Angela and I

Angela and I

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summertime Sadness

It's definitely summer out there. I have taken to just wearing my bathing suit around the house.  I watched dolphins swimming in the ocean last night for a good hour (as someone who was born land locked, that will NEVER get old.  DOLPHINS. RIGHT THERE). I absolutely have to take a shower every day because's really hot.  

Unfortunately, depression doesn't care if you live in the sunshine state.  Depression doesn't care if you can walk down the street and instantly be on the beach.  Depression doesn't care if you have a loving family and amazing friends.  Sometimes it just finds your insecurities ("the show is what...I need to find an apartment...I ate too much at dinner...I miss my friends...what am I even doing right now...I'm tired but I should be productive....WHY AM I CRYING?!") and attack.  

The important thing to remember in those moments when you feel like you don't "deserve" to be depressed is that there is nothing wrong with being depressed.  It is a real chemical imbalance in your brain and sometimes you just can't help it.  The past few days have been a little rough for me personally, but luckily I have some pretty awesome people and tactics  to get me through the bad days.  Early on in recovery I even made a checklist called "Sadness Burritos --> Happiness Muffins" because sometimes just the act of checking off all of the things on the checklist pulls me out of my funk. 

The two biggest things that help me whenever I feel the depression cloud are MUSIC and PEOPLE. I've talked about it on the blog before, but when I was at my lowest of lows, Angela my ukulele really pulled me up and out of the hole I had dug myself into. She became my "tangible object" and to this day whenever I am having bad thoughts, or want to use bad behaviors, or just generally anxious, I can strum a few chords and the world simply gets better.  She replaced restriction as my number one coping mechanism, so I'm not exaggerating when I say she saved my life. 
The other thing is people. friends, old friends, strangers on the beach, the group of old men at Starbucks who sit at the table next to me every day, a phone call from my best friend, a Facebook chat with my doesn't matter.  I just can NOT isolate myself.  Depression thrives in isolation, which is annoying because of course when we are sad that is exactly what we want to do...shut ourselves off. After lots of self examination in therapy, I have learned that connections with people are what I truly crave.  I am not the introvert I thought I was for 4 years. 

Even if you don't struggle with depression, I think it is important for everyone to find their one or two things that help whenever they are feeling down.  All feelings are valid and real and should be dealt with.  There is nothing wrong with being sad.  NOTHING.  There is no use covering up bad feelings and pretending to be the happiest person in the me.  I've been there, I've done that, and it doesn't work. Allow yourself to feel the bad feelings, to go through some summertime sadness, but make sure to have ways to pull yourself out of it so the world can see your smiling face once again.  

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