We all know that there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding mental illness. As time goes on, more and more people are talking about their mental health and how we can correct those misconceptions we all too often hear.
Disclosing my mental health was never at the forefront of my plans when it came to my blog posts. Not because I don’t want to talk about it. I do and I think it’s important to.
But this is not a pity party. I’m perfectly comfortable and happy with my mental health. It’s not perfect. But that’s OK. Today, I wanted to talk about how, with the help of time and patience, I have become happier in myself and how my depression is now easier to live with.
I’m not going to get too personal, this isn’t about me. This is about other people who may be struggling and want to know that happiness isn’t impossible to achieve.
We all know now that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. We know it’s not a trait, or a choice. It is simply just a chemical reaction. It’s the way my DNA is structured. If you want to read more about clinical depression click here.
So how can I be depressed and happy? For a long time I would only feel down. Happiness came few and far between and any happiness I did feel felt fake. Now, I feel both happy and down and whilst not at the same time, I am living happy, with depression.
“Am I really happy?” Is a question I often ask myself. On a good day this is easy. There is a lot of good in my life and I choose to be happy about it.
On a not so good day, this becomes a little trickier. In the midst of feeling depressed, it’s easy to forget about all of your other emotions. It takes time and patience to understand your depression.
There have been a lot of steps over the last two years which have led me to a point of acceptance. My entire outlook on life has changed. About a year ago my dad introduced me to meditation. I find that there is a fine line between my happiness and my depression. Things can change very quickly and for no reason at all. With meditation I can find a sense of calm and begin to accept how I’m feeling. Rather than trying to fight it all the time.
It took a long time for me to be able to laugh at something honestly. To smile at something fully. To be able to accept all of my emotions and feel them as they are. Depression can often make you feel guilty if you feel happy in any way. This is something that takes a lot of time and convincing to undo. But it is possible.
Making and taking time for yourself will feel uncomfortable at first. Sitting and telling yourself that you have a lot to offer and that you deserve happiness just as much as the next person will seem ridiculous. And as awful as this is; the depression probably isn’t going to go away. At least for me, I’m still facing it every single day. But this doesn’t mean you have to hate it. It helps make us who we are. I’m only who I am right now because of all the things my depression has taught me. But it doesn’t define me.
Accepting your emotions as they come and go is the easiest way to balance them. Accepting that you feel happy and allowing yourself to feel it is important. Do not be in denial about your happiness. It is there and it should be felt. Accepting your depression, your down days and all the awful things that come with it are important too. If you’re in denial about your sadness, you will always be ignoring it. Pushing it back and it will always fight its way forward and it gets uglier every time it appears. Once you accept that those feelings are there and that they need to be felt, it becomes so much easier to understand them. Then it becomes easier to overcome them. You begin to know what to expect and how to deal with it.
It can be difficult to accept. I’m not trying to make it sound easy. Sadness is not a nice way to feel. It’s painful. I’ve spent more of my time crying in the last two years that I have my entire life. Finding happiness with depression and having them run alongside each other is hard and sometimes terrifying.
A lot of people now assume that my depression is gone because I’m a lot better at dealing with how I feel. I can sit and enjoy spending time with those I love and not let my depression interfere. But it is still there. I still have bad days, weeks and sometimes months. I do have a brighter outlook on life now and I do handle my depression much better than I once did. But I can’t change my DNA. I can’t change the way my brain and body works. This is just how it is.
I’ll always be changing and growing. I’ll always be finding new ways to live a little easier. The point is, everyone deserve happiness and I just want to tell you that you can be happy too.
Thank you for reading if you have made it this far. If you have any questions then please leave them down below. Of course, this entire blog post is relative to me. Take what you want from it and make it relative to you.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”