I am one of a great number of people who feel a sense of urgency to talk about Robin Williams. I feel the need to talk about the strangeness of how an actor could impact your life; greatly. I am most impressed to talk about depression. I feel saddened to think about his struggle & how that affected his life; and family.
I have struggled with depression my whole life. I can remember it from elementary school. It makes me think of Dexter’s dark passenger. Depression is like a dark passenger in your life. I feel a weight on my life. It’s like a heavy garment that I wear. It makes me tired and grouchy. I don’t want it. There are those who think they understand, but if you do not also share this struggle, you don’t have any idea. It’s like a feeling that comes over you – often out of no where.
Here are some tools I have picked up over the past 30+ years that have helped me manage it:
1) Keeping a journal or notebook to keep track of where I am.
Not to navel gaze, but to have a record how I was yesterday &, from that, maybe have a clearer expectation of what tomorrow may bring. It isn’t a big deal. I might just write the date & then how I felt. Was today a HIGH, MEDIUM or LOW day? Why is this helpful? If you can begin to look at your depression more objectively, you can manage it with more clarity. For instance, if today was a high day, I can pretty much bet that tomorrow will be a medium day & if today is a medium day, I can prepare for the possibility that tomorrow may be a low day. That is saying it simply, but anyone who deals with depression knows that it isn’t simple, but this practice has truly helped me.
2) Having a list of things that pull me out of my funk ready.
There are lots of things that help. My list would probably be different than yours, but I bet some of these will be helpful to you. Here are some of mine:
Cleaning the house.
Blogging or sharing my struggle: lets go of the shame & isolation that can come with depression.
Listening to worship music with lyrics that have scripture weaved in. Depression can leave you feeling like you don’t want to do anything – no motivation -but I can always put some music on & it speaks to my spirit.
Painting, sewing, creating.
Dance party with my kiddos.
Cardio literally makes you happier. True story:
3) Lies vs Truth
I have found it helped to write down what lies/stinkin thinkin that is swirling around in my head on a sheet of paper (or in in my journal). These, I put in the left column &, in the right column, I write what’s the Bible says in regard to that. For instance:
I feel alone “surely I am with you always” Matthew 28:20b
No one loves me “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Psalm 15:9
& “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5
4) Sometimes the best thing you can do is see a therapist.
I have been a ton myself & it helps so much to, periodically, have input from someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight. It can be pretty scary to take the first step to make an appointment. You can do it though.
If you are struggling with depression, I hope this helps you in some way. Please always feel free to send me a message & I would love to pray for you.
Big hugs. xoxo