In the fall of 2016, I was struck with an illness that eluded my grasp – pandemic depression. Initially, it seemed as if everything around me was gliding along without a hitch; then suddenly – calamity!
My life had been characterized by periodic bouts of clinical depression and anxiety; yet this latest affliction proved devastatingly persistent. It took hold within days of onset and never let up… until today! This disease is ravaging my existence and rendering me nearly incapable of functioning normally.
I am not alone. As recently revealed in research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects one in six Americans at some point during their lifetime. Furthermore, this figure rises to one in ten among women – almost half a million in all!
A Dark Time in My Life
Veteran distress counsellor, Dr. Lisa Black, who conducts psychological evaluations for employers, recommends that individuals maintain a journal to document their triumphs and sorrowful events. I was intrigued by the notion of using this approach in regards to my own experience – yet at first it seemed somewhat unorthodox!
Nevertheless, observing my journey through the lens of hindsight has been inspiring. After all these years, I’ve come across numerous occasions where I could’ve potentially lost hope if not for any journal entries I made during those trying times.
During high school and college, I endured traumas. At age nineteen, after being diagnosed with anxiety disorder: major depressive disorder – I experienced an extremely traumatic episode; one which required immediate hospitalization as well as time-consuming therapy sessions in order for me to overcome its effects.
The following year brought about another calamitous event; this time resulting in my family enduring loss. Shortly after a devastating fire resulted in multiple deaths within our household – including elderly members of our clan.
Getting Interrupted by a Crisis
If you live in an era of constant connectivity and prompt access to information, there’s a high probability that you may experience an interruption in your daily routine at some point – whether it be due to an emergency situation such as a major disaster or simply the need for some R&R. It might be wise to take advantage of any time away from work for rejuvenation purposes!
Even though I find myself temporarily displaced from my day-to-day duties, I am able to quickly reorient myself once more when circumstances demand that I do so. In fact, during this period of time was when I had the most creative breakthroughs!
Finding Support and Sharing My Story
I’ve mentioned before, but when I was diagnosed it was still the early days of being introduced to SSRI medication. This proved to be a large obstacle in my quest for relief because of its restrictive nature; as such, one must adhere to an arduous regimen and remain faithful to taking this medicine as prescribed. Furthermore, many individuals are apprehensive about seeking help during these early stages – they would rather struggle alone than seek assistance from others or even consider seeking professional assistance at all!
Thankfully, I found support in Reddit’s /r/depression community. This online forum served as an invaluable resource throughout my journey – not just with obtaining information and ideas on how to tackle my condition, but also in providing me with financial aid for medical expenses and offering unconditional companionship and encouragement when needed most! Joining forces with other likeminded individuals has undoubtedly made life more bearable both during my illness as well as afterwards.
Overcoming Challenges by Turning Challenges into Opportunities
When life throws you curveballs, it’s essential to remain composed and employ strategies that enhance productivity. This is where the power of turning obstacles into opportunities comes into play!
By perusing my story above, you may have discerned situations when I was most anxious about my well-being or future. My husband and I decided that rather than allowing such anxieties to demolish us – especially considering how dire their consequences were – we would instead make them work in our favor; using adversity as an opportunity for growth.
Indeed, this experience of facing adversity has been one of the most powerful catalysts for renewal and discovery in my life!
Finding Inspiration in Nature
During times of sadness and anguish, it can be all too easy to give in to self-doubt or despair. Fortunately, nature is often just an email away from providing solace!
This may sound like a bit of cliche advice, but the truth remains that when faced with a problem we can oftentimes find answers along our journey in nature or through inspiration within ourselves.
For instance, if you are seeking inspiration for creative endeavors such as writing or painting, take frequent day trips into nearby parks or forests. Spending some time amid the trees’ serene beauty and gentle vibes can help invigorate your soul while providing fertile ground on which thoughts may flourish!
Creating a New Life for Myself
My journey was far from over, yet I realized that it was time to reinvent my life.
A life of despair is not an existence deserving anything but pity. Undoubtedly, should you be stricken by depression and consequently feel broken-hearted over its effects on your life; don’t fret! All is not lost – there are ample opportunities for you to reinvent yourself. Allow me to offer some pointers on how to do just that!
To start anew, you must cast aside the past. Don’t dwell on what’s gone wrong or ponder over missed opportunities like a despondent suitor wringing his hands; instead, bring positive changes into your world by casting away any lingering remnants of sorrow.
Don’t let circumstances dictate your destiny; act upon it! Take ownership of what you’ve experienced and forge ahead with fortitude towards a more fulfilling future. Leave behind all preconceived notions about the past so as to allow it to lie peacefully in peace without clinging irrevocably to its memory.
Looking Forward to a New Chapter
How do you feel about turning 40? I’m not exactly sure what it means yet, but surely it must be something significant!
Why, when faced with such an occasionous milestone should one feel any sense of urgency? After all, age does not always equal wisdom – just look at the venerable sage himself: Plato! Today would have been his 700th birthday celebration had he still been alive. At least we can take solace in knowing that today marks six decades since his demise.
I am grateful for the experience of depression. The adversity forced me to reassess where I was, who I was and where I was headed – all of which lead to an awakening and recalibration of my priorities as an individual.
In the midst of this turmoil, I was given an opportunity to reevaluate my relationship with myself. Through self-reflection and introspection, I discovered that I had become complacent in terms of who I was; what value judgments I held; and what agency I exercised over my life. Through this process, I’ve shed some old skin while donning new garments that are more appropriate for my current state of being.
Depression is no mere blip in your life; rather it is a multifaceted experience that can be likened to a resolute gauntlet that tests your fortitude, resilience and tenacity as an individual. By mastering these traits, you can triumph over any challenge – even when it appears insurmountable at the time.