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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    20 Post(s)
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    Tips that might help your recovery from depression

    5 tips that help my recovery from depression and might help you
    by Dr Aletta,
    July 30, 2019

    Recovery from depression isnít easy. Coming out of depression isnít like flipping a light switch, one day youíre in the dark pit, the next youíre in a room flooded with light. Iím going to try to describe what itís really like here because this is what is happening to me right now and itís weird.

    Earlier this year I found myself in a pretty deep depression. Not suicidal, but disconnected. Not staying in bed all day, but a walking, irritable zombie. Not tearful all the time, but sad, very sad. When I realized what I had was depression I began the slow journey to recover my life. I wrote an article about it for Insidewink, The Freedom of No, so I wonít repeat all of it here. Today is about the convalescent zone; not depressed, but not confidently back yet.

    In taking the reins back Iíve discovered big blank patches where my memory used to be. Itís scary to be talking with a work associate about a project we want to launch in the Fall and hear her say, ďWe decided on these dates earlier this month. Donít you remember?Ē Oh, ****. No, I donít.

    Itís been like that these last weeks, discovering gaps as if the record of my life was erased for weeks, months. Appointments made, but I didnít write them down. Knowing I took care of a report but not finding the hard evidence for it. Emails written but never sent. Emails received but not responded to. Let me just say, itís a damn good thing I have the years-long, embedded habit of taking progress notes after every therapy session.

    From the perspective of a hyper-responsible person in general, and a businessperson in particular, this is horrifying. Or it would be horrifying if the depression cave I was emerging from wasnít more horrifying still.

    Living With Chronic Illness
    As a person living with chronic illness, Iíve written about the nether-world of convalescence. Our society does not tolerate sickness well, much less that in-between time. Youíre either sick in bed, immobilized with a fever, in surgery, paralyzed or youíre at work full throttle. Anywhere in between, you are vulnerable to guilt and shame. At least I am.

    Because this is exactly where my shame spiral button lies. I swear to God when Iím well enough to even think about work but Iím still not well, my default isnít, ďWell, good for you! Youíre feeling better. Letís just relax and practice some self-loving, self-care.Ē No. Itís more like, ďThink about all the people you are letting down by stepping back. Think about how they will be disappointed you arenít the quickest, smartest, most successful person in the world.Ē

    Wow. That really sucks. Do you see how that can feed the depression that youíre working so hard to overcome? It takes a great big heart to shut down that shame spiral.

    Here are 5 tips that help me during this recovery from depression time and might help you:

    1. Self-compassion. Human here! Imperfect here! Just one person here! And that is more than enough. Believe it. Even cherish it. When this is hard for me I use the, ďimagine youíre talking to a loved oneĒ trick and *boom* there it is. All the compassion, understanding, empathy and love is there without question.

    2. Talk to people. My dear, wonderful husband was the first to hear my ďIím depressedĒ discovery. Since then every time we go out with our friends something comes up that makes telling my story a natural part of the conversation. Instead of keeping silent, which I would do in the old days, I take a deep breath and dive right in.

    To Johnís credit, he doesnít roll his eyes or try to stop me. He listens for the third time. To my friendís credit, they donít squirm or shut me down. They listen. Importantly, every single time, they nod their heads, ďYes, thatís what itís like. That happened to me.Ē Stigma sucks because it keeps us quiet exactly when we could use some support and understanding. One out of thirteen of us on this planet report some form of depression in their lifetime. That includes men, even though women statistically experience depression at twice the rate. I honestly think men, in general, have a harder time with the stigma. Anyway, the point is, we arenít alone.

    3. Pick up one piece at a time. When we are recovering from depression, the newfound energy and clarity of the brain are so exciting it can compel us to jump right back into the deep end of life. That can be like running three miles on a mending sprained ankle. Stop. Check off all the items on your To-Do list at once is in part what landed you in depression in the first place. Our mending brains need to re-learn how to focus on one thing at a time. This takes patience, I know, but itís worth it.

    4. Be creative. Give your left brain a rest. Explore the right brain. Use it to create a whole new measuring stick. The old judgy one sucks so hard. Why do we do things a certain way when it obviously is not working? Humans are supposed to be clever about finding a new way to use a brick but we canít find a new way to be in our lives? Our old way of judging ourselves IS NOT WORKING! Breaking that old mold and creating a whole new one isnít easy. I highly recommend talking with a good therapist about this to help out.

    5. Live. Iíll bet you thought I was going to say ďBe grateful.Ē Well, yeah, be grateful for what youíve got, absolutely. Be in the Now, in the Moment, blah, blah, blah. Thatís all good. What Iím talking about is wrestling with the fear to live your life. When you make life choices, decisions on which path to take, ask yourself, is my motivation for picking this path made out of fear? Are you afraid of judgment, afraid of letting people down, like Iíve been, or is it even harder than that? Afraid of making a bully angry? Afraid of financial catastrophe? Afraid of being alone? Afraid of sticking out? Afraid of dying? Weíll never get rid of fear. Because of our biochemical hard wiring, itís here to stay. But when we make decisions that are driven by fear we become co-conspirators in building our own emotional prison. Be aware of when fear is driving. Relegate fear to the back seat. This, too, might be something for which to get helpful support. Good thing I know some great therapists.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    9 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Tips that might help your recovery from depression

    Wow, this was a great read! I can SO totally relate to this!

    And good news: my David has made an appointment to speak with his psychologist! And somehow he dig deep down into his abyss and realized, ďHey! Iím actually entitled to my CPP. Iíve got the money I just have to apply for it.Ē

    This is a HUGE step for him. Heck he didnít even want to THINK about getting help. Stigma. Shame. Probably all a part of the denial he was in.

    I hope heíll look back on this a year from now and see the difference. Crossing my fingers!

    Sent from my Hollycopter using SlappaSquawk
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.



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