These are some lessons that I have learned and continue to learn through my journey. I hope you will find them helpful.

Lessons Learning: A journey to find yourself when your mind slips into darkness

  • Don’t believe your mind or your thoughts
  • Trust other people, family and friends who know who you truly are
  • Depression is a disease you cannot talk yourself out of (unfortunately)
  • It is not something you can fight with sheer will
  • The harder you fight and want to do it on your own, the longer it will take to recover
  • Practice being, not doing (sounds crazy, but it will help)
  • If your brain feels like mush and does not work properly, that is normal for depression – try not to get too upset about it – when you start to heal, your brain will come back
  • If you feel like you can’t do anything right or like you used to do it, that is ok
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make any big decisions about family, career or other major life changes when you are depressed (you will be very tempted to do this because you probably think that you are worthless – that is only your mind talking and it is not true)
  • The more you surrender the faster you will heal
  • Don’t feel ashamed, you did not create the depression
  • If it has happened to you before, learn to recognize the signs early and get treatment right away
  • Life is a gift. Your life is a gift to the people that love you
  • Get sleep any way you can
  • Get second and third opinions
  • It may be incredibly difficult to make even the smallest decision. This is also normal for depression – try not to agonize over it, just choose one and move on to the next thing
  • If you are unable to be your own advocate, find someone who can do it for you
  • Be kind to yourself. You are your own worst critic. Nobody else knows what is going on inside your mind
  • Try to interrupt negative thinking patterns (this will be very difficult, but if you can notice them without judging that will help)
  • Do not compare yourself to other people
  • Do not stay in bed (you will be tempted)
  • Try to stay connected with family and friends the best you can
  • Believe that “this too will pass”
  • Remember to breathe
  • Medication can really help, but it needs to be the right kind for you. The wrong medication can make things worse. If you feel worse or have any thoughts of hurting yourself, scream as loud as you can and tell anyone who will listen
  • Medication, yoga, meditation, healthy eating, exercise can all be compatible and can all help with healing – do everything you can to feel better
  • Practice forgiveness, especially to yourself
  • Hang on, no matter what happens and how badly you feel
  • Life is incredibly fragile and precious
  • Don’t give up hope
  • Keep moving forward, don’t dwell on the past, no matter how bad it is.
  • When you are depressed, you are looking at the past and the future through a distorted lens that does not reflect reality – don’t believe what you see – it is not reality
  • One of the most important skills you can practice is patience
  • When people tell you to do nice things for yourself, you will probably think you don’t deserve it, but do them anyway
  • Do the best you can to exercise and get out in the sun every day
  • Accepting what is will be one of the first steps toward recovery