It has been 2 years since depression came crashing into my life.
And those two years were definitely my darkest and toughest days. It turned my whole world upside down and it tested every ounce of strength left in me.
Waking up for me was the hardest. It was unbearable.
The thought of having to go through yet another day miserable, feeling worthless and trapped in so much heartache and despair was just too overwhelming and exhausting.
Every day I felt like a prisoner, trapped in a world where nothing existed but pain and sufferings, loneliness and despair.
Everything in my life slowly lost all of its meaning. Things that once mattered to me were suddenly meaningless.
Every day, I would feel like my life no longer served a purpose and that there’s just no point in even trying anymore.
And this is what depression does. It tells you all these lies to keep you paralyze and trapped — to keep you from living.
But that’s all they are and that’s all they will ever be — just lies.
I’ve listened to those lies and I let them consume me. I thought about giving up more than a hundred times because of those lies.
But the great thing is, I didn’t. I’m still here — living.
And things are better. Life is better. Not all day, not every day but it is better — and that for me is enough.
I know overcoming depression is a lifelong battle and coping with it is not easy but I’ve realized that we may also be doing a lot of things that are only making it worse.
Things that are only feeding our depression.
So, I decided to recognize those habits and slowly change them as much as I can to make my dark days easier and a lot more bearable.
I’m hoping this will do the same for you!
Here 5 habits I gave up to overcome depression
Give up the habit of expecting to feel good all the time
With my battle with depression, there are bad days, worst days but thankfully, there are also good days.
When I found those good days again, I felt so relieved and terrified of going back to living those dark days that every time I feel my self slipping, I felt like a total failure and such a disappointment.
And that only made me feel worse and it only fed my depression.
But life does not consist of only good days and sunshine.
Along the way, we have to go through twists, turns, challenges, bad days and dark days but that doesn’t mean that we’ve failed.
You are not a failure for slipping. You can’t expect yourself to feel good all the time. Be kind to yourself and know that as long as you are here trying and fighting, that’s already enough.
Give up the habit of constantly attacking yourself
Before depression came crashing over my life, I had everything planned out.
I had a lot of things that I wanted to do but then depression made all those things too impossible.
It kept me paralyzed, too exhausted to move, to get up, or to even take a shower. Eventually, it even made it too difficult for me to continue working in a very stressful environment — so I had to quit my job.
Doing that caused me a lot of financial stress and I constantly attacked myself because of it.
I kept blaming myself for everything.
And do you know what that got me? Nothing.
It didn’t make things better nor did it fix my problems.
It only made me feel so much worse.
If you too are feeling this way, please know that this is not your fault.
There’s no need for you to constantly attack yourself. What you need to do, especially now, is to show compassion towards yourself.
Be kind to yourself. Know that you are trying your best every day and that is already more than enough.
Give yourself some love, patience, and understanding — these are what you need the most.
Related: 5 Things I Do to Overcome Depression
Give up the habit of expecting everyone to understand
I can’t tell you how many times I expected the people that I love to fully grasp what I’m going through, to know exactly what I feel every day.
And every time they fail to do that, I feel so alone, I get so disappointed and I feel so much worse.
But the reality is, no matter how hard we may try to make them fully understand what we are going through, that’s just not possible.
Not everyone will understand, not everyone will know exactly how you feel and that’s okay.
I had a few loved ones who tried their best to get through me. Sure, they didn’t understand what I truly felt. They weren’t able to find the right words to make me feel better.
But the important thing is they try, as long as they are there for you, listening, showing compassion — that’s more than enough.
Give up the habit of thinking that this is how the rest of your life will be
Going through the toughest moment of my life, I woke up to a lot of dark days, days filled with emptiness and despair.
And I kept telling myself that this is how my life is going to be. That life will never get better.
Because everything will only go from bad to worse and that’s just how it is for me.
When you’re living with depression, it’s so easy to think and believe that this is the way it will always be for you.
That you will always be trapped living this life but it’s not.
Remind yourself that life is full of surprising twists and turns. Today is not forever.
Give up the habit of wanting to control everything
I am what you call a “control freak”.
I always want to control everything and everyone around me. Being in control somehow makes me feel safe — it gives me this assurance that as long as I’m in control nothing could go wrong.
But of course, that’s not always the case. Because whether we like it or not, no matter what we do, controlling everything is just not possible.
Being in control will never guarantee everything to go our way.
So, when something doesn’t go as planned, I always feel like a total failure.
And this habit was only making my depression worse. It was only making me feel bad about myself.
This behavior was only feeding my depression.
We were never meant to control everything. I learned that instead of focusing all my attention and energy on the things that are beyond my control, it’s so much better to just let go and accept it.
Focus on the things that you have control instead. Change what you can and let go and accept what you can’t.
Please know that everyone’s journey is different. We all walk different paths. So, the things that worked for me, may not work for you.
It’s important to know that we all heal and recover differently. The important thing is to not give up and continue to do what works for you.
You got this!
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional to get the help you deserve.