Are you tired of people looking at you with sad puppy dog eyes or the “awww” that spews from their tongue when they discover you suffer from depression? I mean, depression is a real and terrifying thing, but I wish more would try and understand it rather than just feel sorry for others. For this reason, specifically, I prefer to look on the bright side of the dark space – I prefer to see the light. And, if you have ever suffered from depression you should too because in some ways depression is a gift.
Can you believe there are people today that think someone who suffers from depression is just a person who has a perspective issue, or that they are just overly sensitive or vulnerable?
C’mon! How long will it take this world to realize that mental health disorders are actual diseases that deserve respect and need to be taken seriously and appropriately with care and the proper medications – rather it’s natural, unnatural, or a combination of both?
Alright, enough of my ranting. Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we!?
When in the deepest, darkest places or the most terrifying anxiety tornado you can not see past the black smog of the disease to see the positive things about depression, but when you learn how to take care of it, and rise out of the smoke, the air is clear; you notice the light.
I’m happy to say I am thankful for and appreciate my suffering through depression and anxiety. And, here are my top 5 reasons why.
1. It keeps my ass in shape. We all know exercise releases feel-good endorphins, right?! For me, keeping fit, practicing yoga, spinning, boxing, or simply going for a walk helps keep me in the happy zone, so not exercising or sitting on the couch all day eating donuts and chips is not an option for me. Not feeling good about what I put into my body or how I treat it is a big trigger for my depression and anxiety. Not staying in shape is kind of like a personal invitation to the diseases to creep back in.
2. I am more empathetic and less judgmental. Anyone who’s had a real medical illness definitely is familiar with humility. When they say, “ I’m feeling really low today, or I don’t know if I can get through the day,” I take them seriously and listen. I don’t blow them off and just think they’re over exaggerating or playing drama queen. When I see someone in a wheelchair struggling to reach the top shelf at the grocery store, I stop and help them. I don’t pass them by and think, man, that person is so lazy – look how fat they made themselves, they have no self-control. I try and understand them and do just something as simple as grabbing a can of whatever to make their day a little brighter.
3. I have the coolest conversations. Think about all the times when you have opportunities to engage with strangers throughout the day – at the grocery store, in a fitness class, at work, at the park, swimming pool, etc. When I tell strangers what I do and what my blog is about their response is always, “oh, wow! That’s interesting.” This opens up so many things to discuss and is way more valuable to me than small talk.
4. My writing has gotten better. I care much less about what people think. If I did, I surely would not be blogging about or even admitting that I have depression. Also, when awake from depression and the deep, dark emotions no longer rule over you, you begin to feel other emotions again. It’s kind of like when you break a bone and you get a cast. As soon as the cast comes off, your leg, arm, etc. is like new skin again – sensitive and feeling every bit of its surroundings. I can better describe and communicate how something feels, tastes, etc. ten times better.
5. I’m not afraid of death. When you come out of depression and can begin to see the light, you begin to live again, and not just plainly or mediocre-like. You really start to live your fullest life. You experience the things you enjoy again, you try new things and love harder, want to do better, be better. Now, if you get hit by a truck tomorrow at least you’ll die living your best life. If you sink back to the dark and have a really shitty day, and get hit by the truck, well then, you’re kind of relieved. 🙂
So, tell me. Is there anything positive that you’ve discovered out of suffering from an illness or disease? Comment below. I want to know!