3 Reminders for the Days Depression Leaves You Feeling Defeated


Before you begin, I encourage you to read this with an open mind, as these feelings are all part of the human experience. They will always exist no matter who or where you are. What I am trying to do is illustrate this humanity in every one of us. The type of depression and anxiety I experience is triggered by medications, and also lupus activity in the brain and nervous system.

This is probably a pale comparison to those who struggle with mental illness as a primary disease. I wrote this especially with them in mind, and I hope to reach out to anyone sick or otherwise, who is feeling down or defeated today. Hang in there. I and many others are thinking of you, rooting for you and wishing you well.

1. Today is not a good day to make decisions.

It is one of those dull days where food has lost all appeal, and I am unable to eat. In the process, it starves my mind of energy. Simple questions morph into complex equations that require colossal effort to answer.

I should eat, but I don’t know what, and I don’t know if I can. I should work, but my mind is a blur as it keeps readjusting its focus. The fog in my brain is unsubstantial, and therefore, it is impossible to fight.

I feel nothing. I feel weight. The weight of nothing bearing down on my chest, crushing against my lungs. Breathing requires conscious effort, as my body has forgotten its natural rhythm.

I feel drowsy and with that, a little high. My body digs into its reserves and conjures pleasure for payment, for the delinquent pain that has overstayed its welcome. I feel drained of all emotion. Yet, I sob with grief. The cause is unknown. I feel numb yet anxious, a paradox reflecting the discord between mind and body.

Anxiety has burrowed itself deep into my stomach, taunting me from within myself. I wish I could punch my gut to be rid of it. I lie in bed and stare at the wall. I sit on the sofa and stare at the floor. I do all the things that I have to do, tasks that other people expect of me. My own needs can wait, as the need to not deal is bigger than that.

My thoughts are mush. I drag them in a net through a marsh. I wade for the sake of wading, breathe for the sake of breathing. To waste some time to arrive at nightfall. To sleep in hope of waking up to a better tomorrow. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

2. Be kind to yourself.

Today is not a good day to make decisions, and this is fine. No need to reprimand or correct yourself. It will not change anything. Save that energy to complete any necessary tasks for the day. You will need it.

If there is no pressing matter at hand, then give yourself the day off to do absolutely nothing. It isn’t a crime. Don’t feel guilty about it. Be kind to yourself. Just cruise along without judgment, and release all the rules your ego has made up.

“Don’t pity yourself.” F*ck that. “You should be doing something useful with your life.” F*ck that. “You shouldn’t be wasting your time.” F*ck that. F*ck should and shouldn’t. You have to just sit and let it be for today, or it will demand for more attention tomorrow, with more fire in its belly.

3. Hang in there and see it through.

You don’t have to decide if you don’t want to. Let all thoughts and feelings sink and settle at the bottom. Get some sun, perhaps. It might help a little.

You must remember that perhaps it was a wasted day, but that doesn’t mean it was a defeated life. You may lose a few battles, but you can still win this war. You can even fold your cards and give in to depression for a round or two, when it is obvious that playing a drawn out game with it will only end in bigger losses.

As Eliezer Wiesel said, “There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.” Hang in there and see it through. At the end of it all, you will understand why, but you mustn’t give up now. Not today, not tomorrow, not until time is ready for you.

This post originally appeared on A Chronic Voice.

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