Depression Recovery Doesn't Always Feel Like a Straight Line
My depression recovery often feels like it isn't going forward at all. I feel like my emotions go all over the map, up, down, sideways, backwards, and then forwards again. Some days my depression feels better than the day before, but other days it feels worse than I did the day before. Even in the span of one day, I can go from feeling pretty okay about things to feeling like I want to throw in the towel. It's so confusing and frustrating.
For example, I usually start out the day feeling pretty positive. I'm aware of the potential for the day, how anything could happen and that I have hours to get all my tasks done.
As the day continues, I start to get down on myself for not doing things well enough. I feel irritated with the people around me and feel impatient for things to go a lot smoother.
By mid-afternoon, my depression is in full swing. I feel resentful that I'm not coping better, I'm mad at myself for the smallest of things, and I compare myself to the world around me, dwelling on my negative feelings as signs that I'm not getting better from depression.
As I run out of errands to do I usually run out of excuses to talk to people. This leads to isolation --one of my biggest pitfalls in depression. The more I avoid the world, the more I get focused on my negative self-talk, putting myself down and using words like never and always.
"I'm always going to be alone," I think. "Everyone hates me."
As the day draws to a close, I feel more and more depressed. My exhaustion creeps in and sometimes I think about hurting myself.
You Are Always Moving Forward in Your Depression Recovery
When I get discouraged, particularly at the end of the day, it helps to remind myself that every day I'm gaining experience with my depression. I'm learning about the world, what triggers me, what helps me feel better, and this experience does add up. It's taken a long time, but I am feeling far better than I did years ago.
After years of these kind of feelings, I'm beginning to recognize the patterns in my moods. Now I know that if it's close to bedtime and I'm having thoughts of self-harm, it's usually best if I go to bed. I take my bedtime medications and prepare to read in bed, even if I can't sleep yet.
Even if I'm having a hard day, I can cry or rant in my journal or curl up with my dog. All of it is healing. We never go backwards in time, so we never go backwards in our healing. Remember that, especially when you want to give up.
If you feel alone with your depression recovery, read some of the great info on HealthyPlace to remind yourself that others have been there too. We're going to get through this together.
You can also find Erin Schulthies on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and her blog, Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living with Depression.
Schulthies, E. (2014, July 31). Depression Recovery Doesn't Always Feel Like a Straight Line, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/07/depression-recovery-doesnt-always-feel-like-a-straight-line