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How Does one Find Happiness After Depression?

Autor:   •  November 22, 2017  •  2,674 Words (11 Pages)  •  149 Views

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9 a.m. - Wake up, late again. I feel better than yesterday though.

12:30 p.m. - Just got out of class. I can’t tell if I’m tired or don’t want to do anything, but I’m going to the gym.

2 p.m. - Not letting myself overeat just because I’m bored.

4 p.m. - Not feeling depressed, slowly getting better. I’m not letting myself feel sad or be alone.

7 p.m. - Finishing homework, I’ve been staying ahead instead of procrastinating.

9:30 p.m. – Watching a show with my roommate, feeling genuine happiness and laughter.

11 p.m. – I’ve been going to bed at a decent time, getting a good rest.

I remember the first time I talked to my mom about this. I had been struggling with depression for a while at this point, although I knew I was overcoming it. I tried to play it off, as if I needed advice on what to say to one of my friends living with depression rather than myself. I felt embarrassed before I even began to speak.

Me: “Can you help me with something? Shannon is going through a tough time right now, her family thinks she has depression. I never know what to say to her, at least how to help her.”

Mom: “So you need advice on what to say to Shannon…?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mom: “You need to be supportive, always be accepting. She’s going through a long, tough battle and she’s going to need to know that you’re still there for her no matter what; that you will love always love her. You need to let Shannon know that this doesn’t change who she is to you.”

I hugged her, almost crying because of how much this meant to me.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” – Helen Keller.

*Dear Shannon,

It’s getting better. You said it helped you to have more people to talk to so I’ve started to trust more people with this. Only a few understand because they’re also going through it, just like us, but I still feel like I’m alone. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, I just hope I get to the point of not having to “try” to be happy.

Much love,

Alex

* Joseph F. Sica, the author of the book “Embracing Change,” said, “The first step towards embracing change is for you to look inside yourself and name the demons that have stolen your joy for living life, obscuring the way you desire to live.” Accepting your negative emotions can actually help lessen your depressive symptoms.

“I wear my scars proudly. They represent the battles through which I have gone, and I am proud because those battles I have won.” – Unknown.

* Break your denial, it takes courage to say hello to your monsters—to do so, over and over again. To be willing to hear what they have to say, and to deal with the dialog that will likely result. I may know my demons, but that doesn’t mean that I can defeat them by acknowledging them and then looking away. I have to speak to them, then I must too listen. Achieving this level of honesty with yourself does not come easily.

*Accepting myself

I’d like to thank all my friends and family and friends for being there the entire time. Accepting one’s self isn’t easy and does not arise in a day. It took me years but I have finally come to this point. However, how can you accept yourself? Despite all the things that you think may be terribly wrong with you, love yourself. Love yourself. I can think of so many reasons why you should love yourself, but here’s just one: It is incredibly dull and uninspiring to be around people who do not love themselves. I spent so much time being depressed and feeling like I was a monster. You need to forgive yourself. Firstly for everything you’ve let your disease affect and for letting this change you. By being honest with yourself you will eventually gain acceptance of yourself and believe me when I say that your life will become much easier and you will enjoy everything a lot more. Thank you.

Dear Shannon,

I can honestly say, I’m okay—I am better. It was as simple as accepting myself and what was happening to me; actually, it wasn’t simple at all. It was almost as if I was following in your footsteps. People think depression is just being sad or that happiness is easy to find. I found my happiness in little everyday things—friends being there for me, family that accepts me and always will, my dog, nice weather, good food, new clothes, surprises, etc. It will always be there, but I know how to handle it now. I hope I helped you even half as much as you helped me. Thank you for being there for me always, even when you didn’t know what to say.

Much love,

Alex

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Endnotes

- The letters to my friend Shannon are real conversations with her but in this form. They begin when the depression started and I was explaining how it felt for me and continued on until I began to get healthier. She was the person I went to for all of this because she went through the same situation.

- The book on page 2 referring to not knowing when depression came into my life is a modified excerpt of Kathryn Windham’s “She: The Old Woman Who Took over My Life.” This book is ultimately about Kathryn realizing her age is starting to affect her everyday life. My version is about me realizing I was depressed but not realizing when exactly it happened.

- The dialogue on page 2 refers to a conversation I had with a friend in previous years. The section where I state that he should have offered help or support refers to John Grohol’s article "6 Things to Say to Someone with Depression or Who’s Depressed." He includes saying such as I believe in you, how can I help, I’m here if you want to talk, etc. which I use as an example of what would’ve been a better choice of response.

- The example of a “classic” survey for depression on page 3 takes information and examples from Catherine Robert’s article on Active

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