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When Depression Is Your Middle Name.

I am one of many faces of depression. No, depression is not always obvious. People seem to think that depression looks like something gloomy or frail, thrown together with the last thread of care, but sometimes depression is the brightest person in the room. It’s the person who makes your day enjoyable with their charm, the lady in the office who glows with excitement, the man in the church who you admire for his seemly ways. You’d never know in a million years that sometimes behind the smile… is a person with so many complex emotions bottled up inside. A person who is trying so hard to be strong for everyone, when they can barely manage to be strong for themselves. They know the feeling of loneliness, being unworthy, or not feeling loved. They protect you and shower you with so much kindness, so that you do not have to feel what they feel every day.

Struggle with depression means that today, I’d wake up like any other person, except the moment I opened my eyes, reality would instantly set in. A river of emotions could possibly flood my mind. Even though I was thankful to be alive, depression would still make me unsure of how to face the day. When I finally got out of bed, I would most likely be weary or afraid. While getting ready, I’d force a smile and silently reassure myself that I could fake it another day, if I needed to.

See, depression is like a social mask that you slip on. A mask that helps you greet people most days, even though you’re secretly drowning in your sorrows. Please understand that depression is a constant struggle. You’re trying to look sane for society, when really your mind is a complete mess.

When they asked me if I was okay, my response was, “I’m tired,” a reply mistaken time and time again for sleepy. I wasn’t sleepy tired, I was tired of fighting my own mind. Yet, they missed the hints, the signs, the clues. Not because they were oblivious, but because they didn’t understand. What’s the use in replying that you’re good when you’re not? I was always afraid to come out and openly admit my problem to the world, from feeling like they would reject me. So this is why I’d never answer anyone honestly.

Don’t get me wrong. There are good days. Days that are great. I laugh, I talk, I enjoy things. And sometimes I even think to myself that I’m perfectly okay. Feeling like maybe, just maybe, things are going back to normal. You have to realize though, at times that feeling fades as quickly as it comes. It’s like a switch clicks off without warning. I may have smiled today, but that doesn’t mean that I’m completely okay. I’m fine for the time being.

Confusing, isn’t it? Well, that’s my mind, day in and day out. I’m trying to explain this the best way I know how. If you’ve ever dealt with depression, then these words may make sense. If you haven’t, please spare me the harsh comments or snide remarks. Be mindful of how scary opening up can be. Exposing myself puts me at risk of getting hurt or being judged. Your careless remarks are liable to add onto my list of already growing insecurities.

I need your ear to listen, because for me, crying is therapy. I don’t want you to tell me I’m suicidal or that I need medication, because that is not always the case. I just need a person to trust in, someone to turn to. We are not crazy people. We need time to heal, time to think, time to fix the brokenness inside. We need support, we need love, we need reassurance.

Remember, we just cope differently with what life throws our way. Yes, we pray, we fight, we try. We are just people searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. A trace of hope. Something to save us from our despair.

Open Topic

Reset Your Life.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to reset. You know, when your computer freezes and doesn’t want to respond in any way, then it’s time to hit that reset button.

A computer is ‘refreshed’ and given a chance to start over.

Basically, it’s the same thing with us. Sometimes, we get stuck in life and we have to do something that will get us out of there but you don’t know absolutely anything about it.

You know that you desperately need a reset but you don’t know how to make it happen. We usually wait until some higher power gets involved and we are left without a choice.

When we are faced with something unpleasant or painful – sickness, the loss of a loved one, an accident – then somehow, magically, things get prioritized and everything becomes crystal clear to you.

The things you need and want in your life. The people you need and want in your life. Everything seems to be in order.

You made amends with yourself. You are now in a place you always wanted to be. You are satisfied with your life finally.

And all that took one moment. One moment where you realized what the point of life is.

One moment to learn how to live in peace and harmony. And you can’t do that unless you ‘refresh’ yourself just like you do with your computer.

Just stop. Stop doing all those things you think are essential to your life even though they are making you unhappy.

Stop chasing responsibilities, jobs, lunches, people, whatever. Take time for yourself.

It’s time to reevaluate your life.

Are you satisfied? What is missing in your life? What do you want to do? What makes you truly happy?

Look at your life objectively. Make some major decisions.

Sometimes, this can be uncomfortable and you won’t know what is the right thing to do.

Maybe it’s time to let go of that almost boyfriend who is making you miserable.

Maybe you should decide to forgive a friend who has failed you.

Maybe you could gather the courage and start the project that has been on your mind for a long time.

Or maybe you will dare to take that journey which you have delayed for a long time.

Something needs to change in your life. It doesn’t have to be any radical changes. It needs to be something that will make you feel peaceful and happy.

You feel like you don’t have enough energy to deal with life? You feel like you are burned out? Then take a break. Take a break from your life.

Make yourself a relaxing bath or go to the place that has the most calming effect on you. Breathe mindfully.

Make yourself feel like you are the only person in this world, or at least that you are the most important one.

No worries, no pain, no stress. You break free from everything that is making you tired and exhausted.

Life isn’t all about constant fights or struggles and running after things that in the end aren’t so important. Sometimes, it’s about resting and letting things be.

When you feel like you are stuck in life or you are too burned out to continue with everyday responsibilities, you must hit that reset button. Find time in your schedule for you.

Here are some tips to refresh your life. I hope this will help you.

1. Fall in love with yourself again

You are important! Your needs are important. Your feelings are important.

If you don’t value yourself enough and take a stand for yourself, you sabotage yourself that way.

Look yourself in the mirror. Put your make-up on and wear the best dress in your closet and the highest heels you have.

Do you see that girl? She is full of life and only she has the power to rule her life.

Remember, it is possible to take care of your needs and at the same time take care of the people around you.

Once you fulfill your needs, you will be far more capable of helping those who need help.

2. Postpone all work for a week

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t accept any new jobs during the week. If you happen to get some new projects, kindly decline them.

If it is a job that you cannot refuse, say that you have to complete your ongoing projects this week and that you will return to the job assigned to you next week.

Then choose two or three projects (depending on the complexity) and concentrate on completing them this week. Take care of any new projects next week.

3. Plan a trip

This is the journey we mentioned before. You planned it a long time ago but you always had something more important to do, so you postponed it for some other time.

Don’t postpone it any longer. Do it now.

I mean, right now. Pick a destination, buy the tickets, pack a bag of clothes and the things you’ll need. And that’s it.

You deserve to rest. Bon voyage!

4. Try a new hobby

Hobbies often provide a creative outlet that you might not get in your everyday life.

They allow you to do something that’s just for you. Or you can try to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Maybe you’ll discover something new. Maybe you’ll get to like something you never even wanted to try.

However, it will brighten your life. Any new thing you try can get the spark back into your life.

5. Break your routine

We all have some kind of routine but it gets so monotonous. You feel trapped in a life of routines.

Fortunately, you can get out of it. One of the best ways to stay ‘alive’, engaged and full of energy is to experience new stuff and new opportunities every day.

Shake up your usual routine. Remember—less routine, more life.

It all depends on you. Don’t wait for life to reset you and put you in a corner. Maybe then it will be too late.

Only you can change your life. Only you can repair your system.

It’s all in your head. All you have to do is push the button.

Slow motion camera stabilization shot of a young girl having fun throwing buckwheat flowers up in the air in the middle of the field in the countryside. Low angle view.