Self-Care + Solitude
Disclaimer: This is my truth: raw and painful, yet a beautifully intricate depiction of what life is like for someone dealing with depression.
It's still hard for me to articulate the roller coaster of emotions I've experienced the past few months. Thinking about the place that I a̶m̶ was in still brings me to tears. As I look back to just a few months ago, I see a girl who was in an unbearable amount of pain. Although I was never suicidal, the pain that took a temporary residence inside of my heart was more than I had ever experienced, and hope to ever experience.
I found myself drowning in depression earlier this year. Although life threw a few lemons at me, I knew that they were not the cause of my depression. There was no particular trigger for this un-welcomed guest. Every single day I found myself fighting. It was as if I was fighting a person who entered my mind/body and brought all of their bags filled with sadness, pain, hurt, and anxiety. This person wanted me to believe that I was alone, that no one truly cared about me, and that I was unimportant: complete opposites of everything that I actually believe.
Me being the strong and sometimes private, introverted person that I am, I distanced myself from a lot of people. Not because I didn't believe they cared, but because this was something I wanted to deal with on my own, and with the help of only 1 or 2 individuals. (Ya'll know who you are. THANK YOU!)
For me, my solitude was an important part of my journey to healing. I'm an extroverted-introvert. I love to be around people, but I feel re-charged when I spend time by myself. Being in solitude throughout this journey, not allowing many people in my space, gave me the freedom to fight this beast how I wanted to fight it. I gave myself room to feel every emotion, to cry every tear, and to scream how and when I wanted to. I didn't have to worry about others' unwarranted, self-proclaimed-professional opinions.
One thing I learned on my journey was the importance of true self-care.
I learned to listen to my heart, mind, body, and soul to figure out what I needed in that moment to get through a depressive episode. Every part of you (heart, mind, body, and soul) is connected. Meaning, my anemia at times would make my depression worse. When I get physically tired (on a normal day) I get cranky. When I'm physically tired and dealing with depression? I cry non-stop. So in that moment, I would listen to my body and realize that I'm crying because I'm tired. I either need to take my vitamins, workout, or get some sleep.
One time, I had gotten so in tune with my body, that I immediately knew that what would make me happy in that moment was listening to one of my favorite Beyonce songs while dancing in the mirror and eating gelato at the same time.
Although we like look at self-care as important, it's actually at times vital for survival.
If I had not learned how to take care of myself, I'm not sure if I would have survived the web of depression that I found myself entangled in.
This is just a small part of my story. Your journey to healing may not look like mine. You may have to fight a little less, or a little harder. But the important thing is that you fight.
Need someone to talk to? Call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.