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?

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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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Today was an ending and a beginning. My darling girl finished year 12. The final year at school is tough enough, but this year was seismic. Our teens have moved through this year with the most outstanding courage and grace and strength, and now it is time for them to rest and play. My gosh they deserve it. 

It is true that this is a time of celebration, but it can also be an intense time of self-reflection for our teens. (I can remember the same feelings when my gorgeous boy finished so many years ago!) My daughter has described it as, ‘I feel as though I’ve outgrown myself but my new self isn’t ready yet.’ This just makes so much sense. 

There is a beautifully fertile void that is waiting for whatever comes next for each of them, but that void is still a void. At different times it might feel exciting, overwhelming, or brutal in its emptiness.

We also have to remember that this is a time of letting go, and there might be grief that comes with that. Before they can grab on to their next big adventure, they have to let go of the guard rails. This means gently adjusting their hold on the world they have known for the last 12+ years, with its places and routines and people that have felt like home on so many days. There will be redirects and shiftings, and through it all the things that need to stay will stay, and the things that need to adjust will adjust. 

To my darling girl, your loved incredible friends, and the teens who make our world what it is - you are the beautiful  thinkers, the big feelers, the creators, the change makers, and the ones who will craft and grow a better world. However you might feel now, the lights are waiting to shine for you and because of you. The world beyond school is opening its arms to you. That opening might happen quickly, or gently, or smoothly or chaotically, but it will happen. This world needs every one of you - your voices, your spirits, your fire, your softness, your strength and your power. You are world-ready, and we are so glad you are here xxx
When our kids or teens are in high emotion, their words might sound anxious, angry, inconsolable, jealous, defiant. As messy as the words might be, they have a good reason for being there. Big feelings surge as a way to influence the environment to meet a need. Of course, sometimes the fallout from this can be nuclear.
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Wherever there is a big emotion, there will always be an important need behind it - safety, comfort, attention, food, rest, connection. The need will always be valid, even if the way they’re going about meeting it is a little rough. As with so many difficult parenting moments, there will be gold in the middle of the mess if we know where to look. 
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There will be times for shaping the behaviour into a healthier response, but in the middle of a big feeling is not one of those times. Big feelings are NOT a sign of dysfunction, bad kids or bad parenting. They are a part of being human, and they bring rich opportunities for wisdom, learning and growth. .
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Parenting isn’t about stopping the emotional storms, but about moving through the storm and reaching the other side in a way that preserves the opportunity for our kids and teens to learn and grow from the experience - and they will always learn best from experience. 
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To calm a big feeling, name what you see, ‘I can see you’re disappointed. I know how much you wanted that’, or, ‘I can see this feels big for you,’ or, ‘You’re angry at me about .. aren’t you. I understand that. I would be mad too if I had to […],’ or ‘It sounds like today has been a really hard day.’ 
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When we connect with the emotion, we help soothe the nervous system. The emotion has done its job, found support, and can start to ease. 
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When they ‘let go’ they’re letting us in on their deepest and most honest emotional selves. We don’t need to change that. What we need to do is meet them where they and gently guide them from there. When they feel seen and understood, their trust in us and their connection to us will deepen, opening the way for our influence.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #neuronurtured #anxiety #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #motherhoodcommunity #parenti
When they are at that line, deciding whether to retreat to safety or move forward into brave, there will be a part of them that will know they have what it takes to be brave. It might be pale, or quiet, or a little tumbled by the noise from anxiety, but it will be there. And it will be magical. Our job as their flight crew is to clear the way for this magical part of them to rise. ‘I can see this feels scary for you - and I know you can do this.’ 
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 #mindfulparenting #neuronurtured #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #braindevelopment #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #childdevelopment #parentingtip #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #anxietyawareness #anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #parentingadvice #anxiety #parentingtips #motherhoodcommunity #anxietysupport #mentalhealth #heyawesome #heysigmund #heywarrior
When our kids or teens are struggling, it can be hard to know what they need. It can also be hard for them to say. It can be this way for all of us - we don't always know what we need from the people around us. It might be space, or distraction, or silence, or maybe acknowledging and being there is enough. Sometimes we might need to know that the people we love aren't taking our need for space, or our confusion or anger or sadness personally, and that they are still there within reach.
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What can be easier is thinking about what other people might need. Asking this when they are calm can invite a different perspective and can give you some insight into what they need to hear when they are going through similar. Don't worry if you just get a shrug, or a disheartened, 'I don't know'. They don't need to know, and neither do we. The question in itself might be enough to open a new way through any sense of 'stuckness' or helplessness they might be feeling.
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#parenthood #parenting #positiveparenting #parentingtips #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #positiveparentingtips #neurodevelopment #parentingteens
Give them space to talk but you don’t need to fix anything. You’ll want to, but the answers are in them, not us. Sometimes the answer will be to feel it out, or push for change, or feel the futility of it all so the feeling can let go, knowing it’s done it’s job - it’s recruited support, or raised awareness that something isn’t right.

Sometimes the feelings might be seismic but the words might be gone for a while. That’s okay too. Do they want to start with whatever words are there? Or talk about something else? Or go for a walk with you? Watch a movie with you? Or do a spontaneous, unnecessary drive thru with you just because you can - no words, no need to explain - just you and them and car music for the next 20 minutes. 

The more you can validate what they’re feeling (maybe, ‘Today was big for you wasn’t it’) and give them space to feel, the more they can feel the feeling, understand the need that’s fuelling it, and experiment with ways to deal with it. Sometimes, ‘dealing with it’ might mean acknowledging that there is something that feels big or important and a little out of reach right now, and feeling the fullness and futility of that. 

Part of building resilience is recognising that some days are rubbish, and that sometimes those days last for longer than they should, but we get through. First we feel floored, then we feel stuck, then we shift because the only choices we have we have are to stay down or move, even when moving hurts. Then, eventually we adjust - either ourselves, the problem, or to a new ‘is’. But the learning comes from experience.

I wish our kids never felt pain, but we don’t get to decide that. We don’t get to decide how our children grow, but we do get to decide how much space and support we give them for this growth. We can love them through it but we can’t love them out of it. I wish we could but we can’t.

So instead of feeling the need to silence their pain, make space for it. In the end we have no choice. Sometimes all the love in the world won’t be enough to put the wrong things right, but it can help them feel held while they move through the pain enough to find their out breath, and the strength that comes with that.♥️

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