Ok first let?s give you a little background about me?
- I?m a 26-year-old, single woman who lives alone
- I have been on medication for severe depression and anxiety since 2009 (8 years).
- I tried to commit suicide in 2015 (2 years ago)
- Things that made my symptoms 100x worse are bereavement, relationships (being in one and them ending) & crappy self-worth.
I?ve been through a lot of shit and it?s taken me a hell of a lot to get here, but I?m still here, still fighting every damn day. To anyone who is struggling and reading this let me tell you right now… You are fucking BADASS! You are stronger than you will ever know and anything is possible if you believe it and try. Yeah, there?s probably shitty days ahead, but I promise you that there are also some great days too.
What works for me
So, every day is different for me. They say that structure and routine is good, even for sleep apparently… go figure. But I?m a creative and my illness isn?t predictable so I can?t be. I don?t listen to any of that rubbish ?health professionals? have tried to tell me because it doesn?t really work for me and I like my sleep, so what. Sometimes I?m writing and editing until like 4 am so it?s impossible to get up at 7 am every day… and I don?t want to. I know that might sound like I?m being a defiant child etc but I know myself, my life & schedule better than anyone, I know what?s good for me.
An important lesson I?m here to tell you is to have depression or any illness is to be alone. You can have a great support system in place, friends, family, Drs etc but you are the one who has to make that choice to go on each day and pick yourself up off the floor at 3 am when you don?t want to live anymore. You should find your own coping strategy, what works for you & your situation. I?m just here to tell you a little about mine and what works for me.
Sleep is paramount
Sometimes I use it as ?avoidance? my psychiatrist said. But so, what… If it works me for and it?s what I need to do to feel better or survive then so be it. Of course, staying in bed all day every day is not what I?m encouraging here. Getting plenty of sleep each night (I need like 9+ hrs ideally) and extra sleep later if I feel like I can?t pull myself out of a dark mood. (A nap or a hibernation period as I call it). Sometimes you just feel bad for no reason at all and take no joy in doing anything and it feels like the only option, and that?s totally ok.
Taking your meds
I try to do this daily like clockwork, otherwise shit goes fucking sideways. I need those pills to keep me on an even kilt and if I don?t take them all the grief comes and crashes over me like a wave swallowing me whole, It’s serious business for me.
Online they have great pill holders so I can organize them for the week to help me take them. They?re great if you?re away from home as well so you don?t have to cart all the boxes around. It?s also good to set a daily reminder on your phone too to give you that little kick up the bum if you need it like I do. I can be very forgetful with taking my pills.
It?s VERY important to take time to make yourself feel like a goddess (or whatever guys want to feel like). So, having a bubble bath, having a holiday, doggy/kitty cuddles, write, eating nice food, Netflix? whatever floats your boat. Just do it and on a regular basis.
Watching funny shows or films is something I like to do and that helps. Laughter and smiling helps you feel less blue (most of the time) Some shows I love for when I need a laugh or not to think etc are (in no particular order)
- Peep Show
- Rick & Morty
- The IT Crowd
- Adventure Time
- Gilmore Girls
- Star Trek
Now as a hermit girl who is a writer I?m not gonna lie I really don?t do this as often as I should, but it?s important that you try to get out at least once a week. If you don?t it?ll leave you not feeling good I promise you. Even a trip to my local supermarket right by my house is enough to keep me sane some weeks. I talk to my friends, my readers & followers every day so that makes me feel social & in touch with reality.
An Integral part of my being. I?ve always been very musical and played piano & guitar from 6, 7 years old, sang all the time from a young age to now having a huge music collection and listening to music every day. I have some favourites that I?ve been listening to since I was a little girl and others I discovered when I was a teenager that are just as much a part of my soul. If you don?t have people that understand you I can guarantee you?ll find a song that sums up how you feel perfectly. Sometimes music can make you feel sadder in the moment so changing what you?re listening to can be helpful.
Now I?m not talking about your diet, it?s much more important than that. I?m talking about people.
- Get rid of those flaky friends who don?t bring you joy.
- Free yourself from toxic relationships.
?Blood is thicker than water.? ?You can choose your friends but not your family.? WRONG! You can do whatever the hell you want! You don?t have to have people in your life who aren?t supportive or good for you. I have very few people in my life & that is MY choice. Quality, not quantity.
We have so many demons to fight on a daily basis, so you need to take the weight off somewhere. Your recovery is about you and your happiness, that?s not selfish or wrong. It?s called survival.
Let me know what you think in the comments or me @veganbabelife