How I'm Learning to Combat Depression With 'Little Victories'

It’s strange to think that one day long ago certain things that I did every day didn’t seem that significant. That getting up in the morning was just getting up. That remembering to return a movie was simply that. These little things I did every day weren’t anything more than what they were. This all changed the moment I let the darkness in and depression took ahold of me.

I went through months of not being able to eat, sleep, or function. I let my body waste away, and I sat motionless in the center of my bed staring off into space because being human just seemed too much. I lost myself completely, and it seemed like there was no getting me back. Every day things seemed to be pointless, and getting out of bed was a task I could no longer conquer.

Slowly I started to fade out of that and return to everyday activities, but I still felt hollow. It’s a strange feeling, to go from feeling so much to nothing at all. You feel vacant, like the person inside said, “To hell with you!” and jumped ship. I went through months of that as well.

One day, I was watching slam poetry videos when I came across one that focused on the meaning of a good day — how you and I both have different meanings — and something inside of me changed. It was like a light switch went on and my brain suddenly functioned again. That’s when I created the “little victories.” I was learning to love life again through the celebration of small things. Everything you do is a victory some way or another.

I started with waking up. I’d gone through so many months of disappointment when my eyes opened to see sunshine. But that changed because there was so much to be grateful for. The following morning I woke up, and the first thing I thought was “this is a little victory.” And it sparked from there. Every day things became victories, reasons to celebrate. The reason is important though. I’d come back from hating everything, including myself, where there was no celebration for getting up, no celebration for brushing my teeth or putting on clean clothes, and it was all disappointment. Implementing the victories helped me work towards taking ahold of my life again.

A few months following that I finally felt like myself again. Breathing became easier, and it felt good to open my eyes and greet morning with a smile. I felt victorious because through celebrating the small things in life, I regained a hold on mine and kicked the darkness to the ground.

So for anyone who struggles with the hassles of everyday tasks, just remember, you can find a victory. It may be something you couldn’t do yesterday. Try to tackle a new one every day. That is how I work towards becoming me again, a better me, and a healthier me. Be victorious.

Even reading this is a victory.

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