Overcoming Depression is Not Easy

by Stephanie on February 4, 2014 · 6 comments

in Heavy Stuff

I have been pretty open about my struggles with depression (read this, this, and this) because, as I’ve said before, it’s important.  Even thought it is hard to write it for the whole world to see, if even one person reads it and feels less alone then it is worth it.  So this is a continuation of my story (as the title obviously gave away :) ).

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I have been super emotional lately.  This isn’t usually the case with my depression but it is because of it.  More accurately I think it is the fact that I am truly fighting to overcome the depression rather than letting it overpower me.  I’m not staying in bed when it hits me (usually).  I’m making plans (and not canceling them), I’m being social.  I’m working towards my goals for the first time in nearly two years.  And it’s HARD.

When my depression was new and at its worst (a little over 1.5 years ago) I maybe went to work and that was it.  There were frequently days I couldn’t get out of bed.  I wanted to die.  It has slowly gotten better.  I was able to go to work and concentrate but that was it.  The rest of the day I was useless because it took so much out of me.  Then I was able to do some other things, sometimes.  I still had a couple bad days each week though and I wasn’t capable of being consistent with much of anything.

Recently I have been working, going out with friends, cooking, working out, reading, trying new things consistently.  I am putting myself in situations that are not easy for me.  My depression wants to keep me down (in a way I think it wants to keep me safe; in bed where it is warm and where I can’t get hurt again).  For the first time in a long time I am being successful at moving past it.  This is great for me, but it has a price.   It is wreaking havoc on my emotions.  Consistently pushing myself out of what has been my comfort zone for the last 2 years is causing it to come out in other ways.  

I am crying all. the. time.  

During dinner, while watching American Idol auditions, and basically every time I’m in the car.  (Yes, I’m crying right now).   Sometimes it’s just a few tears.  More than I’d like to admit it is sobs.  Not because I am sad.  I’m not.  I’m SO excited that I’m training and eating healthy and getting back to my old self again!  It is just taking everything I have right now.  The crying is frustrating and inconvenient.  It makes me feel weak when I know I’m stronger than I have been in a long time.  The emotion just has to be released somehow.

There are times I won’t be able to or will choose not to fight it.  Times when I’ll gladly stay in bed for half the day because I need to regroup and reset (let’s be honest, I did that long before I was depressed).  Times when I will choose to sit with depression and acknowledge it, this time with the knowledge that it does not control me.  Maybe this is how people heal.  I don’t know.  It is just where I am at right now.

This doesn’t mean I’m happy overall or content with where my life is.  It isn’t that simple.  It means I’m moving forward as best as I can and doing better than I was before.  I hope it is a step in the right direction.

Overcoming depression is not easy.  Pushing through the sadness and fear and doubt each day can feel like a constant battle.  We just have to believe that it won’t be this hard forever.  And that what’s on the other side is worth it.

Note:  I’m by no means a professional in this area but if anyone ever needs someone to talk to about depression, please feel free to email me (athleteatheart @ gmail . com).  You are not alone.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin February 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

You are doing exactly what you need. It’s hard to make yourself do things, it’s hard to get out of bed some days…but that exactly what it takes to feel better. You are so strong!

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Stephanie February 4, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Thank you, Erin! Your support means so much!

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Sarah S February 6, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Making steady progress is great, I battle with depression, and can go weeks feeling great and then it hits you like a brick wall.
Remember we are all here for you even when you feel really alone *hugs*

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Stephanie February 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Thank you. You are a great friend. It really can just hit you and feel like all your hard work is out the window. But just gotta keep going.

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Kay Lynn February 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Steph, you have friends that love you and are here. I am fortunate not to have experienced depression myself, but have family members who battle it.

Please take your advice and remember you won’t feel this way forever.

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