Caution: Depression is not an infection where you take a course of antibiotics for and within a few days you are infection free. It takes time, and even when you think you have recovered because you have three “normal” days, it comes and pushes you in the same black hole again. The good part is that it slowly comes with lesser frequency and stays for a lesser time period. There are more happy days and slowly only happy (normal) days. But, the important thing to remember is, the intensity with it effects you might be lesser/ more/ same compared to the previous one.
I knew this as I had been amply warned by my doctor, but the heart believed ‘I am lucky enough for it to just go away completely’! (Remember, I am THE optimist) I was again shocked when I started feeling hopeless last week, and by weekend I could not stop crying (I could not eat dinner the other day without tears continuously rolling down my face). Since I have had a moderately ok couple of weeks and had been stepping out of the house too, I was super sure it won’t ever happen again….so, another lesson learnt.
Some extremely good things happened to me during the “depressing days” and though it might seem silly, but I am actually now grateful for this phase! It’s been an excellent teacher… it’s taught me to breathe, and be grateful for it. Let me elaborate!
I was immature enough to laugh at the ‘self-help’ section at the bookstores – I mean, seriously? How can you read books and start “positive thinking”! Chanting was meant for “old” people and meditation was impossible….every time my Dad tried to teach me pranayama, I would stop breathing… or just start laughing. I knew these are probably good things but definitely not meant for me till was very old (maybe 80?)!
However, when I was desperate to do anything to feel calm, a friend told me to meditate! Even in the lowest of my days, I could not figure out how to do it. Then I discovered an app called Insight Timer – and that changed my life! It has zillions of guided meditations and visualisations and even in my worst days, I have used it to survive. The guided meditations range from a minute to more than an hour… and are meant for practitioners at different levels. I found it easy to focus on the calm voice of the teachers and practice.
I realised if you just take deep breaths, you feel better! And if you can manage to smile while breathing out, your brain will start thinking about all the awesome happy memories, and forget that it was stressed. It’s magic! Just try it even if you don’t think it will work…you will be amazed!
This has been by far the greatest gift depression has given me. And yes, I am grateful for that.
Thank you for reading and please do write if you think I can help you in any way.