When I come out of a depressive state, I have intense moments of clarity. I’m able to look back on what was happening during the depression and learn something incredibly powerful about myself. Even if it’s just one small thing.
Those lessons I learn I try so hard to carry with me. I record them on video or write them down so I don’t forget the next time it comes around.
Because that’s the reality of having a mental illness like bipolar disorder. Even with medication, there will be times of darkness. But even in the darkness, there is light.
What Depression Feels Like
When I’m depressed, it feels like there are two-hundred-pound weights on my entire body. Not just my chest or my shoulders. It’s everywhere. There’s a constant battle between my rational and irrational brain. I can’t see through the fog to view life the way I normally do.
It’s like I become a different person. I don’t love this version of me as much, and I’m not afraid to share those sentiments with them.
But when I came out of my depression this time around, I remembered how terribly mean I was to myself. Absolutely awful. And it’s simply not fair to treat myself this way.
If a friend said those things about themselves, I know in a heartbeat I’d be letting them know they were all a bunch of lies. I know I’d want to tell them all the wonderful things I love about them. So why wouldn’t the same apply to me?
It’s not easy to speak kindly to yourself when you’re in the midst of depression. This I know better than anyone. But that’s when the moments of clarity become so important. The fog is lifted and there’s a double rainbow that hovers over you. You remember all the beautiful things about life, and about yourself.
Learning Once You Come Out of A Depressive State
Whatever you might be going through right now, know that the rainbow is near. The fog that feels never-ending will eventually fade and you will see clearly again.
And when it does fade and you open yourself up to the world again, take time to reflect. Take time to sit with yourself and what you can learn from your moment of darkness. Even though you felt defeated, you weren’t. Because you’re here, standing on your own two feet.
Use your clarity to learn something about yourself. Learn about what went on in those intimate moments with you and your depression or anxiety. There is so much value you can gain from self-reflection.
Take advantage of your rainbow. Take advantage of your light. That way you’ll have a lantern to take with you when it gets dark again.
Lauren Dow is the author based in Greenville, SC. You can support Lauren’s work to normalize the discussion around mental health by checking out her books, In Body I Trust and Your Wild Journal. You can also sign up to receive monthly emails with a special free gift.