Dealing with Depression

Dealing With Depression
By Ashleigh James

Recently I’ve not felt myself. Some days I’ve struggled to get out of bed and others I’ve felt so alive that my body vibrates with energy. Up and down on an emotional roller coaster that I couldn’t seem to get off… I’ve been depressed.

I am, however very aware of what is going on. This self awareness is a blessing. It allows me to step back from the pain and witness what I am doing to myself.

I have been trapped in the negativity and self doubt. Finding out that starting your own business (no matter how passionate you are about it) isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I was stuck listening to the ‘what if’s and you can’t’s whirling around my head. It’s destructive and I don’t want to live there.

Instead, I’ve been letting myself experience it while being mindful of my thoughts. That way I actually get to deal with the issue at hand without ignoring it or being too hard on myself.

This means that the girl who loved social events and being around people… would actually rather sit on her own and read. The girl who worked out religiously… struggled to muster the energy to get from behind her laptop. The girl who was usually quick to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on… could only focus on her own needs.

Being an extrovert, this was a strange and new experience for me.

I’ve discovered that this means sometimes I don’t want to be around people or, I suddenly crave someone’s company. Please don’t take it personally. Everything I’m doing is in the best interest of myself. As I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t selfish behaviour because you are putting your needs first. And if you’re lucky enough to have a healthy tribe of people who support you then they will understand.

The more I experience negative thoughts, the easier it becomes to rely on myself to get me out of the ‘funk’. I know I am the only one responsible for myself.

Here are a few observations (from my personal experience);

  • I believe we often rely on other people too much, like an emotional crutch. When really, all we have to do is know ourselves enough to understand what it is we need in order to shake it off – (getting to the point of knowing yourself is a different story entirely and requires constant growth from daily effort. Not easy).
  • There are often times where we are not all we post to be on social media. I believe it’s a way for us to put up barriers to hide our vulnerability. Well… this is me putting an end to that. Expect me to be real and call me out on it if I’m not.
  • ‘Maybe if we ignore the elephant in the room, it will go away.’ Well I’m sorry but it doesn’t, you have to address it. Face it head on but be kind to yourself. Take time out, be on your own, do the things you love and surround yourself with uplifting people.
  • Eat regular healthy meals, drink water, get outside, practice yoga, meditate, be in the present moment, cut ties with negative people, exercise, express your feelings, listen to music, keep your home clutter free and most importantly… BREATHE! These things are my daily saviours.

I give you this advice from my heart to yours, because I’ve known pain like never before recently and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. That being said, everyone experiences it differently. I am extremely grateful that I can function normally and throw myself into work instead… other people aren’t so lucky and the darkness consumes them.

I am openly letting you see into my soul and I am not afraid anymore because I accept who I am. And I love her… the mess she may be at times.

By accepting who you are in every moment, not just when you are happy, allows people into your life who accept you too.

So, stop saying you are fine when you are not.

Speak your truth…


Ashleigh James
About the Author: Ashleigh James

With a strong background in management and education in the Health and Wellness industry, Ashleigh has been fortunate to work in the UK, Bermuda and Canada. These fantastic opportunities helped develop who she is but have lead her to wanting more.

Ashleigh discovered that she wanted to gain financial security from her own hard work and dedication while also inspiring individuals to realize their true worth and potential. She has been forcing herself outside of her comfort zone and facing fears not only for her own development but to share this advice with those wanting to become the best version of themselves.

As well as being the founder/editor of GEM Magazine, Ashleigh has a strong desire to empower women and loves to inspire those ready look within and make a change. She believes you have to change yourself first before you can change the world.

You can find Ashleigh at GEM Magazine, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and learn more about her at About Me

7 Comments

Dwain M

If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy tribe of folks who encourage you, then they will understand. Take some time out, be on your own, do the things you love, and surround yourself with inspiring people.

Reply
Leilani Serrata- Ramos

I love this so much. It’s very true about her having a strong ability to turn it into work, others get consumed and can’t see it as clear. I love this article very much, made my day!

Reply
separation

I know this website gives quality dependent posts and extra material, is there any other web page which gives these kinds of data in quality?

Reply
Amanda L

Excellent post but I’m sorry you are going through this. It sucks. Mindfulness and self awareness are SO important but so hard when you in the thick of it.

Just wondering… have you ever looked into Bipolar II? I know it is absurd and likely unappreciated to diagnose from a single post but the roller coaster sounds familiar. Doesn’t have to be 4 day cycles, there can be shorter cycles than that. If so, no stand-alone SSRI, can make it a lot worse (it did for me, I can’t speak for anyone else).

Good luck!!

