I am fortunate to know and be friends with many intelligent people. They offer advice freely when I need to hear it, even when difficult for them to say and difficult for me to receive. Leaning into the future and changing what we have control over is an achievable thing. Focussing on the past and being frustrated and annoyed with things we have no control over can very quickly sap our energy. Learning from past mistakes is important, but if we think about them too much they can become our focus rather than the plans we put in place to avoid them. This can increase the risk of repeating the same mistakes.
It can be a difficult process to figure out what exactly lead us to make a mistake in the first place, let alone how to avoid it. And this is only one mistake! Training our brain to implement a process of ongoing improvement is filled with risks, but the outcome is extremely beneficial. It provides opportunities for personal growth and gives us plenty of wisdom we can pass on to others.
My depression often makes it difficult for me to see the good in the world, the stuff I do and the stuff others do. This is amplified when I am sick, when I don’t get enough sleep, or go stretches of time without eating the right kinds of foods. I am making an active effort to do these things better. Lemon and honey drinks and plenty of rest to encourage wellness. Have more food that is easy to prepare and eat around the house and be ok buying food when I’m out and I need it. Take naps in the afternoons if I need to, not ideal but necessity sometimes calls for not ideal.
All these things are good, but they have one problem: they require that I do something, at times doing more than talking is tough.
The biggest thing I can do when I’m struggling is to reach out. Ask if someone is available to accompany me to buy new sports shoes. Ask if anyone is free to have lunch. Catch up for breakfast with a friend who is in the country and throw some discs really far before they head home. Getting up and going out can be one of the hardest things for me to do, but I know seeing good people is one of the best things to help me on the road to being ok.
It’s ok, to say you’re not ok. It’s ok, to not be ok. Just keep focussing on the little spark in the distance. Whether it’s cooking your favourite meal, playing sport for the emotional buzz, praying with likeminded people for hope and strength, pulling up the covers in bed and watching your favourite TV show, or spending time with a wonderful friend and knowing it could not have been better spent, you have the strength do it.
For me, sometimes it feels like the darkness is too heavy to lift. But, today is not forever. I am not alone, no matter how much my depression tells me I am.
Reach out when you can. Accept offers of help when you can. Neither are weakness, they are strength shown through love because you are worth it.
Be good, keep good, and sleep good, dear friend. Peace.