[PERSONAL] Fighting the Dark Place of Depression

in mentalhealth •  2 years ago

I live where the dark place is always near me. A place that I've tried to escape the majority of my life - the shadows waiting to overcome me. But I fight because I want to believe I have a warrior spirit. You see, my dark place is depression.

Meredith Loughran talks about how she fights depression

As a child, I never fit in because... well... so many reasons, but one thing that's carried through my entire life is the dark place.

Fighting gravity

If there's one lesson in life that holds true, gravity does its job well. It keeps our feet on the ground. It pulls at us. It pulls us down. So too does the dark place. It's easy to succumb to fear, sadness, helplessness, hopelessness. It's easy to lay down and give up; to say I've had enough when you feel alone in the dark. Even as a child I would pull the covers over my head and make my world a little darker because, as strange as it sounds, the dark place feels safe because it's so...familiar.

But fighting gravity takes effort! Just like launching a satellite into space, it requires a team, fuel, combustion - in essence, it takes a lot of energy. My body may be grounded, but my mind does not need to be. Even planes fly above stormy weather. To fight the gravity of depression, I give myself permission to fly. My friends are the fuel which gives me strength to keep going. The battle between dark and light is ever present. There are moments in life when we must decide to choose fight or flight for our survival.

Releasing the negativity

As I've grown older, I've realized a sense of self. I had to take a look around my world and determine what or who was pulling me down. Who was helping gravity? Who was helping me fly? It was time to arm myself for the fight for my life and in doing so, I had to let some people go. In fact, some of the most negative people in my life have been family.

You know as well as I do that you cannot pick your family - but you don't have to like them. You can also choose to limit your time around them.

In my head I think, "Please stop pulling me down. I feel like I'm drowning in your presence. My spirit weeps from this unjust assault." But I'm not a beggar Sometimes I shut that little voice up and my real voice speaks. "I've heard what you had to say, now say something nice to me."

YES! DEMAND KINDNESS!

Finding the light

I wrote this poem for a friend of mine who was going through his own dark place. Being as objective as I could I realized he was standing in his own way. Then it occurred to me - don't we all?

Turn Around, a poem by Meredith Loughran
Written by Meredith Loughran. Picture: Pixabay (Creative Commons)

Daily affirmations

Repeat after me:

  • I am worthy
  • I am special
  • I am good enough
  • I have purpose
  • I know I will succeed in whatever I put my mind to
  • I can do this
  • I will do this
  • I own my decisions, therefore I have no regrets

Share some of your daily affirmations

Me time

I'm a giver. I give to others before I even think about myself. That had to stop!
My dark place loves when I'm so worn down taking care of other people that I forget to take care of me.

I cannot express how important FIVE MINUTES can be. My "me time" is usually in the middle of the night. The household is quiet. The dogs are sleeping. I go outside to my favorite spot and stare at the sky. I see how vast it is: the twinkling stars, the moon, the planets...all where they are supposed to be...like me...like you.

What is depression? (And a personal disclaimer)

Depression is a mood disorder which may affect mood, activities, work or personal life. Symptoms of depression must be present for at least two weeks to be diagnosed.

To read more about the symptoms of depression, visit National Institute of Mental Health - NIMH

While there have been times when I thought I should be on anti-depressants, I personally do not want to be on a pill-popping regimen. Please note that I do not have anything against medication or psychotherapy, but in my personal opinion, it should be the last resort and dependent upon the severity of depression. Again, that's my personal opinion based solely on my needs.

Do you suffer with depression?


How do you cope?
What do you do to fight the dark place?

If you found my article helpful, kindly vote up and leave me a message!


Meredith Loughran sharing knowledge bombs, humor and life stories on Steemit

Meredith Loughran blogs at ScribblingBandits.com | Follow her on Twitter & SnapChat or LinkedIn

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I upvoted You

Thank you for sharing something so personal. Depression is a topic too often stuck in the realm of taboo. The darkness can give strength once we learn how to fight!

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@jgorham - it's so true how depression is often shunned as "feeling the blues" - but with the support of friends, community, and the willingness to speak about it, we can all benefit from sharing our stories. Thank you for your message. :)

You ARE worthy
You ARE special
You and your work is GREAT
You ARE doing this

·

Thank you for stopping by @d3nv3r I am grateful and I AM DOING THIS! And so are you! :)

I love how you seem to have mastered depression, neutralizing or even conspiring with it in your writing and life approach. Wise words.

My favorite daily affirmation style is to ask a possibility expanding question: a technique I picked up from a friend. For example, when feeling stuck in conflict with someone I love and admire, I recently tried asking:

"What would help me remember how well we jive together?"
"What if she doesn't really think that?"
"How good could it feel to not believe what I'm telling myself about this?"

"What can't I imagine, but that could fix everything?"

Thanks for creating such an engaging post!

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Oh, I don't know about mastery. Sometimes the dark place bites me in the bum - but I say "Quit the stinkin' thinkin'!!!" (sometimes that's harder than exercise. lol)

That's an interesting technique of expanding a question. When it comes to conflict that might send me into a tailspin I have one question: Will this be important tomorrow?
Thank YOU @pulpably for stopping by and sharing your affirmations.