Suffering from depression is an experience only some of us can understand. While we would never wish this experience on anyone else, we long for others to understand what we're feeling.
If you are one of those battling this obstacle, here are a few things to remember:
You may become your own worst enemy.
There will be no warning of when or why you feel like life isn't enough or why you feel you aren't enough, but when these feelings overwhelm you, try to remember this is a mere moment of weakness and not your reality.
Becoming your own worst enemy can be one of the scariest things you ever encounter. This is where you need to put things in perspective as best you can.
Look at what you have. I'm not talking about material things; I'm talking about your loves ones, anyone close to you and all they manage to do for you.
Perhaps it's your parents who put dinner on the table for you or answer all your phone calls. It could be a boyfriend who takes the time out of his life to make sure you feel loved or even a long-term friend who relies on you for any problem he or she may have. Everyone has someone they can turn to, even when it seems like you don't.
Take a look at what you've accomplished as well. Have you graduated from high school, college or further? Do you pay your own rent or even for your own groceries? It can be the smallest, most mundane act, but it is absolutely something to be proud of.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
When you look good, you feel good, and the endorphins released through exercise will help lift your mood.
It's undoubtedly easy to get into a depressive, moody funk and not want to be physically active. And with the demand to work long hours higher than ever, sometimes it's hard to make time for regimented exercise.
If this is the case, at least make time for your hobbies. One of the worst mistakes I ever made was giving up my passions when I was suffering the most. This was mostly due to lack of motivation and self-confidence.
Don't let it happen to you. Keep doing what you love, as this can be one of the best remedies for depression. Bottom line: Make time for what makes you feel good about you.
You are not alone.
More people suffer from this disorder than you think, so remember this isn't happening only to you.
For so long, I thought I was an outsider and that nobody understood what I was feeling. Although, once I started opening up to friends, family and others about what I was going through, I realized some of them experienced similar situations.
Even though each person's experience is unique, you'll be surprised to realize how much you can truly connect with others.
Don't block out any potential for love. Sometimes, experiencing pain or heartache further intensifies our depressive, anxious feelings and clouds our perception of love.
But try not to allow yourself to become bitter and resentful because of a few rough experiences. Life is about learning, and one thing I've learned is real love trumps all evil.
Write your feelings down.
Writing your feelings down is one of the best ways to self-reflect.
When we're at our lowest, most vulnerable points, it's important to look back on those feelings when we're in a better state of mind, so we can learn from them.
This is also a great way to lay out all the issues you're facing in an organized manner, and it can also teach you what's useful for the next time you feel this way.
Another important aspect of the healing process is seeking our professional help. Getting an outside perspective on who you are as a person and on what you're dealing with is one of the most beneficial things in changing your self-perception.
Of course, your parents think you're the smartest, most beautiful human to walk to face of the earth, but that doesn't always convince you, right? Hearing the same things from a professional, who's not necessarily attached to you in any way, can make believing these truths a little easier.
It's OK to not be OK.
All in all, your feelings are valid and always will be. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, remove them from your life as soon as possible, as we tend to hold on to toxic people far too long.
For me, it took quite a while to realize just how much negativity I was holding on to. I spent so long feeling guilty for how I felt that I ended up pushing the blame onto my peers. And in the end, this created even more unnecessary negativity.
Depression is more than feeling sad or worthless. It is an obstacle some will face for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes, it will feel like negative emotions are beginning to define who you are, but remember this is not the case. You are meant to live a beautiful, purposeful life. You are not a burden. You are your own muse, and you will be OK.