I'm gettin' a bit serious on ya today, folks. I got this email, and a few others like it, so I figured it was best to respond publicly to give tips to those who may be too shy to ask.
I feel silly e-mailing you like this, but I read your blog every day and have always really appreciated your honesty. You write about your Depression and are very open about it which is really refreshing to me since I suffer from it also. I was wondering if you had ways of dealing with the bad days, or if you turned to medication (if that's too personal, I apologize). I just wonder if there are helpful tricks I was not yet aware of.
I love your writing, take care.
Thanks for emailing me, I'm keeping the name anonymous as promised.
So, three cheers for the bitch that is depression!
To answer your question, no - I don't use any medication. I've been told to, but I worry about side effects and changes in personality. Some like it, some don't. It may work for you. (Hell, it may work for me but I'm chickenshit. Depressed chickenshit, no less).
When I was seeing my counselor, she said that four ways to help depression were: laughter, sex, creativity and exercise.
In that case, you should run to a comedian's house, sleep with him, then write a poem about it. Shazam! Four at once! All better. Right?
Well no, probably not. Those things can help (one of the four could also make things worse...), but they aren't sure-fire fixes. And I'm no expert, but this is what I do:
- Take Vitamin D. Research it a bit, then take the dose you think is best. Maybe I'm crazy (ahem), but I actually notice when I don't take any. I feel different.
- If you inexplicably feel the need to cry, just friggin' do it. Bawl your eyes out. Punch stuff. Talk to yourself, whatever. Holding things in won't help you. Learn from Wayne's World - "If you're gonna spew, spew into this".
- Get outside. When I feel trapped in my own head and negativity gets to be too much, I leash Daisy up and head out. Exercise in any way can help clear your head. Sometimes it makes me angrier because I hate working out, but that's a different story.
- Write. Start a diary, throw all your thoughts into it. Or write whatever you feel, however you feel it. I have about 4 diaries on my computer, and I look back at them sometimes and think "Wow. That was pretty damn bad. How did I get through it?" It can help.
- ...along those same lines, try to rid yourself of the people who make you feel like shit. You know the ones I mean. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's easy. But anyone who constantly brings you down or hurts you isn't worth your time and will only serve to make you feel worse. Take this one seriously. Some people suck, c'est la vie.
- Be awesome. Go out. Dance naked. Throw stuff at other stuff. Be weird. Hit on that guy (or girl) you think is way out of your league. Rip up papers. Purge your closet. Hug a puppy. Shave your head. Skip down the street singing "My Sharona" in Spanish. Learn "My Sharona" in Spanish.
Live life, even if it really really sucks sometimes. When you hate everything and wish you didn't exist, force yourself to get up and do something; be something. Cuz holy hell... you're so much better than the shit you're feeling.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go figure out how to take my own damn advice. Bah!