The thing about depression is – it’s easy.
No, depression itself is not easy – it’s actually a very hard journey. But descending into depression is a cinch. Easy-peasy.
All it takes is several days of feeling alone, using first-person depression language or beating myself up, poor diet and/or sleep, ongoing physical pain. A few negative components, and depression is within reach.
Of course, wellness should be reaching toward the positive, toward mental health, not illness. But sometimes, mental illness feels closer to my grasp.
This should make me fearful, or at least cautious. The problem is, it all feels so familiar. So it’s not scary; it’s almost comforting.
Which makes me scared. And that’s healthy.
I’m realizing that I’m often so close to the edge of the cliff – to the precipice of depression’s chasm.
That means I need to fight really hard for mental health. For mental wellness.
I need to initiate my ladder – the steps my therapist told me to put into place to help me when I find myself in this darker place. Step one – sit with the tears. Well, I don’t have any of those right now. Just a familiar sadness.
Step two – Tell my husband and best friend. My husband will be home shortly, after having been out-of-town for a few days – I hate to admit that this probably contributed to my current emotions. I’m okay with him being gone until about day five – then it gets hard for me. So that piece will improve soon!
Ok, time to be really honest here. Let’s back up a few minutes. Drinking wine does not help depression. I suspect that if I hadn’t had a couple of glasses of wine – which is a depressant! – I wouldn’t be feeling so negative right now.
I’ll write more about my ladder of self-care another time. The steps really don’t matter for this particular post. What matters is to illustrate that depression can be only a few choices away.
So I need to make wise choices. Initiate my ladder of self-care. Get good sleep. Eat a healthy snack, healthy meals. (Too bad I had to throw away that salad mix due to the recall – that was my healthy meal!) Get regular exercise. Be careful with alcohol.
Ultimately, I must remind myself of God’s truth about me, because that’s what really matters. He loves me no matter what. I am a new creation, because of Jesus’ grace. Depression is not who I am; I am a precious daughter of the king of the universe, the king of all creation.
Reminding myself of these truths are keys to fighting the familiarity of depression. Keys to fighting the lies of the enemy. Keys to my mental health.