About four years ago, my depression reared its ugly head and brought some friends. Initially, I refused help and thought my old habits would pull me through. It was a journey of dealing with feelings of emptiness, suicide ideation, finding the right meds and the right therapist. I would finally feel like I was managing my mental health, but then would relapse for several months.
When depressed, my focus was getting out of bed and just making it through the day. I couldn’t focus on passion, maintaining friendships or new experiences. Basic things like keeping my house clean felt like a herculean task. It became a vicious cycle of not having the energy to clean and shaming myself for being such a crap adult that couldn’t even keep my small house clean.
Before getting sick, I loved photography and cooking and baking (especially for my family and friends). I would sometimes wakeup before work and bake. I had a food and photography blog and it brought me so much joy.
It’s only in the last 6 months that I have been able to manage my depression and experience very short relapses under a few weeks. In a therapy session, I was assigned homework to define my values. It was an incredibly difficult task. Other than stability and knowledge, I struggled to prioritize other values. I didn’t have any kind of spiritual beliefs anymore. I realized that in the struggle to do simple things I lost who I was and what I valued.
As cliche as it sounds, life is too short to just exist. So I’m starting fresh, experiencing new things as well as finding joy in rediscovery of old interests.