Most, if not all, of us go through some really dark days; you know, those days when we dread waking up in the morning? Or when we force a smile all day but cry all night? While some of us are lucky enough to get over those days or moments, others are stuck in them. I am no pro, but I think that depression is becoming quite a big issue, especially among young people, and it’s time we started (or rather, continued; since people are now more aware of it) talking about it. Here are some ways (from some of my experiences), that I think can help get you out of that hole of emptiness.
DEPRESSION. ANXIETY. DARK DAYS. I have not necessarily gone through extreme depression, but I have most definitely gone through dark days, where I felt hollow inside. If there was a scale and depression was a 10, I’ve probably reached 7 or 8 on some days. First thing is to talk about the cause. For some, depression is actually clinical, but for others, especially in today’s world, depression is caused by other things as well.
First, is society; crazy, right? Society can be a living nightmare…if you let it. The moment you are born into this world, society has already decided who or what you should be if you want to ‘fit in’. It has already decided how you should live your life if you want to be ‘happy’. It has decided what activities are ‘cool’, and what hobbies are ‘the in thing’. It even goes as far as telling you what to wear, what events to attend and generally, how to live your life. Society literally has your whole life written out for you on its end, but you have the full control to not conform to society, and to live your life. Doing what society asks you to do is existing, but doing what you want to do is living. Of course, I keep saying that, by saying don’t conform to society, I don’t mean that you should do wrong things and call it ‘being different’. What’s right is right , even no-one is doing it. What’s wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. What I mean is that, you shouldn’t let society dictate your life, but you shouldn’t be reckless either. The moment you use society as a measuring scale to tell how well you are doing in life, or how much your worth is, you will most definitely find yourself in a really dark place, because, guess what!? You will never be good enough for it; but the moment you choose to be different and stand out instead of fitting in, you will see the beauty of life in your own eyes, and you will choose your path (you won’t let society choose it for you). As Kenny Loggins said, the first thing you need to do is; let go of your need of the world to love you.
Second is our past. Letting go of who we are or what we did is very hard, especially if you are surrounded by people who are constantly reminding you of it. When someone decides to change for the better, we shouldn’t be the ones dragging them back to it or reminding them of it either. Whatever things you may have struggled with or against then, they no longer define you. I wish I could tell you that once you decide to turn a new chapter, everybody will support you and your life will be this amazing thing you’ve always dreamed of, but that would make me a liar. The truth is, most people will still always view you for who you were or for what you did. However, that should neither make you fall back into your past, nor should it define you. YOU define you, and you choose what power others have over you. Be proud of yourself for being a new and different person, and don’t allow your mistakes to set the path for your future.
Third is the pressure to be perfect. I hate to be the one to break it to you but, YOU ARE NOT AND NEVER WILL BE PERFECT. For most of my years, I struggled with my insecurities, and it did take time before I realized that I was allowing society to get into my head. One of the best feelings in the world is to be able to look into the mirror and say that the person looking back at you is the fairest of them all; to also know that someone somewhere is prettier, smarter, *insert adjective*-er than you, and still be able to look in the mirror and say the same thing. Flaws are really beautiful, it just depends on how we choose to view them. As I once said, don’t let your flaws define. Your perfections and imperfections make you perfectly imperfect, and as much as you may not want to believe it, that is beautiful. In a world where everyone tries so hard to seem perfect, and spends so much energy keeping their skeletons locked in the closet, you can be the exception. BE DIFFERENT; BE WEIRD; BE YOU!
During depression, or those dark days, the first thing is to accept that you are not in a good place. However, instead of actually accepting it and dealing with it, most of us choose to cover it up by faking smiles everywhere, then crying at night. It is very okay to not be okay, but the worst thing that you could do is suppress these feelings, because eventually, they will come out, and they will destroy you. Sit down and accept that, yes! Right now, you are in a very dark place; you feel invisible (or visible but ignored), you feel insecure, you feel lost, you feel hollow. However, DO NOT let that situation define you, and do not make any actions based on what you feel. The first step is to accept and deal with the dark feelings before they get out of hand.
