I’ve been told I don’t look like someone who’d have depression.
I’ve been told I only go to therapy because I like hearing myself talk.
I’ve been told I choose to feel this way. I choose to let the sadness or fear debilitate me.
I’ve been told I cry to be dramatic.
I’ve been told to snap out of it.
I’ve been told to stop worrying.
And I just want to take a moment to thank myself for not listening to any of that. I am so grateful that I have stayed committed to my mental health. That no matter how hard it gets, or how deep down depression may drag me, I always find my way back.
So I guess this is for anyone who has heard these same things while moving through the hard, scary, confusing depths of mental illness. Don’t listen. No one would say that if you were physically ill, if your illness was visible. And most of the time, the people saying it mean well. They have no idea what you’re going through. And they have no idea the weight of their words. But you do. And you don’t have to bear that weight. That’s something you DO get to choose. You get to choose to ignore those words. Even when they’re persistent. Even when they’re loud. You have to find a way to leave them on the ground and walk away. Because they won’t help you. Easier said than done. But worth practicing.
Surround yourself with support. Find a therapist. Read books. Seek out inspiration. Experiment with different self-care tools. Develop a healthy lifestyle. These are all things that you’ll be able to lean on when those symptoms hit you out of no where like a giant heavy package you didn’t order. But it’s dropped in your lap anyway. And it’s up to you to get it out of the way. Inconvenient? Sure. But it’s there. You can let it crush you. Or you can do everything you know how to do to get it the fuck off your lap.
Below are some tools + resources I lean on to manage my anxiety and depression.
- 5 Senses Grounding Technique to ground back into my body
- Ram Dass recordings
- Here is everything I’ve written for the blog regarding anxiety
- Learning about nutritional psychiatry
- Yoga videos
- The 29k app
- The Calm App
- Matt Haig’s books
And here are a few things I try to incorporate into my daily life to keep my symptoms at bay and/or strengthen my reaction when they do flare up.
- Daily walks outside
- Clean eating
- Staying hydrated
- Mushroom coffee
- Ashwaganda- this is the one I take and I swear by it
- Scheduling time away from screens
- Gratitude practice