I am walking through the supermarket just coming from the pharmacy, picking up four prescriptions – and two weren’t even ready – and I’m suddenly hit with this blow of depression￼￼. This is my life now: Lots of medications and depression that can’t seem to be fully treated. ￼
But it only lasts a few seconds. I immediately bounce back using my coping skill learned over the last several years￼. I have continually been in counseling for about 10 years, and, while counseling definitely helps tremendously with depression, I learned my “tricks” on my own to get through my suffering that has been so prolonged. ￼￼
With my skills, I may experience depression and even suicidal thoughts, but I have learned some coping mechanisms￼￼ to get me out of that place as a soon as possible.￼￼ ￼ The first I say very often, to myself and other people, especially when they say “I’m sorry” for what I am going through.￼￼ it simply: “I count my blessings every day.”
I have a lot of blessings in my life, so it’s easy for me to say this phrase and retract myself from that deep, dark hole of depression.
How can I do this? ￼￼￼Some of you might ask.￼￼ It doesn’t take much effort. ￼Simply think about or even write a list of the things ￼for which you are grateful. It’s similar to a “Gratitude list” but for me, one I keep in my mind and give thanks to every day. ￼
What are the things I am grateful for? Caring friends, a good roof over my head, supportive family, my cats, my dog…. and every single little blessing that comes to me every day. I may struggle with depression. I may be on a lot of medication, which may not be so good for my body. I may be permanently disabled and unable to work. ￼￼￼ I may sometimes struggle financially. ￼BUT I am luckily, I am blessed, to have what I do have. ￼ all these things above and more give me joy, comfort, and relieve anxiety.
10 years ago, I would’ve been very surprised at my list. I was more focused on my career, income dating, appearance….all sorts of things – furniture, clothing, jewelry, shoes; all these things that don’t matter in the big￼￼￼ ￼picture of life!
A helpful mantra I have for when I feel suicidal is “You’re not going to win.”￼ whom am I speaking to? No one really. I just imagine that an evil force wants to bring me down, way down, but I won’t let it. It may seem silly, but it does help me. I guess it makes me feel like I have some control, that I don’t have to let depressions thick, dark and mud cover me completely to suffocate my spirit.￼￼
They say what doesn’t kill you stronger and I definitely believe that. To get through a dark tunnel (any kind of challenge), ￼and find the light at its end, one becomes humbled and forced to consider what’s really important to them.￼￼￼ For me, it was realizing that anything that could easily disappear or did not bring me great joy￼, such as material items, are not important to me and my happiness.￼ my life and happiness does not depend on them. Even that, my life and happiness doesn’t depend on even many of my blessings, but I am ￼very thankful for and recognize them. ￼￼￼
If we can’t be thankful for the good things God/the universe brings us, then life takes on a whole other meaning – a negative one I think.￼￼￼ I believe it’s more difficult to live in that world.￼ living the way I do is also a choice. I choose not to focus on the negatives and focus more on the positives.￼￼ After all, I have very little control over my life and what happens to me. So, if I focus on things that are out of my control then my life would feel out of control and I would resort to hopelessness.￼￼
I’ve also learned a little “magic trick” that I want to share: when I put faith in the universe/God, miracles do happen; I am given blessings – or just what I need. ￼￼￼ This happens every time I start to worry. I tell myself to ￼just “let go,” stop worrying, and ￼put my faith in a higher power that takes care of me.￼￼
What tricks or skills have you learned to help you get through depression or anxiety? I’d love to hear your comments!! ￼￼