Hi guys, so finally I have decided to come through with how I dealt with depression because I realized how much I needed to open myself up and talk about it. I realized the kind of shock on people’s faces or remark I get when I say “oh yeah, I struggled with depression for a year”. People tend to not believe it because I am always happy. When you meet me, I tend to laugh a lot so that translated to not having worries or not being bothered about anything. And partly because people that I had told that I went through this phase always wanted me to talk about it and I decided to eventually open myself up and do that.
HOW IT STARTED…..
In October 2015, I went through the darkest phase in my life so far. I lost my younger sister to cancer at 20. It was a terrible period for my family and myself because she was so young. Losing a loved one is not supposed to feel great, right? Because of the kind of person that I was, who does not like to talk about things that affected me; because I had to be strong for my parents and other siblings and because I simply didn’t believe it until she was brought back to Nigeria, I mourned backwards.
While everyone had cried and was adjusting to the pain, I didn’t feel anything really intense. I struggled to feel the pain like everyone was but I couldn’t. When I started to mourn was after I had seen her and a moment of “this is true” hit me. After the burial, the reality of my situation started to dawn on my family. It harder for me.
Fast forward to April 2016, I moved to Abuja for my NYSC and I was happy to be leaving because I felt trapped with the amount of memories that kept flooding in. That was when the symptoms of the depression kicked in without even realizing it. I started to cry more often, I would be walking on the road or sitting in my office and start to cry for no reason, the lack of motivation to face life. This deep feeling of emptiness took over. I started going through insomnia and I would start to imagine what it would feel like to die. I would bring up a knife and take the blunt part and try to cut myself but I was so scared. At this point, I just thought I was going through a phase that would pass.
GETTING THROUGH IT
The first step that helped me get through was realizing that I had a problem: My friend, Chimdalu sent me a message one night when I had put up a certain status with my sister’s picture and we had a conversation and I told her how I felt. She gave me a proper pep talk and I realized I was actually very depressed. A problem realized is a problem half solved (yes I made up that quote). You need to realize that you have a problem before you can work your way through it. It is the hardest part of it, actually realizing that you have a problem this deep is frightening.
Having Family and Friends that you can talk to: Going through this can be the weirdest thing to discuss especially for people like me that come from a place where such things are believed to be demonic or a spiritual attack and even some of your friends will laugh at you, pass a certain remark and that’s really the end of the conversation. It is important that you have people that you can open up to that won’t judge you. I am thankful for my cousins especially and my friends that didn’t think I was crazy to be going through this.
Be that friend that constantly checks up on your friends, yes especially the ones that smile a lot because whether we realize it or not, depressed people that smile a lot drop hints. Be that friend that picks up on what people are not saying especially those ones that always say “they are fine”.
Visit a Shrink: Otherwise known as a Psychologist. I know my case sounds very serious, yes I saw a psychologist. My friend decided that I should see one since they specialized in dealing with issues like this. So my friend went with me and I got an appointment to see one that day, and I remember entering the office not knowing what to expect. I entered the office and I saw this woman smiling at me, I was quite relieved. Let’s just say I left the office soaked with tears and deciding not to go back there because I had cried more than I had planned to. Of course she knows her specialty very well and she gave me an assignment which anytime I remember my sister and feel bad, I still do it. So I will say yes, to seeing a psychologist and yes, there are good psychologists in Nigeria and no, it’s not weird to visit one.
Consciously decide to leave that zone: You need to actually say to yourself that you don’t want to be in that zone anymore and join in activities that will take your mind of it. I had to look in the mirror and decide to have a positive attitude towards every day. My friend moved in with me and she didn’t let me even have the space to think. She made me go out more, make new friends and interact with people and that was really helpful.
A Relationship With God Goes A Long Way: I wasn’t exactly in the best place with God at this point and I really struggled to pray or even study my bible. I remember being overwhelmed and prayed and it was a beautiful experience. You are reminded that “the thoughts and plans that he has for you are plans for welfare and peace and not of evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11, AMPC). Everything that concerns us and every aspects of our life no matter how weird it is to talk about is of utmost interest and of importance to him and we just need to talk to him about it in prayers and ideas to make things get better will come. Also “peace that transcends all understanding shall mount guard over our hearts and minds. And really I felt utmost peace and felt like I could really get past it and I did. You will get ideas
It will definitely pass, honestly it will. Take it from someone that considered taking her own life, it surely will pass. It probably won’t get better immediately, the pain will hurt you but with time, it will become the second thing you think about when you wake up.
Depression is such an indescribable feeling, you try to explain it to someone and it doesn’t make sense to them. Hell it doesn’t even make sense to you sometimes. You feel helpless, anger, rage, and emptiness but any of the above could help you take a big step towards getting better.
If you have experienced depression before, how did you get past it? Did any of the above help you? Share your comments, would love to hear them and you don’t know but it might be helping someone else reading this……
Love & Light