If you have ever struggled with depression or any mental health issue, you know it’s a difficult place to be. Emotions range from deep sadness to apathy and indifference. The easiest tasks can seem insurmountable.
Although I like to keep it real on here, I also like to spread a message of positivity. Yes, different times in life can be hard (mental illness or not), but there’s always a way through and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be hard to see, but keep walking and you’ll get there.
In reflecting on this past year and even many years of my life prior to that, I’m beginning to see that my struggle with depression is not something that limits me. In fact, I’ve added it as another badge of honor previously reserved for surviving my addiction. I think that with each hurdle we overcome, we become more unique, more interesting, and more valuable in our life experiences.
In true thinking out loud fashion, here are five positives that I have taken from my depression.
1. I’m more compassionate
Going through my own struggles has given me more compassion towards others. I have a tendency to keep my feelings close to my chest (aside from baring them here on the internet for the world to see), so knowing what I was going through at certain times while no one else knew makes me realize that others may be struggling as well.
I certainly don’t do it perfectly, but I’m more acutely aware of considering someone else’s life situation before passing judgement on them.
2. I realize my own strength
The fact that this has been a struggle for me for well over a decade with no medical intervention proves to me just how strong of a person I am capable of being. Continuing to show up for responsibilities when it was difficult to even get out of bed shows me my own dedication and work ethic.
3. I have more appreciation for the good times
Since I’ve been on medication for the past couple months now, I have a much greater appreciation for life. During the difficult times in my addiction and depression, it was hard to appreciate much of anything. Today I know where I’ve been and where I am now, and I appreciate the now so much more.
Related: Mental Illness Awareness Week
4. I’m motivated to exercise
For some people, regular exercise is all they need to maintain a positive outlook and mood. I think we can all agree that getting enough exercise was not a problem for me, but it didn’t quite do the trick. Even though I’m on a low-dose of antidepressants, working out is still incredibly important for me in maintaining a routine and physically taking care of myself. I’m always in a great mood on the days that I exercise.
5. I continually work on my personal development
When people don’t have anything negative going on, it’s less likely that they will take time to look internally and question whether they are living the best life they can. Are they being open-minded? Honest? Compassionate? Can they improve on any of their behaviors or mindsets?
When you are depressed, you KNOW there’s something wrong. You know you’re not living up to your potential and you are constantly ruminating on that fact. Depression is such an uncomfortable place to be that you will look for any way out. This means setting up therapy appointments, using medication, trying exercise, meditation, yoga, or any number of solutions. Depression has actually been one of the biggest catalysts in me looking for a way to life the best life I can.
- Have you ever struggled with depression?
- What are some positives you can take away?