Moving on from and staying ahead of depression.

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Moving on from and staying ahead of depression.

I have reached a stage in my life where I no longer think I suffer from depression and I am no longer depressed. All in all I am happy with my lot in life. What I am considering is how to move on from the concept of being a person who has been depressed and more importantly, (for me anyway) is how to stay ahead of it happening again.

For a period of time after finishing therapy I feel I have been treading water. Now I want to be able to swim forward with big powerful strokes. I must say that this is very unlike my actual swimming which consists of an enthusiastic doggy paddle at best. I do acknowledge that being able to find some semblance of normality and balance in life is a gift and I am very grateful for it.

I believe it is the time of simply being normal that has helped me see what is actually in my life. For the most part, I am seeing the good things that do exist as opposed to the perceived or imagined problems that do not. I am not saying there are not any problems in my life, but I know that I tend to panic spiral about situations and make myself see them as worse than they actually are.

I have learnt recently that there is a new approach to tackling depression which is the idea of prevention being better than cure. I will use myself as an example and say that the theory is that if I take better care of myself mentally and physically then I am less likely to suffer from depression again, or if I do, then to suffer the effects less severely. Now, I know that depression is a vast and complex issue and I am not saying this is a cure all that will work for everyone. However, I think this idea can work for me, and so far it has seemed to.

First off, I feel empowered to even think about being prepared to deal with problems. I feel more prepared to face problems and find ways to deal with them as opposed to dreading even the tiniest problem as I saw it as already being insurmountable. In my mind I see it as being like a ninja in fighting stance ready to take on any unseen assailants.

Another thing I heard of, and this has really stuck with me, is that a lot of what people think are mental events rather than reality. As I have mentioned, in the past I have tended to imagine the worst and think things are much more severe than they are. What I have found useful when a thought like that occurs is stop and ask myself; is this real? Has it happened? Is it likely to happen? The answer to these questions is invariably no. What this has helped me do is to be a hell of a lot calmer. I spend less time stressed over non-events or I am able to put them into perspective and they are not as bad as they first appeared.

I am of the opinion that certain aspects of depression can stay with a person even after they no longer feel depressed. Habits form in every aspect of our lives and I see no reason why this is any different. I formed the habit of worrying too much. By trying to stop this and think in a different way I am attempting to form a new habit. Time will tell, but so far so good.

One of the contradictions, as I see it, of having been depressed, but no longer being so, is that I am overly aware and scared of being sad; let alone actually depressed. I think I have seen sadness as a potential backslide into depression and to be avoided at all costs. Obviously I now see this as putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself. Perhaps I thought I should be more like a robot?

Two weeks ago I was the most down I have been in ages. I was angry and upset at what was happening in my life and I lost control for a night. The next day I told myself to stop being so damn harsh. Being angry, hurt, upset or whatever at things in life is fine. In fact, it is more than fine; it is being a human being. The trick for me is to not let it go on for any longer than needed. If I am down I get back up and try and figure it out.

My conclusion, if I have one, is that it is fine to have moments that feel like a backslide, or to have an actual backslide as long as I get the momentum going forward again and to use whatever tools work to keep it going that way.

Take care buddies,

David.

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About davidmbeecroft

Hello and welcome to my blog. Please feel free to have an explore. My name is David Beecroft. I am 38 years old. I co-founded and ran a small scale touring theatre company called Screwed & Clued in 1998. I went on to tour the Canadian Fringe Theatre Festival circuit over the following five years. I have written six original plays, the last ‘The Poe Show’ won a Best in Fest award at the 2014 Ottawa Fringe Festival. I worked in a social care setting for ten years and now work in a special needs school. I have sent my first novel off to agents and considering self-publishing if that does not work. I co-host a radio show on Surrey Hills Community Radio called Daves of the Week where we feature charities for a six week period. I live with my fiance and two pet Degus. I started this blog when suffering from depression and attending therapy, so a large part of this blog was about my experience and thoughts of that. Since then I am in a much better place and I write about life after depression and how I stay (or try to) ahead of it happening again. I also like to look at the happier sides of life and try to put a positive spin on serious subjects.

2 responses »

  1. Seems we suffer very similar effects from depression and I don’t believe the search for ‘where to go from here’ will end quick or easy. The main thing to remember is the bouts of depression that can pull you under are just temporary….that was the first step for me was to realize the sadness that tried to tell me this is how life will be from now on, was wrong.

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