I have never had a lot of pain. Never. I can distinctly remember three huge times of pain and they were fleeting moments, but this week I have had pain for the third week in my leg. It radiates up and down and sometimes is in the knee, but other times it is in my thigh. I started to get very depressed. I started to be anxious and diagnosed myself with far worse maladies than the doctor did. And then my husband told me...."I've had pain for every moment of the day for the past ten years." Unbelievable. He never complains about it. I had only known because he had told me once a few years ago. I couldn't believe anyone could remain happy through pain. Yes, my pain will probably subside in a few weeks. A torn meniscus is not a big thing in the great design of my life, but it almost overtook me with angst and fear.
We tend to become depressed when someone doesn't love us the way we want. We feel we need others to fill our hearts with the type of love we want. When that doesn't happen, we become depressed. Perhaps we have lost someone we loved. How can we fill that hole with something other than depression?
It is okay to be depressed for a while. It is NOT okay to be depressed all the time. We can have moments of relief from the heaviness of depression. How is that done? If your depression is so bad you are contemplating hurting yourself or others, call 911 and see a doctor.
If your depression is short-lived and you can still enjoy others' company or reading a book or having a glass of wine, you will be fine. Here are some things to do when the shroud of depression threatens to envelop you:
1. Talk with a friend. Call or chat online with someone who will just listen and validate your thoughts - not someone who will say SNAP out of it. That kind of advice merely serves to worsen your depression.
2. Redirect your thoughts. It's okay to feel sad, but give yourself a break. Watch a funny movie. Read a good joke. Laugh at something.
3. Take deep breaths and say loving things to yourself. We call that self talk. Talk to yourself in a positive fashion. Beware that if you start doing this out loud there will be those who question your sanity a bit....
4. Pray or meditate. Research has shown that those who have some spiritual convictions tend to sail through life on an easier wave.
5. Do something you love - paint, draw, color, sing a song, join a band, write a book or blog! Do something fun for you.
6. Exercise - walk a labyrinth. Go up and down the stairs. Park your car as far as you can at the grocery store.
JUST DO SOMETHING other than keep the depression inside, fed by your angst and loneliness! You do not have to be alone!
January 12th, Thursday at 6:15 pm
Our small tribe will meet to create a new moral support group for women
Reed Opera House B-1
Spaces very limited
$30 per person per session
MUST be registered to attend!
And, yes, sometimes depression needs to be taken care of by a physician who can prescribe medications that help you. Sometimes depression is chemical and you can't change that by simply ignoring it!