Down The Rabit Hole: A Downward Spiral to Deep Depression

During recovery, it’s important to have goals—distractions—something to work toward. My blog has done just that and my supporters have helped me continue to focus. Today I’ve felt depression take hold. Depression doesn’t have to be symptomatic of an outside influence; it isn’t in this case.

Depression, to me, feels like my body is enveloped in one of those tar face masks. I know, odd analogy, right? It touches every inch of me, superficially, making it difficult to move. It’s uncomfortable. Because I have done nothing wrong and have much to be thankful for, I feel a subtle warmth inside. I feel the love surrounding me and I still have remnants of happiness within. “This too shall pass.” Though it’s true, this phrase hasn’t really helped me before. The concept that helps me the most is the brightness of the future and the progress to come, I feel hope.

I came to a conclusion today that I need more than just my blog. I don’t want to have to take donations, poring money into myself; it doesn’t feel good it feels selfish. There was a flier offering a discount on classes to become a Medical Coding Specialist. This is an idea that I’ve thought of for quite some time and it makes me feel good. I could pay for my blog related costs and feel like I’m truly helping others, not just myself. I would like to accomplish both as I don’t feel like one can be done without the other. My husband and I have agreed to use the next paycheck to pay for these classes and use our tax refund to replace the money as we are strapped for cash—babies are expensive!

This idea is pulling me through and occupying my mind. In the past I’ve used Netflix and Hulu as my primary relief. I would watch positive shows that gave me hope, or some kind of distraction at least. This new idea isn’t all I’m excited about. I’m excited about the support group I’ve been working hard on, I’m excited about a new blog I’ve started and I’m excited that my family is going to be OK and I finally understand that.

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel the effects of depression. The thing is, depression is not just psychological, it’s physiological. I literally feel it. Writing allows me to sit—sedentary—the only way I know how to be in this moment. Working, when I would have been basking in pity not long ago. Or worse—drinking myself happy. Drinking did, make me happy for a short time but it was unsustainable.

Everyone is susceptible to depression, I would imagine everyone of a certain age has experienced it at some point. The most important thing about finding a distraction that works to pull you out of sadness is an activity capable of fully engaging your mind. Something that causes you to lose yourself in positive, or even neutral, thought. One thing I’ve learned in the past few months is there is a type of sadness that one should allow themselves to feel. Some pain is meant to be felt and processed. Pain of losing a loved on is an example. Depression meant to be avoided is the kind that seemingly comes from nowhere or is triggered by a recurring event causing a sharp downward spiral. Sadness and deep depression aren’t the same thing and they aren’t mutually exclusive. Don’t force yourself to take part in an activity that doesn’t please you, keep trying to find something that works. Don’t give up! Writing works for me but it might not for you. I would, however, suggest journaling to anyone and everyone, because it is a great way to track your mood and process what you are feeling. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the root of a feeling when you’re in it and even harder when you’re out of it. One thing should never be forgotten; be thankful for what you have. EVERYONE has something to be thankful for; don’t trick yourself into thinking you don’t.

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