My life is pretty freaking close to “perfect” yet I keep having these episodes where I feel like I’d be better off dead.
All of my reasons for living get sidelined and I have the worst kind of tunnel vision.
In the middle of these depressive episodes I surrender control to complete negativity and genuinely feel that I’m not worthy of help.
Positive thoughts are rejected one after the other in an attempt to completely drown in my misery.
The problem with self help tools is they are often difficult to access when you are in crisis.
We are not our best selfs while in crisis.
We are scattered, broken, distraught.
The thoughts pulsing through your brain are so ridiculously foreign to your values yet they won’t go away.
Depression opens its big mouth and swallows us whole.
If you’ve never experienced a depressive episode then first of all… you are one lucky duck!
Depression is not an easy thing to go through.
Imagine your mind being hijacked as a dark cloud moves over you.
Suddenly the impulsive, totally not “you” thoughts take over.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“This is too much to overcome.”
“Death is the only way out.”
At times this helplessness can feel like too much to bare.
You guys, how do we fix this?!
If you’ve read (An “insiders” opinion on the mental health system) then you already know that I won’t come within 100 feet of a crisis center… “our system”.
Never again will I submit to such insanity.
Instead I will handle these moments of crisis on my own.
Recently, I added a new “tool” to my “belt”.
In a moment when things were calm I identified my number one ABSOLUTE reason above everything for why I could not lose this battle with depression.
What was it?
I pictured my husband telling our children that “Mommy had to go to heaven because she was very sick”.
I felt the pain that they would feel as they grew up without a mother.
That experience was the most gut wrenching, terrible, unbearable feeling ever.
I could never do that to my children if there was ever an option to choose differently.
Depression freaking sucks.
While I can’t completely avoid these episodes, I can enter them prepared.
In the moments when every sense of logic is completely unavailable to me because of my depression and I’m mentally incapable of helping myself…
That image of my children broken into pieces is much more readily available than a list of things that “I’ve got going for me.”
All it takes is one moment, accessing the image tied to my reason for surviving and suddenly the pain that I feel for my children is greater than the pain I’m feeling in the current moment.
For me, it’s helpful that my image isn’t about me.
Depression makes me feel unworthy… unworthy of living…. unworthy of helping myself.
No matter how unworthy I may be, my kids are the most worthy of things in the world to me.
I would do anything to prevent the pain they feel in my foreseen scenario.
Including suffering this “hopeless low” so that their hearts never have to break like that.
It’s important to find a “reason” that fits for you and your life.
FIRST–> Tie that reason to an easily accessible image or “snapshot”.
THEN—> Tie that image to the overwhelming emotion that it brings you…
For example, don’t stop at “my kids need me.”
Instead, validate this statement by feeling what your kids would feel if you gave up on them.
Make it something that is deeply meaningful to you.
If you are struggling on coming up with something pray about it.
I’m praying for you too.❤️
I promise you that there are so many reasons for your survival even when your depression is destroying you.
Once you have your reason tuck it safely in your back pocket.
Every so often take it back out to refresh the emotions that are tied to it so they remain raw– do this as often as necessary for yourself.
The next time you are greeted with a dark cloud it may come in handy. ❤️
Love and prayers for those battling this tough illness…
YOU ARE STRONG!
Check out my blog Project Identity for more!