SERIES: DEPRESSION DETOX

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I’ve decided to do my FIRST EVER ‘series’ of posts. I’m naming the series “Depression Detox”. Why? Well, detoxification is the process of removing toxic or harmful chemicals from a living organism. In this series, I will be looking at and focusing on the things that I (and others) can do to counter and/or help remove depressed or low feelings that can have a toxic effect in ones soul.
 
  I also need to say here: this is not, in ANY way a substitute for medication and therapy for those of us who struggle with clinical depression. In my own walk through depression, I have had to seek after MANY different supports, both medical and emotional, in order to even get to the place that I can now write about it. If you are struggling with depression, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please seek out help. At the end of each article I will list some resources that can help you do that.
 

DEPRESSION DETOX (PART 1)

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“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – F.D. Roosevelt

Being one who struggles with depression, I often find myself looking to and living in an unseen future. I am constantly awaiting my arrival to a new and improved landscape in which I will finally allow myself to live wholeheartedly, knowing that my struggles are finally behind me. I am beginning to see a major flaw in my way of thinking. By constantly waiting for a better future, my present is being only half lived, and then filed away as memories; memories filled with longing for something different, which ultimately may or may not come. This is starting to really bother me. What if my struggle with depression stays with me for my life time? What if it remains, an aptly named “thorn in the flesh” that is never removed? I do not want to live the majority of my life in “what if?” and “if only…” regardless of my mood. So, yesterday, while under the trance of my leaf blower, as I blew the reckless needles that endlessly defect into my yard from a neighbouring tree, I starting thinking about how I could remedy my current problem (NOT the needles, I was clearly blasting them into submission!).

My first thought? I need to stop being so AFRAID!

Easier said than done.

The world can be difficult and heart wrenching. Furthermore, I can be extremely sensitive to it’s insensitivity.  Because of this, I have learned to guard my heart and mind with loud protestations against “freedom” or haphazard living. I have always tried to heed warnings from those around me whom I respect, and carefully inspect my options, desperate for a clear, lighted path to emerge. Almost by default, I avoid the path of least resistance, because, after all, if it’s not difficult, it must not be the right choice!

It has taken me some time to come to the understanding that this is perfectionism, once again, rearing it’s ugly head. There is actually very little in this world that I can control; very little that I get to choose. Even then, there are no guarantees that if I make the right decisions, that everything will turn out well. SO – how do I proceed inspite of my fears? How do I really live, when fear is constantly nipping at my heels, threatening to bite or attack? Or how do we, as F. D. Roosevelt acknowledged in his inaugural address in 1933, “convert retreat into advance”?

A thought came to me – as I power-tooled my way through my neighbours needles: fun.  Plain, simple, child-like fun is the perfect antidote for fear. Why is that? Well, fun can stop the harmful effects of fear in our lives. Fun can be a counter agent. When fear tries to creep into our lives, try throwing a little fun at him and see how he suddenly finds it impossible to stay so serious!  No, it doesn’t completely remove fear, but being able to laugh inspite of my fear, does a pretty good job at disarming its destructive tendencies in my life. What if I chose to have a little more fun in my life instead of guarding my heart from the next big disaster?

I hope it doesn’t need to be said, that I don’t, for one minute, believe that all we need to do is have fun, and our depression will fade. I have struggled for far too long to know that isn’t the case. However, I have noticed in my own life how I tend to shy away from the fun or frivolous, only to get stuck in my own murky disabling gloom. I don’t often feel like smiling, joking, or frolicking when my mood is low, but if I fight through the swamp to dry, lighter land I am often pleasantly surprised.

Fun may seem simplistic or even juvenile but it is one way we can disarm, avert and redirect our fear, hopefully changing our “retreat into advance”.

Becoming Ordinary: Day 220

SUFFERING WITH DEPRESSION? CLICK HERE for information and local resources (British Columbia)

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5 responses »

  1. Pingback: DEPRESSION DETOX: Thanks A LOT! | BECOMING ORDINARY

  2. You are very courageous, to put yourself out there Lalainia….to share your journey and struggles with depression and perfectionism in order to help others. When you struggle with these things it can be very difficult to have fun…or to feel the fun…I know because this has been a journey I have travelled myself…I pray that God heals you, although his plan for you may be to use your challenges and successes to help others 🙂 I believe I was led by God to become a mental health and addictions counsellor…it was no accident.

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    • The last time I overdosed I was so afraid I was going to overdose that I felt that going ahead and overdosing was the only way to escape the overwhelming fear of doing it. Detoxing from fear is definitely essential. I just stumbled across your blog. Thanks for so courageously sharing your journey. I look forward to following along.

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      • My thoughts and prayers are with you! It certainly can be a very difficult journey, but ultimately, I HAVE to believe, one worth taking!

        I was listening to someone today who was saying that our western culture is the only culture in history that doesn’t have a belief system in place to make sense of our suffering. It is my prayer for you, for myself, and so many others, that none of our suffering will be in vain… that it will lead us (as the last commenter said) to a place of empathy where we will be able to use what we have been through to bring about good – both for ourselves and those around us.

        I’m so glad to have you follow along on my journey – I definitely have some more tools that I am looking forward to sharing that I’ve been using to help me cope with fear and the other things that keep me down.

        Thanks for reading and commenting ~ it means a lot to me! ❤

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    • Thank you Karen!
      This is my biggest hope – that whatever I have to suffer through could be used for some good. I think it’s amazing that you ended up going into addictions counselling where you can connect with people who are having to suffer through things probably very similar to what you, or I, have had to live through. God’s grace and peace to you in your important work and in your ‘ordinary’ every day life. Thank you for reading and commenting, it really means a lot to me! ❤

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