This post might get a little lengthy. I’m not sure yet. I decided to write from the heart: wherever God leads me. I actually wasn’t going to speak on this, at least not on this platform (from this perspective), but I felt like someone may need it. I’m not a medical professional, but I do consider myself to be somewhere between advanced and novice when it comes to levels of expertise on Depression, Anxiety and other mental heath topics. I didn’t read all the books; I lived it. At times I tell people I was born cursed. I have even referred to myself as being “born broken.” As terrible as it may sound, the expression actually does more good than harm. Convincing myself that I was indeed born broken prevents me from continuously asking that dreaded question that we all ask ourselves in times of need: “Why me?”
From losing my father, to losing My Mother to Schizophrenia, My Health, losing My Child, then My Best Friend – You can say this girl is on a roll. The point of mentioning everything I have lost is to further emphasize one thing: I have lived through it.
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After a longtime friend informed me of her grandmother’s passing the only thing I could reply back was: “I’m so sorry. Life sucks” I was so deeply draped in my own depression that I couldn’t hide behind another smile or artificial statement. I told her exactly what first came to my mind and it turns out what I said was exactly what she needed to hear. She thanked me. She told me everyone around her was being so positive and upbeat, pretending. Making her feel as if she didn’t have any reason to be sad. – They were trying to be what they assumed she needed at the time when really all she needed was to soak in the moment. Just thinking about, well, how much life sucks.
If you’re looking for an article with a lot of fluff, let me tell you now, you won’t find it here. My blog is so full of realistic advice and blatant honestly that it’s ridiculous. I don’t sugar code so if you’re looking for someone to tell you that tomorrow is a new day, therefor everything will be great and blah like that, you may want to exit this page now (and probably never return).
Still here? Still reading? Good. That means you’re interested in realistic coping methods from an honest person and not the rainbow and butterfly bloggers. You’re in the right place.
How To: Deal With Depression, Anxiety & Sadness
- Acknowledge the Pain – If you’re hurt, be hurt. Stop allowing people to tell you what you should and shouldn’t cry about or be stressed over. [clickToTweet tweet=”‘That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.’ – A Fault in Our Stars | @ShawnBethea_ ChronicallyStrong.com” quote=”That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”] After my breakup everyone gave me advice on what to do and how to deal. I explained each time (unsolicited advice was given) why I don’t try to replace my pain. Why I don’t just go to the gym every time I think of him or get a second job to keep busy (although I have one now), replacing your pain will only postpone the hurt. You’ll still feel it. You’ll just feel it later and ultimately cause yourself to hurt more. If you deal with your issues head on as they happen, you have a better chance of moving forward and possibly even correcting whatever was wrong in the first place. The more time you allow to pass, the less control you have over your emotions and situation.
- Tell Others Exactly How You Feel – When you sugar code your feelings and emotions, you’re preventing people from fully knowing and comprehending what you’re going through. No one can help you if you don’t want to be helped. [clickToTweet tweet=”Pain changes people. It makes them trust less, overthink more and shut people out. | @ShawnBethea_ ChronicallyStrong.com” quote=”Pain changes people. It makes them trust less, overthink more and shut people out.”]
- Breathe / Incorporate Healthy Coping Mechanisms – We as people tend to become stressed, worried and anxious when things go wrong or become out of our control. We have to remember to incorporate healthy practices like deep breathing. [clickToTweet tweet=”My unknown future is in the hands of the all knowing God. | @ShawnBethea_ ChronicallyStrong.com” quote=”My unknown future is in the hands of the all knowing God.”] When you’re going through emotionally trying times, if you’re anything like me, you are going to get anxious. In the past I’ve let my anxiety consume me. I somewhat attempted to cope by medicating myself. While I realize this is not the case for everyone, looking back, I personally did not 100% need medicine to deal with my anxiety, at least not every time. Was my anxiety through the roof? Yes. – But I realize now there are so many natural coping mechanisms like simply incorporating deep breathing, self and positive talk, removing myself from the situation and other things I’ve learned both from personal experience and testing recommendations from my counselor.
- Find Something To Look Forward To – After experiencing something traumatic it can feel impossible to be happy again. You may feel miles away from the person you once were. That’s okay. It’s all part of the process. Try to find something in life to look forward to; new or old. Finding something to look forward to can help to give you more purpose and hope throughout your day(s).[clickToTweet tweet=”In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end. | @ShawnBethea_ ChronicallyStrong.com” quote=”In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”] After losing my best friend it was hard to find something to look forward to. For me, he’d always been that thing. I’ve had an extremely hard life and for some reason he of all people made it better. He gave me hope. Hope in the world, in people, in myself. He inspired me to be the best person I could be and convinced me I was the most beautiful person he knew (at least for most of the relationship, that last month before the breakup probably threw that last one down the drain). – Point being, there’s still things to look forward to, although it may look grim, there’s always something. As for the process? I’ve written a post that’s scheduled to publish on Sep. 29th. If you click here on or after that date you will be directed to this post. It’s called –A 30 Day Follow Up. It’s a one month follow up to the Fire and Ice post I published. If you’re going through heart break, I encourage you to check it out. Even 30 days after the original post and even longer since everything took place, I am still battling myself and depression. – But, it’s getting easier, slightly, but it does. – Obviously I cheated a bit because I wrote the follow up post a few days in advance but I’m sure not too much will change.
- Don’t Allow Negative Thoughts To Consume You – With depression comes negative feelings and thoughts. You have to learn to ignore the negativity. Obviously, for someone struggling with depression, it’s hard to think positive, so I won’t tell you to replace those thoughts just yet. I just encourage you to suppress negativity. [clickToTweet tweet=”Train your mind to see the good in every situation. #MentalHealth| @ShawnBethea_ ChronicallyStrong.com” quote=”Train your mind to see the good in every situation.”] After My Miscarriage, I struggled greatly with Postpartum Depression. Even months afterwards I couldn’t help but constantly wonder why I off all people had such terrible luck. How so many people live wrong, do bad things, yet they are blessed with their health and healthy pregnancies, families and kids. It was so hard for me to get out of that rut. I still go to that place. It’s okay to have negative thoughts; it’s a part of life. Negativity is ultimately inevitable but how you handle the negativity is what matters. You can’t sit in those thoughts. You can’t allow negativity to consume you and expect a positive outcome or lifestyle.
I hope this helps someone. I do plan on doing a continuation of this post. I could honestly go on forever about Mental Health topics.
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