Last time I posted I wrote about how I’ve finally been in a recovery state from depression. It took me about 10 months to gain all of my energy back and I’m still learning lessons from the time I was experience a depressed state.
Like a storm you need to ride out
I say I experience a depressed state because my depression was situational (or reactive) rather clinical.
(One note on clinical depression. If you’re dealing with a clinical depression, you’re definitely not alone and there are better days ahead. If you don’t have a doctor to talk through it, there are some links to two really good resources at the bottom of this post.)
While I do believe it was a preventable thing that spoke to a lack of health, the circumstances from which depression grew were also resolved as the depression forced me to gain some version of mental health equilibrium, if you will. Let me put it this way, storms in nature are caused when there is a misbalance and they allow for a cycle that restores balance to the weather around us. Too much warm water causes a hurricane. Situational depression is also known as “adjustment disorder with depressed mood”. I wasn’t managing some tensions very well, and it caused a mental storm. In that instance the only way out was through.
I could have run from it…
I could have ignored it and worked my way out of it. Looking back now, I realize I had done that previously in life. The problem is that it always came back and this last time it came back with a vengeance. In fact, I can trace all of the periods of depression in my life back to the same root, but this one was significantly more acute than others. Previously, I would work my way out of it…a whole “fake it till you make it” mentality. The problem was that this time the cause of it was that I was forced to slow down. The organization I was working for was transitioning some major leadership positions and it caused the entire team to slow down. For me that meant that as I slowed down I was able to experience some feelings I’d been ignoring. Not intentionally, or maybe it was intentionally. In the end, I found that for years I would execute quickly, and part of that is a coping mechanism by which I hide from myself. So as I slowed down, my feelings caught up with me….like a brick wall….going 60 miles per hour.
To get to the root of something….
You have to face it and you have to dig further than you think you do. After years of random periods of depression, I felt this one hard enough that I thought it time to deal. The nice thing is that in the same way that you run hard from something you can run to and through it. So that was my plan. I didn’t like who or where I was and whatever I needed to learn, I wanted to learn quickly.
Some things just take time
There are several things that I did that helped….and in the end it just took time to work through and catch up to myself. Like I said, 10 months before my energy came back. 10 months is a long time. In the middle of that I was also revamping a business for a friend, so that was a grind. Sometimes it does just take a lot of work and time to dig out of the hole you’ve found yourself in. Keep in mind, when I say work, I’m not saying that you should work harder to get out, that’s actually probably how you got there. I’m saying, you have a life that needs to keep going and it usually only feeds the cycle to stop doing everything. Just be encouraged if you’re in this and you’re at the 4 and 5 month mark and still struggling. You’ll make it. The grey and tired doesn’t last forever. I’ve had that thought too and I promise there’s an end.
Next time i’ll talk more about some of the ways I dug in to dig out. In the end, the big three things were:
- Safe Place
- Safe People
Those are the biggest things that helped me through.
Resources for Clinical Depression (or anything else really):
Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741
686868 in Canada/ 85258 in the UK