From what I understand, which isn’t a great deal, depression comes in many forms. I don’t think the depression I’ve experienced is what would be considered severe. But to me it was pretty bad. For the majority of the last 2-3 years I just have not been myself the majority of the time.
I used to be so self-motivated, excited to try new things, ready to conquer the world. And then ever so gradually that stopped. I had to force myself to workout even one day a week. I never wanted to eat healthy or even cook. I barely wanted to see friends or go anywhere or do anything. I basically hid out most of the time. I had moments of “myself” when I would want to connect with people and go do things, or workout, or eat healthy. It didn’t last long though.
I even got to the point I quit getting out of my pajamas or sweats all day. Many days I wouldn’t even shower (ewww!!). I would get emotional, crying from loneliness even though I was surrounded by family and “connected” with friends daily on facebook. There were days I wondered what is the point of me even being here – what purpose do I even serve? I wasn’t suicidal but I wasn’t living or enjoying life much at all.
I began thinking about calling my doctor to get on an anti-depressant. I don’t even like taking Tylenol for a headache so thinking about taking medication for depression really bothered me. I decided to wait a couple of weeks and try to pull myself out of it in other ways first.
I began with two things. I decided to shower every day, no matter how I felt, and put on clothes that made me at least feel like I could go out in public at a moments notice. I also put on make up every day too (another thing I quit doing). In addition to the little things that made me feel prettier on the outside, I began seeing an Acupuncturist for the pain in my back and for weight loss.
The Acupuncturist told me the weight gain and the pain in my upper back were both stress related. He said all the stress is causing my body to gain weight and store it in my belly and hips, and that the back pain is from bottled up stress. He suggested ten visits. I started this six weeks ago doing just one visit a week at first because I couldn’t get in twice.
After two Acupuncture visits the pain I felt in my back was almost totally gone. After a couple more visits the knot in my back was gone. I didn’t realize at first that he was more focused on the stress than the back pain. But, I noticed I was feeling less stressed than before. This week, 9 visits and six weeks later, I feel the best I have felt in such a long time.
I’m working out 5-6 days a week, and walking the dogs on the off days. I shower every day and put on at least jeans and a nice top, along with makeup every day. I even keep my hair out of a pony tail most days. I even feel like I want to start eating better and I’m not panicked about the idea of giving up sugar, sodas, and crap food. I feel relaxed about it, like it is time and it is going to be ok.
I don’t know if it is the outward things I’m doing to feel prettier that have made me feel less depressed or the Acupuncture. But, I’m pretty sure they both worked together to help. I know I felt less stressed after each Acupuncture visit, and I’m confident that the release of bottled up stress has allowed me to continue to do the things I need to for helping me stay out of depression.
I no longer feel like I need to get on medication, but I do feel like I need to keep up with doing things that make me feel better about myself. So on hard days, even if I don’t want to get out of my pajamas I know I need to make myself do it. The simple act of showering, getting dressed in something nice, and looking in the mirror to see myself looking better makes me feel at least a little better.
It really is so easy to get mired down in the negativity, staying secluded, avoiding people, places and things. People aren’t going to save you. Most of the time they have no idea what you are going through because you don’t talk about it. Success doesn’t come from hiding out and giving up. It comes from climbing out of the hole, facing the struggle, pushing through, and conquering the demons.
I hope to never feel so low (or any lower), ever again. I know I’m not completely out of it, but I’m on my way and it feels really good to actually have a glimpse of the happy, motivated, ready-to-get-shit-done woman that I used to be.