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Digging out of the Depression Hole - Acknowledge

I'm back after many months to share the journey to digging myself out of a period of deeper than usual depression.  I hope that these posts will help some of you in your own journey.

I want to emphasize that deep depression is not something that happens at the time of causes.  It is a result of prolonged and piled up unresolved emotions and feelings.  Being functional keeps many of us dealing with the root causes when they occur.  Therefore, do not try to find causes of depression in current situations, the damage happened in the past.  I wrote this as an 8-year-old: I have everything but I am just not happy. Well, you may have everything okay right now but the past has caught up with you.  Like when I had cancer... I was taking the treatments like a champ but 6 months later I fell into a deep depression. Emotions have a lag time.

Depression is not new to me as I have suffered it my entire life (at least all of it that I can remember). Naturally, I've dug myself out of it many times but being experienced does not make episodes any easier. The process is generally the same with some variations depending on current situations.

So, let me start with how I make up my mind to recover...

Recognize the symptoms:
Tiredness, low energy, fatigue
Weight change (in my case: gain)
Lack of motivation (dragging to do anything)
Body aches
Lack of joy
Sleeping problems
Food cravings
Concentration issues
Stuck in the rut feeling (but not wanting to change)
Feeling helpless
And so on...

These symptoms are not a huge deal individually but taken together are a sure sign of depression. The problem is that we dismiss each of them by explanations for a long time which causes them to pile up and render us dysfunctional.

Examples:
I'm tired because I didn't sleep well
My body aches because of weather, lack of / too much exercise, aging, etc.
I'm unmotivated because of boring job, nothing new in family or social life, lack of ideas
I can't concentrate because of distractions (even though we create our own), just not into it, physical fatigue

The point here is the circular reasoning that our minds tell us which leads to a downward spiral of depression.

Recovery always starts with the acknowledgement that I have reached a point when I MUST do something.  This happens in the brain on a logical level much earlier than in the heart. We intuitively know that somethings is wrong but it takes a while to be emotionally ready to actually do something about it.  In my case, the time between the two is probably a bit shorter than for newbies because I've been here before many times which accelerates the process a bit.  Again, circumstances can slow down or speed up this time period.

I have reached the congruence between my brain and heart now so the work of rebuilding can start.

I'll share my journey with tricks and tips in the hope of helping all of you who read this.

Depression does not define you!

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