Depression was always a hidden subject for me personally. I always thought depression was for those who were going through things and sometimes felt like the world was falling down on them. It couldn’t have applied to me, because I didn’t feel that. Wrong. Depression comes in many shapes and forms, it can stay for short or long time periods, and it will affect you in different ways. Depression comes a lot like death, I’ve never experienced death but what I’ve been told my whole life is that death comes like a thief in the night, no one knows the time or the hour. That sounds a lot like depression to me, it comes into my world, randomly most times, and it sneaks up on me and lays around until I decide to kick it out my space. Like most feelings, it can only consume you for as long as you allow it. Every time it comes around, I try my best to not allow it to drown me.
I’ve dealt with depression since I was a teenager. If I didn’t feel like things were going great, if I was being held to an extremely high standard (which was almost always), or if I felt like I was being judged, I would feel this sense of defeat. I would turn to different outlets, writing being a major one, my friends, and music. These were all the tools I needed to get out of that space, but what happens when you’re an adult and those tools aren’t readily available? When thoughts would come in and refuse to leave? I’m not as successful as this person. I have all these credentials, how come no one is hiring me? Everyone is in a relationship, how come I’m still single? I’m not consistent with things, this is why I’m always behind. Just simple thoughts like these would put me so far down sometimes, it would take me days to truly shake it off. Even worse, is smiling through it; when you want to tell someone, anyone really, that today, you’re just not up to it. But they don’t get it, because people often times don’t consider that feelings are real and contrary to what they see, sometimes, you don’t feel how you look. In my family especially, there is no room for you to be depressed. What can you possibly be sad for? They’d ask before listing all the things you should be grateful for and make it seem as if you’re wrong for feeling how you do. This is a problem. A problem I learned I would only solve by telling no one but God about it or dealing with it head on, and fighting it down.
I learned to unpack my feelings in many ways. First, take off the mask. Whatever I was feeling, no matter the time, the place, or who was around, I felt and acknowledged it. The only difference now was I didn’t let the feeling linger around or get a chance to plant itself. Next, the phone would go on silent and I’d meditate; I learned through meditation the art of getting thoughts and letting them go as quickly as they came. Then, for every negative thought or feeling, I would talk myself up. Not any wishy-washy bullshit either, gone were the days of speaking without purpose or intent, I firmly would talk to myself the way I would encourage those I love; I would tell myself all the positive attributes I knew about myself. You’re smart, you’re creative, you’re funny as hell, you’re beautiful inside and out, there is no one in this world like you, you’re one of one (thank you Nipsey Hussle for that last one lol). These are just the few of the things I’ve done, that worked for me. Like I said earlier, depression is different for everyone and sometimes it takes more than meditation and affirmations to get through it. Times like that, reach out. Call a hotline or a friend, go out into the world and see the beauty of simple things around you, or my favorite, find something that takes you away from that present feeling of defeat. If it’s one thing I learned about depressing is it hates a fighter, so when it comes around, give it fight, don’t give it chance to linger around and make your mind it’s home. Most importantly, forget the internet, forget what your peers are doing, and forget the expectations, do what brings you joy. And love yourself unconditionally, with all of your imperfections, that’s what makes us who we are and no one else has those traits.