Another important thing is, don’t feel like a mess for feeling hollow or depressed. These dark days shape us way more than our ‘I’m-on-top-of-the-world’ days do. There is so much we gain from conquering all of this; so much strength, so much courage, so much confidence, so much faith. We have the power to turn these situations into a milestone in our lives. Someone somewhere will read or hear your story one day, and decide to not give up on themselves. For a reason as simple as that, you need to choose to fight these dark days, and get through them; because they will give someone the hope that they need to go through another day. It is always darkest just before sunrise.
Next is the hardest part; conquering or overcoming it all. I think the biggest problem with those that face depression or dark days is that, we choose to use temporary fixes to make us feel better, which eventually wear out and leave as feeling worse than we were feeling before. For example, during my really dark days, I would choose toeat. Others take extreme measures such as cutting themselves. Truth is, for a few seconds or minutes or hours, it works; these activities help us forget about everything. However, soon after, it all wears out, and we have to face the world again, giving fake smiles and fighting our feelings. The best way to deal with depression / dark days is not to get a quick-fix for it; the best way to deal with depression / dark days is to ACTUALLY deal with it. So, how exactly do you deal with it?
First, as much as this may not be what you had in mind, you have to believe in a Higher Power. You have to put all your faith in God and diligently seek Him. I know that during such times, it feels like He really isn’t there, but He is. I have gone through dark days and I cannot think of any way that I could have conquered or made it through these days if it weren’t for God. Sometimes you won’t be strong enough to hold on, and that is exactly why you need Him; to hold on for you. As weak or tired as you may feel, whether spiritually, physically or mentally, SEEK GOD.
Second, invest your life in something that gives it meaning. I know it’s cliché, but yes! Find a hobby, an interest; travel the world and redefine yourself. Take more time in your art, or your baking / cooking. or whatever it is that you are good at. Watching a sappy movie and crying will make you get through the night, but you will still wake up with that huge knot in your chest in the morning. Venturing into a sport that you love will get rid of that knot, and so will taking time to volunteer and help those in need. All I am trying to say is that, you need to do something that makes you bring out the best version of yourself. Doing so will not only help you conquer all the sadness or emptiness, but it will also help you socialize and create new friends, who will remind that you are not alone. focus on you. I know it sounds selfish, but remember that you are important. Pursuing your goals / dreams / interests will also teach you how to love yourself without seeking approval or validation from your friends or other people, which is a very important thing to learn. It will help you understand and build who you are. In short, invest in something that teaches / reminds you of who you are; invest in something that constantly reminds you that you mean something.
Last but not least, wake up knowing that you are going to conquer the world. Wake up with positive vibes and energy. Don’t drag yourself out of bed, say a prayer and jump out of it. Don’t make your breakfast grumpily, dance to some music as you do it. Don’t just wave to your neighbor, shout ‘GOOD MORNING!’ Your attitude in the morning greatly depicts the kind of day that you will have. Wake up feeling good about yourself, and if you don’t feel good about yourself, keep saying it until you believe it. Tell yourself positive things: ‘YOU IS KIND. YOU IS SMART. YOU IS IMPORTANT’. Remind yourself of your worth, and read or write something that makes you look forward to the day. Don’t let the world turn your smile into a frown. Wake up with the goal of making the most out of your day. Oh! And today, remember to shine!
Once you’ve done all that, I just want you to know that, it still won’t be easy. You know how people with addictions relapse? Yea, that will probably happen to you too. You will feel in full control one moment, then the next, you will be trying to fight the emptiness that is trying to get hold a of you again. Most times, it will feel like there is a war inside you, because one part of you will want to be happy, to live and not just exist; but another part will keep trying to drag you down to the lonely hole that you just crawled out of. Don’t worry; you still got this. Just keep fighting until it becomes a habit for that happy you to win. Eventually, the dark emptiness inside will have no choice but to give up. However hard it gets, don’t give up; and however tempting it gets, don’t give in to the darkness / emptiness. Fight till the end.
That’s it for this post. Remember that you are a wonderful person, and no matter what you feel, you have the power to be happy. As always, also remember that:
Thanks so much for reading. Have a beautiful week ahead! 🙂
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