The darkest days of my life happened two years ago.
I suddenly lost someone very dear to me. I was constantly facing financial struggles that seemed to be never-ending.
And of course, it was also the time when depression came crashing into my life.
It felt like my whole world stopped and I was just there trapped in an empty and dark place.
From then on, everything just started to go downhill.
Every day, I would wake up feeling so bitter and angry at myself — angry at the world.
I pushed everyone around me and I continued to isolate myself.
I felt so guilty for feeling this way. Because you see, my depression made it just too impossible to continue working, so I had to quit my job.
I was not able to help pay for the monthly expenses and that made me feel so worthless — like I was nothing but a burden.
And waking up was just unbearable. Every day, I would wake up to the feeling of guilt, worthlessness and so much misery.
Everything was too overwhelming and I can’t tell you how many times, I wanted to scream and just give up.
And this is what depression does, it rips you apart, making you feel like your nothing and it drains every bit of life left in you.
Going through depression is not easy. Though there are good days, there are also a lot of bad days and even dark days.
I thought about giving up more than a dozen times but there was still a little part left in me that I wanted to keep going.
That little part that still wanted to fight and just hang on for another day.
I didn’t want depression to win. I didn’t want it to stop me from living, from going after my dreams.
I didn’t want it to trap me in that dark place any longer.
So, I started to look for ways to help me cope with depression better.
Yes, it’s not a quick fix but it does make everything better and more bearable — and for me, that’s enough.
Here are 5 steps I take to slowly overcome depression…
Stop punishing yourself
Falling into depression made me feel so worthless. There were a lot of days where I just stayed in bed.
Days where even taking a shower was just too difficult.
And being that way just made me feel so guilty.
I didn’t have a job. I was not helping pay anything anymore and most days, I would just lie in bed.
And I felt so bad about it that I hated myself for being this way.
I felt so useless and that I’m nothing but a burden to everyone.
I was constantly punishing myself for falling into depression.
And you know what that got me? Nothing.
It didn’t make anything better. It only made me feel worse.
It was only feeding my depression — making it much worse.
So, stop punishing yourself for being depressed. Stop making yourself feel bad for being this way.
Instead, remind yourself that this is not your fault. You are not the one to blame for this.
And most importantly, you are not a burden!
Give yourself some love and show yourself kindness because this is what you need the most.
Do not isolate yourself
I always had a hard time talking to other people about my problems.
I just find it so difficult to open up to other people — and depression just made this even harder.
So, I isolated myself — thinking that this was the best way to go and that by doing this I won’t have to burden other people with what I’m going through.
But isolating myself just made me feel so much worst. It just made me feel so alone that it made it even harder for me to cope with depression.
I know it’s not easy to put yourself out there and you might think that you are just burdening others by talking to them.
But that’s not true. That is what your depression wants you to think.
The people that truly love you will want to know what you are feeling. They will be more than willing to listen to you.
Acknowledge what you feel and let it out
I have always had a hard time facing and acknowledging what I’m feeling.
If I’m hurt, angry or heartbroken, instead of facing and letting those emotions out, I would hide them and keep them bottled up.
When my father died, I didn’t allow myself to grieve. I continued with my life pretending that I was okay.
But I wasn’t. I was hurting so bad but I just didn’t want to face it.
I continued to hide from the pain until one day, it all exploded.
Constantly suppressing what I’m feeling takes so much toll on me. Those emotions that I keep bottled up just slowly consumes me and eats me alive.
Instead of hiding from the pain, it’s best and a lot healthier for us to accept that no matter what we do, we can’t avoid pain.
The only way for you to really heal, move on and let go is if you acknowledge it and allow yourself to feel it.
Set small goals
I used to have a bad habit of over scheduling.
Before falling into depression, I just loved the satisfaction that I get from crossing through all my to-do’s.
But when you’re depressed, sometimes even the smallest and simplest task can seem daunting.
I’ve learned that setting the same goals and expectations for myself before depression came into my life, was only hurting me.
If you too feel this way, it’s best to set small goals or break down big tasks into smaller tasks.
When you’re going through depression, sometimes even getting out of bed and taking a shower is already difficult — doing this alone is already an accomplishment.
So, if this is all that you can do today, then that’s okay.
Give yourself some credit. Continue to push yourself but don’t beat yourself up for not keeping up to your usual schedule.
Find something to look forward to
Going through depression, I experienced a lot of dark days. Days that made me want to just give up.
Days that tested every ounce of strength in me.
And when you go through so many days like that, you start to believe that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try good things will never come.
You will never feel happiness again. You will never be excited about something again.
And that your life will only go from bad to worse.
But that’s a lie. Good things can still come. You can still be happy.
I find that the best way to fight those dark days is to find something that you can look forward too.
Find something that will bring you joy, excitement, and anticipation.
Doing this makes my dark days so much more bearable.
Going through depression is not easy. It can be one of your greatest struggles every day. Overcoming it is going to be a fight and there’s just no way around it.
But let me tell you, it’s also one of the most important and greatest fights that you’ll ever have to face.
So, don’t give up. You are strong enough to go through this. You are strong enough to win this.
Keep hanging on and keep fighting!
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.