Unfortunately to many want to hide it, not talk about it, & power thru it. The “it” being depression and/or anxiety. My belief it’s because of others poor understanding of what they are. Simply put depression is regret of the past while anxiety is irrational fear of the future.
Believe me no one wants to be walking around like Charlie Brown and a cloud overhead – least of all me.
It is one of the main reasons I speak about my own bouts with depression/anxiety and I’m not embarrassed by it.
The easiest way for me to explain depression to someone who never personally experiences this type of mindset is:
Have you ever floated in the ocean watching the clouds go by. It feels good, nice & relaxing? Now have you ever popped you head up and noticed how far out the ocean has dragged you?
As you are floating you are drifting with no direction just allowing the ocean to carry you wherever it wants. Someone on the beach might notice you and call out to you because you drifted to far. Or they may not.
In either case you have to swim back to shore to safety. No matter how much you like the floating you know you can’t stay out there because you will die.
The danger is getting so far out into the ocean you can’t even see land.
I been there and it’s scary as hell because honestly I felt I was going to die. And the thought of death scared me worse because I didn’t think I knew how to swim back.
The metaphor is the mind is the ocean/world. Drifting is the danger where you are with not direction. The mind drifting is dangerous. Being on shore your grounded with those you love, purpose, contributing, and happy. And swimming is learning the skills to be and live in the world.
It’s our duty for those we love friends and family to look out for them wherever they may be. Just like on the beach looking out at Everyone swimming staying alert so they don’t get out to far. So distance doesn’t grow between you and them. Say I love you or better show it. And if you have to jump in the water, get a life vest, get a speed boat do whatever it takes to bring someone to shore even a stranger.
Then help teach them to become a better swimmer. Here are some of the tools that have helped me remain present. Perhaps they can help you or someone you know. (In no particular order)
- Not worrying alone. Talk to someone, anyone…just talk
- Keep an attitude of gratitude
- Cold showers/ice baths
- TRE exercises
- Working out
- Sleeping with heavy 25lb blanket
- Healthy eating
- Vitamins: St. John’s Wort, B12, Omega3
By no means is this medical advice and seek professional help if/when needed or call Suicide Prevention Line 800-273-8255.