Even though depression is hell on Earth, as every cloud, it has its silver lining. And, just like a cloud, after a while it goes away, leaving behind blue sky and sunshine. Gratefulness is one of the think I am working on right now, so let’s practice some gratitude. If you are very depressed, it is hard to imagine that someone may be grateful for this suffering and long days of despair and sorrow. So was I. There may be plenty o f things to be grateful for… Depression and gratitude?! You must be thinking I’m nuts (well, I visit a psychiatrist once a month, so there must be some truth in it;-).
Although it may sound like a self-flagellation, believe me, once you start getting over it, you won’t be the same person anymore. A small mindset shift will let you fight depression naturally.
How has depression changed my life for better?
Delving into self-reflection allowed me to grow as a person. Depression made me rethink my priorities, as well as reformulate my values and harmful convictions. I have learnt so much about myself that now I wonder how could I ever be so blind… Thanks to depression, I discovered that I am a Highly Sensitive Person and granted myself the right to show weakness, cry, and be vulnerable. I don’t have to be perfect anymore. I allowed myself to be just the way I am, without pretending to be smarter, prettier or more sociable.
Depression taught me to be good to myself and love myself more than ever. By observing my mood swings, I learnt to listen to my heart and refuse to force myself to do the things I hate doing. Now, I am working on my strengths without getting discouraged by minor failures, which, at the end of the day, will turn out completely meaningless.
I also became aware that even though there will be always things I cannot change, I can always change the perspective. You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust sails, they say. When one door closes, another opens, which makes any regret nonsensical. I am still learning to stop worrying about everything that is out of my control.
Depression still teaches me to be “here and now”. It makes me appreciate the good and quiet days and small every-day pleasures. A walk in the forest, sunshine, picturesque sunsets, birds singing, a cold beer after a busy day… All those apparently insignificant things gain a completely new meaning, once you reemerge from the darkness of your thoughts and the emotional vacuum. I embrace all my emotions with a non-judgmental attitude. Whether I am feeling joy or sorrow, my feelings are perfectly valid. It’s okay to feel like crap sometimes.
Finally, it inspired me to find out how to start writing this blog and change my life for better.
Depression is more than just an illness. It’s a relief valve. It emerges to the surface when things are going wrong to protect you from stress to great to be handled. Once you overcome depression, you will probably be stronger and happier than ever before.
How about you? Why are you grateful for your depression?