Depression runs in my family, and I am not immune. I never really knew that feeling until I experience a miscarriage, but that was the most terrifying and overwhelming experience of my life. I remember laying in bed eating Halloween candy, never truly feeling good and never really wanting to. I wanted to be left alone, I retreated within myself and not in a good way. The sadness was very heavy in my heart and just thinking about it can send me right back there.
The miscarriage led to other things happening, health of love ones deteriorating, my stomach issues, job stresses and a variety of things that seemed to just pile up creating a strong rooted depression. It took a while to come out of it; but, here is the thing that I realized: those seeds of depression are always with me – they could have very well been there always and I just didn’t have a voice for them up until that point in my life, but they are there.
The seeds of depression are always with me, and I am fortunate enough to be able to recognize them and for the most part I don’t water them, but I know it’s very easy for me to water them and they can grow out of control. They can consume you, all of you , and trap you inside yourself. Depression for me is saying I give up and I don’t want to try anymore, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to live, in fact I do very badly, but I go to a place of just surviving without purpose, intention or will.
I can recognize the seeds of depression, and they are always there. The trick for me is to water all the other seeds of my life, so that it chokes out the seeds of depression, even if it’s just temporary. Small things for me make a big difference. Things like getting outside for a walk, socializing at some similar interest groups, excercising, meditating, eating right for my body are all things that bring me happiness and allow my seeds of happiness to grow, which don’t allow the seeds of depression to grow.
I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a lazy person but the truth is, it’s more about my depression getting the better parts of me. Instead of sticking to plans with friends, I will sit on the couch binge watching Netflix and eating chips which doesn’t make me feel good; venting laughing and being with supportive friends would make me feel good. That’s the thing about depression, it is tricky and its responsible for me feeling bad about me and my life. It needs me to feel bad, it needs me to regress, it needs that to survive; unless I choke it out with peace, with happiness, with love – depression can’t feed off any of those things.
Most mornings I take my son to some sort of playgroup, but more often than not, I have to force that first step. I have to force myself to go out but I know once I get there we are happy and afterwards I feel so great. If I stay at home, it often leads to me staying in all day and that changes my mood to a more somber one. Depression is in there and it can take a hold of me and I aware of that; but awareness is the best place to start. Simply understanding in that moment that this isn’t my true self, is how I often need to proceed. Understanding that it can manifest itself into many forms : social, eating habits, fitness, wellbeing – they all can be affected by my seeds of depression. I choose the brownie for dessert, and before I know it I feel sad and tired and say why bother, so I continue onward with all sorts of candies, I give up and start to feel bad physically and emotionally.
It’s there waiting for me. Or maybe I can learn to live with it, and recognize it but not be it.
I don’t want to be trapped. I don’t want to be in bed having depression take my will to live, because I wouldn’t take that first step. That first step is very hard, and doesn’t always feel well at the start, but over time it does get a bit easier and it sure feels good afterwards.
There are countless forms of depression, and every body reacts to things differently, this is what works well for me. This is something I have explored with health professionals and have come to terms with, and I encourage everyone to do. For me watering all my other seeds doesn’t leave much room in my soil for the seeds of depression, and that is where I want to be.