We have been taught from very early on that feeling happy is the best state of being. As you grow up, you realise that feeling happy is only one of the many emotions that you feel. Feeling sad, feeling down, feeling low, feeling depressed, feeling contemplative, and aloof- they are all the other parts of your emotional spectrum that make you who you are. Often when people tell you “I am sad”, they mean it in a very momentary sense.
Sometimes, it is a continual void that you feel within yourself. It feels like a black hole. No matter what you do, who you talk to, whether you exercise or not, that void keeps coming back. Sometimes you feel that it will consume the whole of you.
I had undergone mental health therapy for almost 30 months. My thoughts about feeling sad, feeling very sad, and feeling depressed sometimes passed in minutes and other times they stretched on for days or weeks together. There were physical manifestations too. There was a constant headache that just would not go away. There was a niggling pain in the back of my knee. My mental state was being further compounded by my physical pain, and I kept feeling sad and alone.
When I finally took up therapy, and after working my way through it for quite some bit, I feel as though I can share what made me feel better.
Write letters to yourself.
Every time that I thought “I am sad”, I put pen to paper. I wrote my heart out. I wrote poems, stories, and journals. Sometimes I published and other times I just wrote. How does this help? It shows you if there is a pattern to what you are feeling. It tells you if you are feeling sad or feeling depressed on certain days of the week or during a specific time of the day. Sometimes there may be no pattern at all. Over time as you get better, and you read what you had written in your past, it gives you courage.
Battling mental health problems every day, keeping yourself sane and functional when things feel pointless is an uphill battle. Writing to yourself helps keep these feelings of depression and sadness in check. If you have morbid thoughts, write those too. When you recover and read back from those days, you will be proud of the person that you’ve become.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
I can’t stress this enough. I also understand that on days when you are feeling very sad or feeling depressed, getting out of bed is hard enough, forget about exercising. I enlisted the help of a friend for this. We took up an activity that we both liked- in my case, it was walking and running. She would come to my place every alternate day at the said time, and if needed would drag me out of bed.
There were days when it took her quite a lot of time to just get me to get dressed but she didn’t give up. When I got back from exercising, I still felt that void, but it wasn’t so painful. The endorphins kicked in. My head ache abated for a while and I was able to get a few hours of sleep. Tiring your body is of utmost importance when your mind refuses to stop thinking.
Depend on your tribe shamelessly.
This friend who I walked with was my constant ear and shoulder. It was her who urged me to go to therapy. It was her who ensured that all the tasks that my therapist assigned to me were done. With her I had no boundaries and she was privy to everything that was going on- even the days when I felt that just ending all this was better than trying for it to get better.
Every time that I felt sad and alone, all I had to do was reach out to her. There is no shame in undergoing a mental health issue. Also it does no good to think “why me”. It just is something that you have to work through- just like any other health issue.
Every time that you feel “I am depressed” or “I am sad” or if you are feeling low and alone, engaging in any of these activities will get you eventual relief. It is an uphill battle, but fight you must. There is no other way. You have to keep going.
Find a BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.