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How I Fight Depression on My Bad Days

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Fortunately, I can get out of bed.

But beyond that, every single movement — every smile or word or step — is excruciating. In fact, the only reason I get out of bed and into work so fast is because of my anxiety. If you’re not at work by 7 a.m., you’re useless, it tells me.

So, sure, when my depression takes a dip, it’s not as bad for me as it might be for some. Some people can’t get out of bed. They can’t go to work. They can’t put fresh clothes on or speak. But, just like everything else, depression looks different on everyone. And for me, on my bad days, I’m running on autopilot, and while I may look like I’m slacking off at work or not paying attention to our conversation, it’s because I’m in so much pain I can’t focus or participate in things that otherwise might come naturally. On my bad days, I’m an actor, and I’m counting the seconds of every minute until I can go home, be alone and not deal with anything.

I’m working to be more open when my depression spikes and takes over this way, and to combat it to pull myself out of my funk. I’ll say something to my spouse like, “I feel like I can’t do it today.” And it’s almost as if acknowledging it to another person makes it less painful. I’ll take some time to myself, but then I’ll throw myself into a chore I’ve been meaning to tackle and crank up some of my favorite music until I’m immersed and can physically feel my demeanor change.

It’s amazing the difference that trying can make, and that’s what I’m learning. Fighting can be so much more rewarding than giving in.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: December 1, 2016
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