my recommendations.
You can’t do this alone. Not because you aren’t strong enough– because if you’re living with depression you are a champion– but because you aren’t supposed to. One of the things that ails all of us, whether we know it or not, is isolation. We’re estranged from each other. We crave connection, even in – especially in – our pain and grief. Be with people. It can feel entirely counterintuitive when you’re suffering, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Community can be one person, a group of strangers, a heart-to-heart with friends, or something in a retreat setting. It can be a counseling or church circle, or a group of volunteers that will bring you the added benefit of doing good work for others. You are not alone despite what the depression is telling you.
I’ll repeat that: you are not alone despite what the depression is telling you. It isn’t giving you the whole story. It’s simply a lens and you can change the prescription and see the world more fully, with all the connections and joy (yes, joy) that are out there for you.
Please don’t give up. There is help. I love you.