Continuing with the theme of loss through the lens of depression, I really want to address how to cope with the loss of a “normal life”. A psychiatrist once told me that between my chronic pain and depression, I had a right to mourn the loss of a normal life.
This caught me off guard. I had never looked at it that way and I really never gave myself permission to. I was forever stuck in the notion that I was going to miraculously wake up cured of this crippling mind fuck.
But once she said that, I really thought about it. And I understood in that moment that I was going to have to face this head on. I learned that it was an important step to not only coping with my depression, but overcoming it as well. Accepting my weakness and admitting it was a really powerful tool in my fight toward happiness.
Once I accepted that this was something I was probably always going to have to deal with, I gave myself some time. I really let myself be sad, feel pity for myself, and just think through what it means to give up the ideal life I had planned. I came to the realization that depression doesn’t define me or my life. Depression is a part of me, but not all of me.
Since those days I have really tried to plan my life and everything I do while keeping my depression in mind. Giving myself permission to stop, ask for help, or take time to address it started to be something I often considered and planned out. I’m not saying there aren’t days where I am tired of it all, days where I throw pity parties – those days happen. And thank the good lord for Netflix on those days. But after I accepted depression into my life, it has become infinitely easier to combat it.
This is an ongoing fight, and something I think about a lot. It is a lot of work to be sad and feel helpless. But I find that for me, acceptance was the first step toward getting myself to a better place.