Communication. It all comes down to that, when you think about it. I knew this! (It was my major in college!) I’m an actually rather effective communicator – and an active one at that. But this is one of the things that I lost in my fight with depression. It’s time for me to take it back.
Another thing my depression messed up was my ability to read how other people communicate and interact with them accordingly. As a result, some of my post-depression “episodes” have been caused by miscommunication or mere lack of communication all together. And in these situations, I’ve taken a passive-aggressive stance, retreated, failed to state my own needs and expectations, and taken things WAY TOO PERSONALLY. Even though my depression is gone, depressive habits are still there. And they trick me into thinking I’m still depressed. It’s time to break them.
So I made a list of things to be extra intentional and proactive about doing to enable me to fully return to emotional, spiritual and social freedom.
1. TALK ABOUT IT. I need to stop going into mental retreat mode every time a conflict arises.
2. KEEP WRITING. This has already been a tremendous help in my entire journey from my very first breakdown to now. And I’m not just talking about blogging. I’m talking about journaling, scribbling, vent writing, writing letters, notes and prayers.
3. DON’T ASSUME, ASK! You’d think I would have this one down already, considering how often I feel like I preach it. But I’ve found myself trapped in the rut of assumption more than once that few months and it gets you nowhere.
4. MEET UP WITH PEOPLE. There was a point in my life when I had weekly dates with friends for coffee or lunch or dinner. It kept me connected, provided a human outlet for the deeper things of life, and reminded me that I was loved. Dinner or lunch with a friend was always the high point of my week. I don’t do that anymore. In fact, I haven’t for a very long time. It’s time to start again.
5. START CREATING FOR FUN. The sense of accomplishment, pride and productivity one gets from finishing a project is satisfying; and it’s that satisfaction that reminds us of what we are capable of. It re-releases and empowers the imagination. It keeps the creativity flowing for the next project. I need to start designing things again.
This is my action plan for permanently breaking off those bad habits from my depression. And I think it’s also appropriate to declare that this post represents my transition OUT of a depressed mind and will be the final “confession” of one. Here I go, choosing to live a happy life again.
Thank you for reading my words, and as I reflected on my own experiences with depression, I hope people were inspired, encouraged and helped. You can find the other blog posts I wrote about this journey by searching “depression” in the sidebar.