WARNING – CREATIVE WRITING AHEAD
I’m still processing a bereavement, I’ve found it helps to write, so here I am …
As a layman, I’m sure there’s people out there who understand emotions better than I. However, I believe in doing my best with the skill and tools at hand, which is what I’m doing here.
A line that stood out to me in a movie :
“Depression is an inability to construct a future.”
– Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) (Side Effects 2013)
I don’t know the original source of the quote, could be clinical literature or somebody like Freud. Usually someone comes along on the comments and lets me know, or it’s an original quote from the movie. Dunno.
The quote made me look back at tough times in my life – and I think it’s an explanation or partial explanation (of course there’s other factors that make us depressed). We tend to predict the future based on what happened in the past. We tend to feel happier with a “secure” future, and less happy without. Uncertainty feeds into this. With the caveat, that the future doesn’t really exist, it’s a mental construction (ie we don’t know for sure what the future will be, it’s just degrees of certainty or uncertainty.)
I posted a few days ago about “The stages of grief“, and “depression” is one of the stages. Reason I mention, is that some people are quick to jump to fixing the “problem”, but could be part of a healing process that needs time to “process”. Also, looking at depression as something to be fixed, could be counterproductive.
If it caries on for a long time, ie chronic, or suddenly becomes very extreme ie acute, or suicidal, then it may be necessary to personally take action or, in serious cases seek external help – I posted about Samaritans and Befrienders Worldwide already who may be able to help (they have a worldwide network of telephone numbers). And of course there are professional psychotherapists, counsellors, therapists etc, who may be able to help (that will depend on financial circumstances, as these professionals rarely work for free)
Some things that helped me :
Find something to do (even if it’s just tidying up, cooking, writing, art, or blogging)
“I think a man only needs one thing in life. He just needs someone to love. If you can’t give him that, then give him something to hope for. And if you can’t give him that, just give him something to do.”
– “Liddle” (Scott Michael Campbell) Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Take responsibility for yourself (Try to avoid creating a “victim narrative”, as this takes your “power” away, due to someone else having control over how you feel)
“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.”
– Roy T. Bennett
Try not to worry about things outside your control (a quick way to make yourself feel “powerless” and unhappy)
“Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.”
Try to concentrate your attention on the “now” rather than “past” or “future”
“All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Speak to friends and family
“A best friend is the only one that walks into your life when the world has walked out.”
– Shannon l. Alder
Helping other people within the capacity you’re able
“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.”
– Dodie Smith
Faith (in your religion) may help. People within your religious (or otherwise) community may help.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
– J.M. Barrie
Forgiveness / Letting go
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”
– Alexander Pope
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
– Nelson Mandela
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
We all suffer – so there are others who are depressed right now, (and realise how others may perceive you)
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
So, some antidotes to depression are – forgiveness, hope, solidarity/community/friendship, responsibility, activity, faith, presence, purpose, selflessness and humility. And, exercise, although not my strong suit I have to admit (working on it !)
The scouts moto “be prepared” may be worth considering – build a base of security for yourself – more I mean friends, and maintain those friendships, than material security. So impacts on you of depression may be less or even non-existent, with a good support system.
Meds – I won’t cover, because I know little about, and is arguable if “the fix” for depression comes in the form of a pill. Be careful if you’re going this route.
It’s a complex field, I don’t have all the answers – so please take this as sharing my experience (and some words of those wiser than me), as opposed to advice, bearing in mind my recent bereavement – if I’ve helped one person, then that’s enough for me.
Hope you are safe and stays that way.
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