While having depression has been the most difficult thing in life I’ve had to cope with, it’s taught me a few things and I thought I’d share them with you.
1. Patience. I’ve had to learn how to sit with the most uncomfortable of feelings for a great length of time and not lose my shit. Oh, I’ve lost it before. Many times. But depression is teaching me that if I can be patient and ride out the storms and the lows, it will pass. Sometimes the feelings are so unnerving and they make me just want to crawl out of my skin, but with a little perseverance I can make it through.
2. Compassion. In the past, when depression made an appearance, I’d be filled with self-loathing and judgment and I was quick to blame myself for being ill. But over time, I’ve learned to treat myself with the same compassion I would show someone else battling a chronic and devastating disease. In doing so, I don’t hate myself when depression appears….in fact, that’s when I love myself the most.
3. Resilience. Depression has given me the skills to cope with change and adversity and the strength to carry on in times of crisis. When I believed that I couldn’t possibly go on, my will to battle this illness has proven me wrong. Depression has tested me beyond belief, and so far I have won.
4. Empathy. By experiencing the painful lows of depression, I can truly relate to how others are feeling. This has allowed me to reach out and offer peer support to others in their struggles.
5. Courage. Depression has given me a courage I never knew I possessed. It’s taken me to the darkest places of my mind and made me face my deepest fears and in doing so, allowed me to discover the courage I hold within.
I can’t change the fact that I have depression. I can choose to accept it and learn from it.