There have been some deep and troubling subjects in the short few weeks I’ve blogged about anxiety and depression. It would be irresponsible to omit the good times that depressed people do enjoy periodically. Clan of the Depressed is not a secret society, but my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances have confided in me they’ve also endured depression or at least periods of situational depression in their lives. I enjoy listening to their stories because each time that I do, I’m struck by how much the storyteller trusts me to share a personal experience from the files of fear inspiring mental illness. That’s a huge compliment, and I’m a glad listener. I sometimes learn different coping strategies, but also how to recognize that a friend might need an ear, or a break from feeling alone in a serious fight.
There are many good times, thank you God. Many times the good ones will provide important perspective for when there may seem to be an abundance of the bad. Thanks also for the caring people who place you in their thoughts, send you a text message to say hello, or pick up the phone just to chat. I’ve felt like a few of my friends really are on a link with me mentally, almost empathic, and they will intervene at the onset of a depressing event, bad day, or emotional plateau. They can mean the difference between my staying home, to deal with the blahs alone, or an invitation to distract the mind from unproductive thoughts, feelings of uncontrollable emotions, or just abject sadness and time spent trying to get restful sleep.
Depressed people are glad that others do no experience lasting episodes of dark feelings. Few of us would wish that on others.
What is noteworthy about the good times is that they’re like a chronically ill, hospital-bound patient who gets a pass to take a walk in the sun. It’s like savoring a favorite, delicious meal with friends, a special occasion to be remembered and prized. One important puzzle piece in coping with depression is learning to prolong the feelings of calmness and the walk in the sun. With practice, and as an exercise in increasing your personal mindfulness skills, we can think about the last time we laughed really hard, and what had been the situation that made us feel like laughing. We’ve heard these simple techniques before , yet somehow in the moment and lost among the competing emotions that drag us into dark corners of sadness, we have lost perspective on our personal big picture. We may have neglected rest, exercise, diet, or even compliance with taking medication for the chemical imbalance, the loss of normal process of endorphin uptake.
How are you mindful?
This blog is intended to provide a safe place for an exchange of ideas on a tough subject like depression and anxiety. We have doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental illness, but often the best advice, or new skills come from simple sources like a google search, YouTube video, or even a blog. If you have a perspective about living with greater feeling of balance, ideas to stay in the sun longer, won’t you take a few minutes and add voice to others who might need some help?