Before I start my post, I have to say that I know I am blessed in many ways, and that my experience with depression is not the worst thing that could happen to me. I know there is very real suffering all over the world… destruction and death, and that I am lucky to have a future at all. Sometimes I post about other people’s stories who have had it worse than I do, and I really try to count my blessings as I do so.
So, thanks for bearing with me, and that said, I read an interesting article today on the “Crazy Sexy Life” blog which really resonated with me. It’s called “Five Lessons Tragedy Taught Me About Living.” The author unfortunately was a bystander at King’s Cross station when it was bombed in 2005, and was so shaken by the experience that she found recovering from it difficult and drawn out. She now calls herself a survivor, and the article she wrote comprises of her reflections and her tips on getting through difficult times.
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The link to the article is above, and following are my favorite sections of it.
“This experience shook me to my very core. I was left feeling unbearable sadness, hopelessness and traumatized as any person would be. Yet, in the weeks and months that followed, I realized I could choose how to respond to the experience, and I could grow from it.
My path since this day has been one that amazes me to look back on; my life has changed so dramatically. But the most amazing thing is that all these changes were for the better. I am healthier, happier, stronger and finally following my heart and living the life I had always dreamed of. That is why I don’t call myself a victim of the London bombings. Instead I’m a survivor of the London bombings. I survived that day and created a better life for myself.”
“Flood the world with love and compassion and help heal the world. Every bit of love, every bit of understanding, every bit of non-judgment you send out will be felt and appreciated by those around you. These emotions are so health giving and powerful that they can shift negativity, take the edge off trauma and provide a shiny light at the end of a tunnel of gloom.”
Choose to take the gifts of learning from all experiences: the good, the bad and the awful. There is always something we can take from our experiences to grow and use in a positive way.
“I took that experience and let it force me to embrace who I was and who I wanted to be. I made the hard decisions I’d been avoiding. I chose a long and challenging path to wellness. I chose to take every right, wrong, advantage, disadvantage, experience, friend, loved one and moment from my life and embrace them wholeheartedly, to love my life, my mind, my body and my health. I chose to take these things and work towards a life where I can be sharing my story with you, right now, and hopefully helping you realize everything you are capable of, right now, just as you are.“
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I sometimes feel like I’m two different people. On one hand, I have a hard time simply getting myself through the day, and on those days I end up sleeping more, and thinking more negative thoughts than positive. On the other hand, I really want to do things, so that I can make the most of this experience. I want to study and learn things and develop new qualities that will allow me to say “I am a better person now, because I dealt with depression.” So I try to push myself, but a lot of the time I find it difficult to get my moving on my ideas and I end up a bit disheartened.
This article resonated with me because I realized that it is only with love, understanding, and non-judgment that I can heal, and when I’m up for it, entertain my ideas. I think that I can push myself to do things that are good for me, like taking a long walk when I feel going back to bed, or studying for an hour or two when my concentration isn’t there, but overall, I shouldn’t expect so much from myself, because the whole problem right now is that I’m not able to put myself out there and live life day to day. My focus should be there, it should be on taking care of myself and rebuilding my thoughts and confidence so that I can have that again. That’s what matters, so if I have to focus what feels like my limited energy on anything, it should be on whatever will help me feel better and back to life again. I’m finding that therapy, diet changes, exercise such as a brisk walk or a yoga session, meditating, studying, listening to music, watching movies/tv/reading books (as much as I feel like a bit of couch potato), and just simply talking to friends and family and maybe my dog, lol, help me so much.
And I think that is good enough, and enough for me to ask of myself right now.
In the article, the author asked, if you had one day to live, what would you do? My answer to that is different than it would have been a couple of years ago. I might have said that I want to skydive, tell some guy I love him (a few years ago I was like, 19 years old lol), hop a plane and a train to an exotic place, etc. etc. But honestly, right now, it would just be to have a happy, peaceful day. Maybe walk my dog, get dressed, eat nice food, do some nice yoga, hug a friend, learn something, and enjoy that day without a care in the world.
I know I’m going to be okay, I can feel it in my bones, and even though I am struggling and I’m young and life shouldn’t be this hard, I think that I’m gonna make it. So with that in mind, I just wanna live like it’s my last day, and just enjoy that experience of being alive. I must remember that each day is a step forward, that little positive things will add up, and most importantly, that I’m already doing it…I’m already being a better person when I treat myself and then others with love, understanding, and non-judgment.
And that’s good with me.