I had a realization a couple of days ago: I’ve been an entire year without a depressive episode! That’s the first time in eleven years!
Yes, I had some bumps. And some down days. But that’s part of living; that’s not depression.
I attribute this milestone to several factors.
- I take my medications faithfully. And if I feel myself dipping towards depression, I tell my psychiatrist so he can modify my meds.
- I was actively involved in a support group: Fresh Hope. We met weekly – folks who struggle with mental health issues and loved ones – and we talked and encouraged one another. More importantly, we reminded each other of the hope we have in Jesus – hope that allows us to live well in spite of a mental health diagnosis.
- I wrote a WRAP – a plan that outlines my triggers, my indicators, my “plan of attack” if depression should resurface.
- I told my husband and friends if I was feeling low for more than a couple of days. Just saying it out loud helped.
- I prayed for strength. And my family and friends prayed for me too.
- I stayed in God’s Word each day. The Bible is full of the hope we have in Christ and how much God loves us.
- I talked to a therapist regularly. I know myself well enough to recognize that I really benefit from talk therapy. In fact, I’m without a therapist right now, due to just having moved here a couple of months ago, and I can tell by my mood that I really need to talk to a counselor.
- I got out my gratitude journal again, and resumed recording those things for which I’m thankful. Studies show that counting blessings is effective in fighting depression.
I’m celebrating this victory, and hope you’ll join me!