Wisdom From One Who Has Suffered

Ahh I love Twitter. It gives me soooooooooo much inspiration to WRITE!

Tonight I want to talk about depression. Actually I just want to give some straight up dot points about lessons I have learnt in my journey with the whole depression crap.
Just a bit of background. I have suffered depression my whole life. I always will suffer depression for the rest of my life. It is both chemical and situational. However I have had fantastic help and worked very hard for a lot of years to get it to a manageable place, where it no longer rules my life. I still have times where it is a struggle, but I now recognise the black dog when he comes to visit, and can adjust my thinking and behaviour enough to be able to get him back down to a teacup size that I can shove in a metaphorical box and get back to my life!
Anyway, here are some wisdoms I have learnt, that I want to share with you all.
  • You don’t have to be normal. There is no such thing as normal. Each of us is just doing the best we can with what we’ve got. And that’s perfectly ok.
  • Stop making excuses. Stop saying you’ll do things “when”. Don’t wait to lose weight, get a boyfriend, get a job, have money, have a baby, whatever. You’ll only regret it when you look back at all the time you wasted.
  • Get help. Go to a GP. If they don’t help you, go to another GP. It took me 20 years to find a GP who would help me. When I found her, she literally saved my life. Ask people who their GP’s are. ASK the GP’s if they will bulk bill you after the first visit. Mine did, she said “I want you to come back here and I know you won’t if you can’t afford it, so I will bulk bill you.” She still does, 5 years later.
  • Accept help when it is offered, even if it is not all the answers you wanted. Say thank you, and people will help you even more.
  • Find gratitude. I know it sounds all Oprah-ish, but just being grateful for breathing got me through some days where nothing else did. Being grateful for someone who says “I care.” Being grateful for a cold drink, or a tv show, or warm slippers, or the bus driver that was nice. Gratitude not only gives you something positive to focus on, but a tiny bit of gratitude for the people who do show kindness will only have them showing MORE kindness.
  • Accept that sometimes there is no answer just yet. That you need to just solve something else, like where your next meal is coming from, or getting dressed, or getting through a day of work. The answers will come.
  • Take responsibility for your life and that of your children. Nobody else’s life is your responsibility. But your life (and those of your children) are the responsibility of no other.
  • Breathe.
  • Get dressed. My God, that was the BEST lesson I learned. Get up at a normal hour (I used to set before 10am), shower, and dress. You would be surprised at what that achieves.
  • Get out of the house. Go to the library. Go to the park. On payday, go to a coffee shop. If you can, be around friends and family that are “inflaters” (they inflate you, rather than those people who deflate you). Sit in your bloody back yard if you have to, just get out.
  • Stop thinking that your situation is worse than everyone elses. Believe me, some people have dealt with shit that you could NEVER imagine, in your worst nightmares, and survived.
  • BELIEVE that there is more to life than depression. If for no other reason, than the fact that I am telling you now. Believe me. I promise you I am not lying to you.
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June 22, 2009. advice, black dog, depression, help.

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