Remember this bad boy from your days as a child? Holding on for dear life as that one mean kid spun it madly out of control, hoping that a body would come flying off it and land ungraciously in the dirt? It would usually start off innocently enough, but quickly spiral out of control. This merry-go-round is like a metaphor for my mental illness. Especially my depression.
I’ve stepped back onto this ride, with the recent onset of a deepening depression that past few weeks. I didn’t do it knowingly or willingly, I just ended up there. Depression has a way of just showing up. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on possible triggers for this latest episode, but even that process is becoming difficult as I find myself getting frustrated with not being able to pinpoint “THE CAUSE”. Sometimes, there’s not a cause and other times, there’s multiple causes. The fact is, it’s happening and now, I need to figure out how to survive the ride.
The times that the ride is quiet and nobody is there to spin me round, I’ll use this time to show myself compassion and love. I’ll practice self care and be gentle and remind myself of the times I survived the ride before and that I’m strong, and surrounded by people who believe in me. I’ll try to find pleasure in the small things and enjoy the quiet of my solitude.
Depression isn’t always about sadness for me. I fight this demon using opposite action so when the ride starts to speed up, I will embrace the adrenalin and use it to motivate me to pursue my passions and push myself to work hard during this time. Just as I need to brace myself to not stumble and fall on the ride, I need to plant my feet in the sand and withstand the blows that depression will lay upon me.
The ride will inevitably speed up to the point that I will only be able to just hold on for dear life. This is the scary part. Not knowing, not believing, not caring sometimes. Just begging for it to stop. During this time, I will remind myself that this will end. The ride will stop and I will be ok. I am strong and I am a survivor. Depression might bring me to this point every time, but I always make it off the ride to see another day.
This episode will subside and the darkness will fade.