Going through depression was one of the hardest experiences I ever had to go through, but conquering it was one of the most powerful things I did. And I am so proud of myself!
Although every experience is unique, and it varies in its details, yet we all share some highlights that can help us navigate each other through the dark background.
A friend told me once that he suffered from depression for a whole year, before realising what it was. It’s very tricky that you cannot put hands on.
I can’t answer questions like when it started or how and why. It probably crawled on me slowly for a long time before I began to notice that I don’t enjoy the things I used to anymore. I was so bored and non-motivated all the time.
Drinking your depression away
I started drinking more often to enjoy the smallest things and to run away from the buzzing questions in my head.
What’s the value of my life? Why am I going on and on in these useless circles of my daily routine? Why was life so dark and unjust?
Endless questions were chewing and spitting my exhausted mind over and over again, and I couldn’t go anywhere.
I wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t sad. I was numb. I wanted to be sad and cry out these negative feelings, but I couldn’t find the tears. I couldn’t feel the luxury of happiness nor sadness. Any feeling whatsoever was just not there.
I was heavy. Carrying the weights of my depression felt like carrying physical burdens and going around with them on my shoulders. I was exhausted all the time that I couldn’t go out often.
I ended up spending all day either in my bed or on the couch scrolling through my social media or watching Netflix. With time I felt worse and worse until I eventually asked myself…
Am I depressed?
This question is the hardest. It implies that there’s a problem and there’s a journey waiting to fix the problem. The journey is hard and exhausting, and you are already substantial, tired and non-motivated to go on any journey.
The hidden hand of darkness
Depression has a hidden hand that darkened my consciousness. As if it was something alive fighting for its existence, it tried its best to convince me that I am beautiful and everything else around me is extra fucked up.
My friends are douchebags to me. My manager hates me for no reason, and life was fighting against me.
The hardest pill to swallow was that; Nothing of the above is right. I was depressed, and I needed professional help. The sooner I accept this, the easier I could cut the hidden hand of darkness.
What’s the next step?
Overexpressing did me wrong
Although I recognised that having my friends around me during this experience was very important, yet exposing myself to the wrong people was harmful.
Depression is very skilful in magnifying the tinniest negativities making huge monsters out of them. My friends did not understand what I was talking about, and they ended up giving horrible advice; From asking me to pray to belittle my suffering, which affected my mental status horribly.
Seeking professional help
Eventually, I understood that my depression is a severe psychological disorder. I cannot deal with it on my own, and no one should have convinced me otherwise. From there, I started to seek a professional therapist to talk about my problems—someone trained to help me getting better. Of course, that was not easy. Going to a therapist in Egypt is very challenging. Most of the people are afraid of being judged as “crazy” for going to a therapist, but I wanted to make my FBI agent proud.
Talking my heart out
Although I took all the right steps, and I was at the therapist office, yet it took me some time to realise that the therapist is the one who has all the correct answers. I didn’t trust him to talk my heart out but after four sessions. I found it just very hard to talk, which was wrong. I had to work hard to talk sooner so we can have better communication.
Enforce new habits to your routine
I was drained and non-motivated to start doing anything, yet I needed to start moving as lying on the couch all day was additional steps down the way. I had to try new activities:
- I started an online dancing class since going out was very hard for me.
- I went out every day, by sunset and took a 30 minutes’ walk around the block.
- When I found a little bit of energy inside me, I walked three days a week to a nearby pool.
- I started writing again. I wrote a lot about my feelings.
Writing down my feelings
Writing down my feelings gave it a physical form which I could look it in the eyes, see the space it’s occupying in my existence—touching it. Which, in return, gave depression a physical form that I can put hands on. Determine its borders and push it back.
Embrace the pill
My therapist prescribed me an antidepressant. It was not easy for me to accept this. I kept hesitating for a very long time. It felt like a commitment to the pill. But It was time to get over my fear of commitment as I faced myself with the fact that my therapist knows better and if he prescribed a pill then most probably I won’t work it out without the pill.
Do not be afraid of asking for help. But do it professionally if you are depressed. When your therapist gives you a pill, embrace the pill. It’s your friend.