Warning: don’t invite depression in
There are possibly many who are battling depression from isolation and uncertainty. Fear and hopelessness love each other, and COVID-19 is determined to produce both.
I know friends who I sense are suffering from bouts of the blues and take it from me, I can spot depression from any six-foot safe distance anytime.
From years of living with clinical depression, I have learned some tricks to taming the beast. First, I know to confess my depression. During those spells, when I write, I share it with you. I do so to help those of you who might be hesitant to ask for aid.
It’s okay to not be perfect, so you must tell another imperfect person you are depressed. However, depression loves loneliness, so it is advising you to not tell a soul. I always treat my periods of darkness as if Mr. Big Bad Dude is out to get me. A separate uninvited entity that visits me occasionally and wants to stay, but doesn’t want to help with chores or pay rent.
Once you have shared your misery, then it frees you up a bit to seek the aid you need. Many of you may not need professional guidance because the Coronavirus is causing your temporary slip in the psyche. However, who knows how long the uninvited Mr. Bad is going to stay. So, therefore, let me assist you with some options.
When I was first diagnosed with depression many years ago, my body would not tolerate the medications that were available in those ancient times. My psychiatrist was a jogger in the middle of the running craze. He encouraged me to join in the sport. I bought the book, put on an old pair of sneakers and ran. Pounding the pavement caused me to feel lighter and freer than ever before.
Every time I walked in for my appointment with my doctor, his first question was, “How many miles did you run last week?” Running became my medicine and my sanity. To this day, if I don’t exercise, sadness comes knocking on my door. And, even though I now take medication for depression, I still understand I must continue to move.
So, get your little you know what out the door and run, or walk, or move to get away from that uninvited blob in the spare bedroom.
Now, remember, as I say these things, Mr. Blue Blob is telling you, “Don’t listen to her. What does she know? You don’t need to move, lie on the sofa with me. I am your best worst couch friend. Don’t leave me.”
Next, create something. Give something of yourself to others. Now is the time. There are many needs, so why are you lying around? I am one of these folks who never sit still…. to an extreme. However, I find that when I am busy, I have no time to feed that dumb, deadbeat, depression dude eating donuts on the divan.
The Coronavirus could have put me in a cocoon, but instead, it put me in a mask. I pulled out the old sewing machine, dusted it off, and started making masks from fabrics I saved over the years. A neighbor wanted one, then another, then a couple, and before it was over, I finished over 60 masks, giving them all away.
By the time my sewing was complete, Dufus Deadbeat was about to starve to death and took off to some drive-through eatery somewhere. When he did, I locked the door.
When we give of ourselves freely to aid another, it is hard to get too down.
Something about “giving is better than receiving” seems to work. You may not be able to sew masks, but what can you do? I am sure if you think about it, and ask God, He will give you a good idea.
Lastly, and the most important is faith. Just keep searching for the light in the isolation and solitude. Remember, with God, one is never alone. God knows how you feel, and you sure can’t hide it from him.
Now, remember, Mr. Depression will tell you, “You don’t need to pray. That would mean we would need to get off the sofa and kneel. We are quite comfy.”
Push him off anyway and pray. Once you do, your spirit will rise to the surface and not the sadness. I promise faith works.
All these suggestions are from my heart to yours.
As I write this, I gaze out my window to see Mr. Depression Dude run down the street looking for another place to stay.
Don’t let him in.