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I’m so excited for this! I’m coming back to Perth in February for another parent talk on 'Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety'. Here’s the when and the where:

⏰ 6:30-8:30pm | 📆 Wed 22 Feb 2023
📍 Peter Moyes Anglican Community School, #mindarie

For tickets or more info google:

Parenting Connection WA Karen Young anxiety Mindarie Perth

💜 Thanks to @ngalaraisinghappiness for hosting this event.

#supportingwaparents #parentingwa
Let them know …

Anxiety shows up to check that you’re okay, not to tell you that you’re not. It’s your brain’s way of saying, ‘Not sure - there might be some trouble here, but there might not be, but just in case you should be ready for it if it comes, which it might not – but just in case you’d better be ready to run or fight – but it might be totally fine.’ Brains can be so confusing sometimes! 

You have a brain that is strong, healthy and hardworking. It’s magnificent and it’s doing a brilliant job of doing exactly what brains are meant to do – keep you alive. 

Your brain is fabulous, but it needs you to be the boss. Here’s how. When you feel anxious, ask yourself two questions:

- ‘Do I feel like this because I’m in danger or because there’s something brave or important I need to do?’

- Then, ‘Is this a time for me to be safe (sometimes it might be) or is this a time for me to be brave?

And remember, you will always have ‘brave’ in you, and anxiety doesn’t change that a bit.♥️

#positiveparenting #mindfulparenting #parenting #childanxiety #heywarrior #heywarriorbook
The temptation to fix their big feelings can be seismic. Often this is connected to needing to ease our own discomfort at their discomfort, which is so very normal.

Big feelings in them are meant to raise (sometimes big) feelings in us. This is all a healthy part of the attachment system. It happens to mobilise us to respond to their distress, or to protect them if their distress is in response to danger.

Emotion is energy in motion. We don’t want to bury it, stop it, smother it, and we don’t need to fix it. What we need to do is make a safe passage for it to move through them. 

Think of emotion like a river. Our job is to hold the ground strong and steady at the banks so the river can move safely, without bursting the banks.

However hard that river is racing, they need to know we can be with the river (the emotion), be with them, and handle it. This might feel or look like you aren’t doing anything, but actually it’s everything.

The safety that comes from you being the strong, steady presence that can lovingly contain their big feelings will let the emotional energy move through them and bring the brain back to calm.

Eventually, when they have lots of experience of us doing this with them, they will learn to do it for themselves, but that will take time and experience. The experience happens every time you hold them steady through their feelings. 

This doesn’t mean ignoring big behaviour. For them, this can feel too much like bursting through the banks, which won’t feel safe. Sometimes you might need to recall the boundary and let them know where the edges are, while at the same time letting them see that you can handle the big of the feeling. Its about loving and leading all at once. ‘It’s okay to be angry. It’s not okay to use those words at me.’

Ultimately, big feelings are a call for support. Sometimes support looks like breathing and being with. Sometimes it looks like showing them you can hold the boundary, even when they feel like they’re about to burst through it. And if they’re using spicy words to get us to back off, it might look like respecting their need for space but staying in reaching distance, ‘Ok, I’m right here whenever you need.’♥️
We all need certain things to feel safe enough to put ourselves into the world. Kids with anxiety have magic in them, every one of them, but until they have a felt sense of safety, it will often stay hidden.

‘Safety’ isn’t about what is actually safe or not, but about what they feel. At school, they might have the safest, most loving teacher in the safest, most loving school. This doesn’t mean they will feel enough relational safety straight away that will make it easier for them to do hard things. They can still do those hard things, but those things are going to feel bigger for a while. This is where they’ll need us and their other anchor adult to be patient, gentle, and persistent.

Children aren’t meant to feel safe with and take the lead from every adult. It’s not the adult’s role that makes the difference, but their relationship with the child.

Children are no different to us. Just because an adult tells them they’ll be okay, it doesn’t mean they’ll feel it or believe it. What they need is to be given time to actually experience the person as being safe, supportive and ready to catch them.

Relationship is key. The need for safety through relationship isn’t an ‘anxiety thing’. It’s a ‘human thing’. When we feel closer to the people around us, we can rise above the mountains in our way. When we feel someone really caring about us, we’re more likely to open up to their influence
and learn from them.

But we have to be patient. Even for teachers with big hearts and who undertand the importance of attachment relationships, it can take time.

Any adult at school can play an important part in helping a child feel safe – as long as that adult is loving, warm, and willing to do the work to connect with that child. It might be the librarian, the counsellor, the office person, a teacher aide. It doesn’t matter who, as long as it is someone who can be available for that child at dropoff or when feelings get big during the day and do little check-ins along the way.

A teacher, or any important adult can make a lasting difference by asking, ‘How do I build my relationship with this child so s/he trusts me when I say, ‘I’ve got you, and I know you can do this.’♥️

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