Depression’s victimizing stories of entrapment are enticingly comparable to taking just “one more hit” of a dangerous drug that you know is harmful. The downward-spiraled, self-destructive doses of suffering it supplies you with can be strangely intoxicating.
When you finally realize you have been entangled in its claws, you begin to think to yourself, “It’s too late for me, my fate is sealed, I will never escape.” For like an eagle on hunt to catch its prey, depression swoops in to grip you, hook you in, and suspend you within its dramatics like a horrible reality television show does at the end of each episode. There is always a closing cliffhanger designed to leave you anxiously anticipating the next episode. You despise this show, but oddly enough to satisfy your craving, you always seem to find yourself shamefully coming back for more.
Like toxic people, depression is practically like clockwork in the way it affects you whenever it comes around…sucking your energy and draining you dry until you’re left feeling depleted in the same ways unpleasant memories can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. You can never seem to fully erase them or permanently shake them off your radar. You hate how they make you feel but dreadfully expect their return.
Although unwilling, you anticipate their arrival, because the past has always dictated that no matter how hard you try, they will always return to greet you once again.
Depression is cunningly seductive. It is a self-destructive storyteller awaiting for just the right moment to spring on you with its intricately woven arsenal of lies, all of them uniquely handcrafted and precisely tailored to fit just you. It understands how timing is everything and will patiently hide its lowly tales up its sleeve until you feel exhausted and beaten down by life just enough to pass its lies off as unshakable truths.
Depression prides itself in being masterfully skillful in its abilities of artful insinuation. It proceeds to go to great lengths to whisper far-fetched stories in your ear, immaculately describing details about a person who is unlovable and insignificant, an unworthy piece of trash who is undeserving of anything real or meaningful life has to offer. It does so in such a magnificent way you actually begin to believe this tall-tale is all about you.
Depression is a sneaky devil. It finds ways to easily convince those already downtrodden into believing they are trapped, for no matter how hard they attempt to add value to their lives, depression always has and always will deserve a premier space in their hearts.
Depression’s entrapment feels real. It’s like the entire Universe and everyone you know has turned their back on you. Somehow you keep getting the short end of the stick, everything always goes wrong, and life just seems to have it out for you because it seems to continually deal you the same shitty hand.
Well as real as this seems, the story isn’t true, but this is the story depression would have you believe, and whenever you feel weakened or down on your luck, it’s enthralled because it knows its got you right where it wants you. Here’s the truth…regardless of anything depression says, you my friends are prime real estate and there is NEVER ANY SPACE IN YOUR HEART for it, no matter how seductive its whispers may be.
Depression is no sucker. It’s magnificently brilliant and has a keen intelligence in understanding how to play your mind, heart, body, and soul deviously against each another to a finely orchestrated tune of self-destruction. Deceptively clever, a magician who waves his magic wand to envelop you in a thick fog of confusion, and once you’re consumed you believe there’s actually no other exit route besides a life numbed down in self-medication, isolation, and possibly even suicide.
Depression is not your friend. It feeds off the feeling of entrapment, and kills your passion, destroys your dreams, and if you don’t become self-aware of its tendencies, it just might literally kill you, too.
Depression knows what it does to you. All its hooks premeditated and intricately placed in such a way that quickly entangle you within its webs of delusion making you feel hopelessly stuck. But despite what you may believe today, you actually are not trapped and if you wanted too, you could start moving towards the exit route today…
That light you see far off in the distance at the end of the tunnel is no illusion, but the tunnel you believe you are stuck in without escape is, and here are three ways that can help you get you started in finding your way out:
1) Stop focusing on what you can’t control or whatever is making you feel helpless.
2) Stop focusing on whatever it is you don’t have right now (money, love, career etc.) that triggers feelings of inadequacy.
3) Stop focusing on the past, particularly painful, emotionally-charged memories.
Life is not cut out for perfection and neither are you. Perfection doesn’t exist, and anything or anyone conveying an image of esteemed perfection is a lie. You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.
Depression is anger directed inwards. Oftentimes, this anger is stemming from having allowed your “inner critic” to run rampant within you, demanding a level of perfection from you that doesn’t exist. When you inevitably fail at its impossibly high demands, (which undoubtedly you do every time), you then take the shame of this defeat out on yourself by becoming incredibly hard on yourself and beating yourself up.
Make an oath. Build within yourself a new self-nurturing belief that your best is always enough, so whenever the voice of depression comes creeping at your doorstep, snarling its teeth in attempts to convince you otherwise, you won’t oblige and buy the lies it’s selling.
Here’s the thing, there is no set standard for what “your absolute best” is. Your best can literally change within each passing moment of every single day. Your best simply implies what your best performance can be in any given moment. Your best will always change because life is always continuously changing, and just when you think you have it all figured out, life will come along and suddenly surprise you with one of its infamous curve-balls.
So don’t be so hard on yourself. You can’t expect automatic levels of peak performance right out the gate in a newer situation you haven’t even been around long enough in to acquire the necessary skills and emotional balance required for you to proficiently cope in it yet. Capability and endurance are born through experience, trial and error, and oftentimes life will require you to undergo some painstaking form of self-evolution before they are developed.
For example, my darkest days were the entirety of my 20’s. I’d spent that era swept away in a sea of severe depression, and my morning ritual consisted of me lying in bed feeling hopelessly paralyzed as daily panic attacks rampaged recklessly throughout my body.
Do you think “my best” back then was starting a business all the while traveling the world? Hell to the nope. My best back then simply meant getting out of bed, showering, and on really good days it meant making sure I would eat properly, too. “My best,” literally meant maintaining the basic needs of self-care because back then that’s all I had the energy for.
Even now after conquering depression nearly five years ago, I still maintain an awareness that whatever I can do in each present moment is enough, and sometimes doing my best means I simply avoiding self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Self-forgiveness is a major key in ending the cycles of depression, so I always try and forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know before I learned it. And when the inevitably darker, more difficult days creep in like the weather, my best means that I no longer try and escape the darkness, but learn to love myself there amidst all the shadows.
Because self-love is a journey of acceptance, not perfection, after all. No matter what happens around me, the battles of yesterday have passed. I no longer strive to fight the battles of yesterday, nor worry about fighting any battles of tomorrow…for these battles are fictitious and may never come.
I let go of a future I cannot control. I focus on what I have within myself and around me right now in the present. I release all of the elements from my past causing me emotional pain of which I cannot change.
I am only required to do my best today by remaining present with whatever arises, and maintain my ability to remain detached, knowing that life does not control how I feel. I do, and this knowledge is what makes each victory possible.
Depression can make you feel trapped, but the key is to realize you are not.
Start by taking one foot and placing it in front of the other. There will still be days when you feel like you can’t even walk … so crawl.
Just keep the forward momentum and before you know it, regardless of the obstacles life hurdles your way, you will be skipping and eventually full blown sprinting in the direction of the joyful life you want and deserve.
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