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What to Remind Yourself on Days When Depression 'Wins Out'

Most help sites promote the idea of fighting through depression. Carrying on through the storm. Positive thinking.

What is rarely spoken about is when depression temporarily wins out.

Firstly, this is nothing to be ashamed about. This is simply one of the most difficult sides of depression — and it runs deeper than the inspirational quotes or “putting a war face” on. I call them, “write off days.” These days are the kind that people who don’t have depression probably struggle the most to understand. Why on a “bad day” can’t we just make do? Do something we enjoy? Put a funny film on? Many people with depression have bad days and those things usually work.

Here’s the problem with “write off days.” The things I usually enjoy don’t even come into my mind. It’s not that I suddenly hate that band or hate that TV show, I’m just indifferent because my mind is clouded. There’s no room for simple pleasures. Switching the TV on and finding a Disney film isn’t going to comfort my mind today. Going out would mean getting out of bed, taking a shower, picking out something to wear. Seeing a friend would mean being able to think of words to say.

Some days aren’t about being a warrior.

People get sick. People have days in bed to recover — and this is what I need to do sometimes. It doesn’t make me any less brave or any less of a person. Tomorrow, the next day or the next week, things are going to get better. They will feel better. The inspiring quotes will make sense. The music will sound good again. My favorite film will make me laugh and I’ll enjoy putting on something that makes me feel good. This is the real me — I need to remember not to be fooled by the person in my brain on a “write off day.”

This is not a post about embracing your depression or letting it win. This is a post to say it’s OK to have these times. You will get better, and the way you are feeling now is temporary. Please don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s allowed.

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Thinkstock photo via berdsigns.