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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When things feel hard or the world feels big, children will be looking to their important adults for signs of safety. They will be asking, ‘Do you think I'm safe?' 'Do you think I can do this?' With everything in us, we have to send the message, ‘Yes! Yes love, this is hard and you are safe. You can do hard things.'

Even if we believe they are up to the challenge, it can be difficult to communicate this with absolute confidence. We love them, and when they're distressed, we're going to feel it. Inadvertently, we can align with their fear and send signals of danger, especially through nonverbals. 

What they need is for us to align with their 'brave' - that part of them that wants to do hard things and has the courage to do them. It might be small but it will be there. Like a muscle, courage strengthens with use - little by little, but the potential is always there.

First, let them feel you inside their world, not outside of it. This lets their anxious brain know that support is here - that you see what they see and you get it. This happens through validation. It doesn't mean you agree. It means that you see what they see, and feel what they feel. Meet the intensity of their emotion, so they can feel you with them. It can come off as insincere if your nonverbals are overly calm in the face of their distress. (Think a zen-like low, monotone voice and neutral face - both can be read as threat by an anxious brain). Try:

'This is big for you isn't it!' 
'It's awful having to do things you haven't done before. What you are feeling makes so much sense. I'd feel the same!

Once they really feel you there with them, then they can trust what comes next, which is your felt belief that they will be safe, and that they can do hard things. 

Even if things don't go to plan, you know they will cope. This can be hard, especially because it is so easy to 'catch' their anxiety. When it feels like anxiety is drawing you both in, take a moment, breathe, and ask, 'Do I believe in them, or their anxiety?' Let your answer guide you, because you know your young one was built for big, beautiful things. It's in them. Anxiety is part of their move towards brave, not the end of it.
Sometimes we all just need space to talk to someone who will listen without giving advice, or problem solving, or lecturing. Someone who will let us talk, and who can handle our experiences and words and feelings without having to smooth out the wrinkles or tidy the frayed edges. 

Our kids need this too, but as their important adults, it can be hard to hush without needing to fix things, or gather up their experience and bundle it into a learning that will grow them. We do this because we love them, but it can also mean that they choose not to let us in for the wrong reasons. 

We can’t help them if we don’t know what’s happening in their world, and entry will be on their terms - even more as they get older. As they grow, they won’t trust us with the big things if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn that we can handle the little things (which might feel seismic to them). They won’t let us in to their world unless we make it safe for them to.

When my own kids were small, we had a rule that when I picked them up from school they could tell me anything, and when we drove into the driveway, the conversation would be finished if they wanted it to be. They only put this rule into play a few times, but it was enough for them to learn that it was safe to talk about anything, and for me to hear what was happening in that part of their world that happened without me. My gosh though, there were times that the end of the conversation would be jarring and breathtaking and so unfinished for me, but every time they would come back when they were ready and we would finish the chat. As it turned out, I had to trust them as much as I wanted them to trust me. But that’s how parenting is really isn’t it.

Of course there will always be lessons in their experiences we will want to hear straight up, but we also need them to learn that we are safe to come to.  We need them to know that there isn’t anything about them or their life we can’t handle, and when the world feels hard or uncertain, it’s safe here. By building safety, we build our connection and influence. It’s just how it seems to work.♥️
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#parenting #parenthood #mindfulparenting
Words can be hard sometimes. The right words can be orbital and unconquerable and hard to grab hold of. Feelings though - they’ll always make themselves known, with or without the ‘why’. 

Kids and teens are no different to the rest of us. Their feelings can feel bigger than words - unfathomable and messy and too much to be lassoed into language. If we tap into our own experience, we can sometimes (not all the time) get an idea of what they might need. 

It’s completely understandable that new things or hard things (such as going back to school) might drive thoughts of falls and fails and missteps. When this happens, it’s not so much the hard thing or the new thing that drives avoidance, but thoughts of failing or not being good enough. The more meaningful the ‘thing’ is, the more this is likely to happen. If you can look behind the words, and through to the intention - to avoid failure more than the new or difficult experience, it can be easier to give them what they need. 

Often, ‘I can’t’ means, ‘What if I can’t?’ or, ‘Do you think I can?’, or, ‘Will you still think I’m brave, strong, and capable of I fail?’ They need to know that the outcome won’t make any difference at all to how much you adore them, and how capable and exceptional you think they are. By focusing on process, (the courage to give it a go), we clear the runway so they can feel safer to crawl, then walk, then run, then fly. 

It takes time to reach full flight in anything, but in the meantime the stumbling can make even the strongest of hearts feel vulnerable. The more we focus on process over outcome (their courage to try over the result), and who they are over what they do (their courage, tenacity, curiosity over the outcome), the safer they will feel to try new things or hard things. We know they can do hard things, and the beauty and expansion comes first in the willingness to try. 
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#parenting #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparent
Never in the history of forever has there been such a  lavish opportunity for a year to be better than the last. Not to be grabby, but you know what I’d love this year? Less opportunities that come in the name of ‘resilience’. I’m ready for joy, or adventure, or connection, or gratitude, or courage - anything else but resilience really. Opportunities for resilience have a place, but 2020 has been relentless with its servings, and it’s time for an out breath. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a year that wraps its loving arms around us. I’m ready for that. x
The holidays are a wonderland of everything that can lead to hyped up, exhausted, cranky, excited, happy kids (and adults). Sometimes they’ll cycle through all of these within ten minutes. Sugar will constantly pry their little mouths wide open and jump inside, routines will laugh at you from a distance, there will be gatherings and parties, and everything will feel a little bit different to usual. And a bit like magic. 

Know that whatever happens, it’s all part of what the holidays are meant to look like. They aren’t meant to be pristine and orderly and exactly as planned. They were never meant to be that. Christmas is about people, your favourite ones, not tasks. If focusing on the people means some of the tasks fall down, let that be okay, because that’s what Christmas is. It’s about you and your people. It’s not about proving your parenting stamina, or that you’ve raised perfectly well-behaved humans, or that your family can polish up like the catalog ones any day of the week, or that you can create restaurant quality meals and decorate the table like you were born doing it. Christmas is messy and ridiculous and exhausting and there will be plenty of frayed edges. And plenty of magic. The magic will happen the way it always happens. Not with the decorations or the trimmings or the food or the polish, but by being with the ones you love, and the ones who love you right back.

When it all starts to feel too important, too necessary and too ‘un-let-go-able’, be guided by the bigger truth, which is that more than anything, you will all remember how you all felt – as in how happy they felt, how loved they felt were, how noticed they felt. They won’t care about the instagram-worthy meals on the table, the cleanliness of the floors, how many relatives they visited, or how impressed other grown-ups were with their clean faces and darling smiles. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that what matters most at Christmas isn’t the tasks, but the people – the ones who would give up pretty much anything just to have the day with you.

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