Monday, 9 January 2017

Feeling Down

It's been five years since I was first diagnosed with mild depression. It has been two years since I was diagnosed with moderate/severe depression. Throughout these five years I have been through some of the worst, but also the best experiences of my life. I have been both happy and sad, tired and enthusiastic and often downright miserable.

For a while now I've been fooling myself that I'm cured. That I would never suffer from my mental health again. OH HOW WRONG I WAS. Of course, depression is an ongoing struggle. Those who have suffered will know what I'm feeling right now, but those who haven't, you can never understand how difficult it can be.

Winter sucks. Let's be honest, the darkness and the cold can really drag a mood down. I go to work and the sun is rising, I come home and the sky is pitch black. It's a nuisance. I often ignore the feelings of depression around this time of year because I blame them on the fact it's dark and that I'm tired because of that. I realise now that it's something I should be taking seriously and working on to improve. Light boxes, exercise and keeping active can definitely counteract the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and are such simple steps I can take to make things better. Having the main light on definitely makes a massive difference in comparison to the little lamp that we usually have on. Not only does the type of light make it feel lighter and the room bigger, but it also stops me from falling asleep. I need to remember that those lights really do make a lot of difference!

Over the weekend, I felt incredibly low on energy and felt rather poop. Sunday was a wasted day for me. I found myself sleeping for far too long, and even though I got dressed into cosy lounge wear, I just felt so down and groggy. I forced myself into a lovely lush bath, sat back and relaxed. I read some books and took some time to reflect on some things that had been bothering me. I did my hair and painted my nails.

Today, things didn't improve much but I did take the time to stay home, enjoy some time to myself and simply enjoy doing the things I love. I cooked a delicious meal (honey spiced rice) and watched some youtube videos, something I've been quite bad at keeping up with of late! It's hard to remember to keep active when you feel so rubbish. You just want to curl up in your bed, put your head down and just feel sorry for yourself. NO! You need to move around, be creative, get some air in your lungs. I'm not saying that it's a solid cure, but it does certainly help. What I've been doing lately if I've been feeling down is grabbing my laptop, writing a blog or posting an Instagram picture.

So, what I'm figuring out at the moment is that I'm definitely not over my demons. This depression will probably be with me for a very long time and I'll not be under the illusions again that I'm cured. It's a recurrent thing, something I have to overcome over and over again, but one that I've never let completely consume my life. I'm still able to go about my day to day life. I'm high functioning, and most of the time you would probably not realise that this is something that I fight with on a daily basis.

I spend so much of my time expressing positivity and making sure that I'm always a happy and bubbly person. Of course, this is impossible to achieve but I can't help but see the best in everything. Even when something seems to be absolutely rubbish or pointless, I will always try and find a positive in it, identify something I learned from a rubbish situation and how that has affected me. People don't often see the side of me that just wants to hide away and avoid the world, because outwardly I put a lot of effort into how I look and will always try to laugh, joke and generally be happy.

I'm slowly learning that it's ok to be sad sometimes and to not want to surround myself with loads of people. I need to not be ashamed of my struggles, because so many people go through the same thing. It's definitely a journey that I've been on and there's so long still to go.

If you ever go through these down periods, I encourage you to speak to someone, whether it's a friend, relative or professional. Sometimes talking can really help. I certainly feel a lot better after writing this. Please feel free to message me if you feel the need to talk. I care!

Thanks for reading.


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