In case of emergency, read this again.
It’s going to be alright.
It’s not the first time you’ve felt this way, and you’ve always come out as a better, stronger version of yourself. Although it may feel worse this time. It always does, but it never really is. It’s the lack of perspective that makes it feel so much worse. So this is perspective.
Read this. Until you can read it without crying.
Never has emptiness ever felt so heavy. It feels empty, so you feel the need to fill it up. Food, booze, noise, anything. But that’s where you are wrong. It’s the weight of your worries, your fears, unshed tears, bottled up conflicts and untold feelings that is dragging you down. It doesn’t need filling.
It needs to be released.
But somehow you can’t get this all out. Like you’re trapped behind some heavy glass.
So for the next time you get stuck in there, here’s how to break the window. Follow the emergency exit path…
Walk. You can always walk. Walking is just putting one foot in front of the other, and that is something you’ll always know how to do.
First, you walk inside. Then, you go outside. Don’t go anywhere in particular, just walk. It will remind you that you don’t have to know where you’re going to start walking again. It’s just one step at the time.
Cry as much as you need. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel weakened nor diminished because you need to cry a lot for no reason. It’s a good sign. It’s just the pressure oozing you.
Go to the movies.
You feel like you need to immerge yourself in fantasy, to avoid facing your present reality, and that’s ok, for a while. Do it, but do it properly. Go the a movie theatre, actually surround yourself with the story. Commit to it. No phone. No pause. No outside foods. No trying to do something else at the same time.
This way you still get to escape your mind, but you don’t go locking yourself away in a Netflix loop.
Read. It’s the next step out, right? It’s still an escape, but it’s one you can aim for without leaving your couch.
You still don’t have to do anything, just pick up a book. It’s an active way of getting out. There’s always something to read. When you’re tired of reading, you’ll either need to sleep of actually do something. Either way, it’s productive.
I know that by the time you’ll be reading this, that step will feel way to high to attempt. That’s ok. In your own time.
Meditation will help you get rid of the negative feelings packed up inside. Everything crying and walking can’t get out.
Breathing, freeflow thinking will help release all that internal pressure weighing you down. You know, that treacherous feeling of emptiness, which is actually more like drowning in your sorrows.
Get out of there.
Something probably needs to change in your life, but you’ve got zero chance of figuring that out while you’re drowning in your everyday routine.
Book a flight, book a trip, even 2-3 days out will do the trick, but you will benefit from a change of scenery.
If you’ve started meditating again, pack your running shoes. Your next step towards recovery will start with a healthy run.
Don’t waste time or energy trying to understand why you’ve fallen of the wagon this time. What triggered it. Why. This is the treachery of depression: there may not be a why. There may not be a reason. The longer you try to understand, convinced that all you need to get better is to figure out the source of this pain, the longer your recovery will take.
Don’t blame yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. You couldn’t have done anything differently. It just is.
Sleep. It can’t hurt. Better sleep than binge watch irrelevant shows until your eyes dry out.
Eat fresh fruits. Generally, fresh foods. I swear it’ll help.
Seek help. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a show of strength. It already means that you will power’s back. Nurture that spark, and follow your own advice.
Your drive will come back, in the form of a spark. The kind that a broken lighter makes, when you try it on. Catch that spark. It might take you several tries to get the fire started again, but that’s ok. Be patient.
Spot the signs
You never wanted to write such a list, because you don’t want to risk writing down a self-fulfilling prophecy. If these are the signs, then every time I feel one or the other, I may start experiencing the rest, and self-drown myself in depression.
You’re not like that.
You’re the kind of person who convince themselves everything’s fine, it’s just a cold, when you should have gone to the doctor a week ago. You know the symptoms to these diseases, yet every time you feel them, you discard them entirely. Can’t be sick if I don’t feel sick.
But you’ve since learned to take some symptoms seriously, only to avoid worse conditions.
The same goes for that list. It’s not a sentence. It’s a reminder that there are early exits out of that slope.
And you can’t take them if you don’t even know that you’re spiraling down.
In case of emergency, break the window…
- …If noise feels unbearable even in mildly/low levels around you.
- …If you stop enjoying other people’s company, if they dry out your energy.
- …If sleeping 9 hours still leaves you exhausted.
- …If drinking becomes a frequent necessity instead of a sporadic enjoyment.
…If you start lying «Yes I’m fine» when your closest friends ask you «how are you?»
Here’s the answer you actually meant to say. Learn this line for the next time:
I’m not fine at the moment. I’m going through a rough patch, for no particular reason. It happens. And I’m going to be ok. I just need some time, but it’ll pass. I know that in the end, I’m going to be fine.
Again. I’m going to be fine again.