I’ve been experiencing a period of depression for months now. This is the longest it’s ever been. I often feel like a shell of a human, sometimes incapable of performing the smallest tasks or feeling anything except mostly blunted emotions. The exceptions being hopelessness and despondency; those I feel acutely. In times like these it’s difficult to imagine ever being well. You begin to forget how it felt before depression and have trouble imagining how it will be again without it. It’s important to remember that, however long depression lasts, it is temporary. I will get better eventually, so I’m making plans and trying to remember what wellness feels like in hopes that it will be an encouragement.
I am feeling better than I was two months ago. I have not recovered, but I’m not at rock bottom anymore. After a few adjustments with my medication and just giving myself time, I can say that I’m on the road to recovery. That doesn’t mean I’m out of the woods yet, but I want to prepare for and be excited about when I am. So, I’m making a list of what I have missed about being well and what I’m looking forward to feeling and experiencing again.
When I am well:
- I will smile more.
- I will cry less.
- I will feel joy.
- I will laugh louder and more often.
- I will reach out to loved ones.
- I will exercise.
- I will eat better.
- I will only nap because I want to, not because I need to.
- I will read more.
- I will take better care of my family.
- I will shower everyday.
- I will want to leave the house.
- I will enjoy life.
It may yet take more months to reach full recovery from this depressive episode. It’s important for me to have realistic expectations. This means both that I should not expect too much of myself but also I should not expect too little.
I am recovering, albeit slowly. There are steps I can take in the meantime to help my recovery go as smoothly as possible.
- I can take my medication regularly, as prescribed.
- I can work with my doctor to try new treatments if necessary.
- I can keep my psychiatry and therapy appointments.
- I can set small goals for my recovery.
- I can keep track of my symptoms to get a realistic view of how I’m feeling.
- I can separate my symptoms from myself.
- I can take it one day at a time.
Image credit: Axel Rouvin