Every winter, for as long as I can remember, my low-grade depression likes to flex its muscles and upgrade itself to moderate status.
It’s always lotsa fun.
I never know when it is going to try it, either. I never know when one day of feeling apathetic is going to stretch into something more.
But I’ve noticed something.
Some days, I put up a fight. I say, “Not this time.”
And inevitably, I spend the next few days or weeks with lower than normal energy because I’m trying so hard to keep my mood up.
But sometimes, when I wake up in a horrible mood or my energy is just gone, I don’t even put up a fight. I give in and say, “Ok. Let’s dance.”
Any plans I had for being productive that day?
Out the window.
I mope. I binge watch TV. I do as little as humanly possible.
I cry. I sulk.
I rage about how hard everything is.
Maybe I cry a little more.
And eventually I trudge my Eeyore-self back to bed and call it a night.
Nine times out of ten, I wake up the next morning feeling better. Maybe not great, but better.
By allowing myself to feel the sadness, the apathy, the dull hopeless tug of depression, I cycle through it and come out the other side much faster than I would have had I dug in my heels and resisted it.
And by giving in and dancing with my depression, I trade days or weeks of lower than normal energy for a day or two of extreme meh.
I still don’t like it. But I’ve done this dance often enough to realize that usually it’s best to just follow where my brain seems determined to lead me.
That way I can get back to my normally scheduled life a lot sooner than I would otherwise.
What do you resist? Would life be easier if you stopped fighting it, even for just a little while?
P.S. – Even though I am being treated for my depression, I still go through this. If I were not on medication for it, things would be WAY worse.
If you are struggling with untreated depression (or think you might be), PLEASE go seek treatment rather than following the advice I’ve laid out here.