…On keeping your head above water. Just.
Right, me hearties. Here’s the thing:
Oh sorry. Just warming up for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Beg your pardon.
The thing is, coping mechanisms are great tools to have in your Depression-fighting toolbox. As are loved ones (though you may not want to keep them in your toolboxes).
As is knowledge of yourself and how your own depression manifests. But some days you’re going to be close to drowning. Some days you’re not going to manage to make it out of bed in order to go for a long walk, have a talk with that friend of yours who’s an excellent listener, and, sensing a bad moon arising, enact four or five of your favourite cheer-up methods before lunch. Some days you’re going to make it through the day.
You’re just going to make it through the day.
I’ve had these days. Days when just getting out of bed takes a massive effort. Days when the thought of seeing another human being, let alone having to talk to them, maintain the social niceties and answer the “How are you doing” question with the “fine” lie, is absolutely overwhelming and seems utterly impossible.
I’ve also had those days and managed to drag myself out of bed, go to work, pass the requisite social niceties tests that every day brings us, and make it home, all without harming myself in any way and all without being nasty to anyone I encounter. And then I’ve had to face the “what did you do today?” question….
…and felt like an utter failure.
I don’t have any spectacular truisms here to make you feel better if this happens to you, too. Anyone who’s suffered from Depression knows that some days just making it through _is_ an achievement. Some battles in life are big, and splashy, and bring much glory to the brave fighters who win them. Dealing with chronic depression is not one of them.
So, the next time the old Black Dog has you gripped tightly in his gigantic slobbering maw and you manage to make it through a day, tell someone. This is a great time to go to that friend who’s a great listener and report a struggle with a success. Because if she loves you, and if she’s been there for you through some dark times, she’ll love to hear that you looked defeat in the eye and decided no, not today.
And that, my friends, is a quiet fight, well fought.