This guest post is written by Ryan Rivera.
A life spent depressed is a wasted life. This holds more true to me who went through depression. How many special occasions have I missed? I’ve lost good friends because of my refusal to socialize. They understand what I’m going through, yes, but they can only be there for me as long as I let them in. I shut them out.
It would be hard to totally grasp what depression takes away from people, especially if you haven’t been on this side. I came to a point that giving up is the only option. There was no silver lining, no rainbows after the storm.
Darkness has become my refuge. It’s hard to get up and see the light again when all you ever feel is pain and loneliness. The dark corners of my room is inviting. It’s a world where I can be who I am and be honest about what I feel.
I took that route far too long. There was really no reason to get back on track or at least try. I’ve learned to be okay with it. Then one day, I remembered love. Yes, that great feeling. Does it sound stereotypical? It’s no surprise, I know.
But really! I remembered how it is to love and be loved. My heart misses it. It longs for it. Then I thought about having a family. It would be wonderful to come home to a house smelling of baked goodies. It would be lovely to come home to a wife who is beaming while serving you dinner. It would be fun to come home to children running towards you with such glee.
This is the kind of life I pictured and not me in this dark room that smells of stale coffee. I don’t remember ever wishing to be stuck in this life with nothing but resentment about how cruel and unfair the world is. I have always prayed for strength and courage. I have to muster them again if I ever want to do something for myself. If I die tomorrow, at least I died fighting life’s battles.
I am not going to lie though. Boy, was it a struggle! I failed a few times. It’s inevitable. But I remained focus. If I happened to take a step back, I made sure to take two or more steps forward after to keep me ahead. I was also lucky my support system became even stronger when they saw me starting to regain my balance. They were stauncher than ever before. Those friends I thought I lost were really just waiting around the corner for me.
Aside from strong will and determination, I also changed the way I live. I reinforce my positive thinking with things physical. The neighborhood gym that I used to detest before is now a constant destination of mine.
I do an hour of cardio three times a week. Lifting weights has become cool. I also discovered the fun in “fun runs.” These activities opened up more friendships for me. I judged the gym rats before. They are nothing but vain people who got time to waste. I was wrong of course. They are the same as the rest of us. They, too, are going through life’s motions. The only difference is that they find a way to do it with good physical strength.
Aside from these physical activities, I also changed my diet. I completely gave up sodas. I drink alcohol occasionally and always in moderation. Small and balanced meals of about five times during the day keep me going and full of energy. Cheat day happens but not the one that calls for a “pig out” day.
Another thing that keeps me on track are pick-me up lines I post on my office wall. They constantly remind me of my goal. When days become a bit of a struggle, I just turn my head toward them and read with quiet reflection. And oh, how can I forget about watching feel-good movies? The Silver Lining Playbook is a must watch for people who are going through or went through depression. There’s a ton to learn from that movie.
We always have a chance to turn our life the way we want it. It does not end in second chance only. You can have your third or fourth or fifth. Trust me on this. When you get to those moments when your mind is at its best and is telling you to come on and get up, recognize them. Hold on to those thoughts and then hold on some more. One day, your grip would become tight enough that you won’t ever going to let go. That day is going to be like the day I remembered about love.
I crawled back to life because of love. And isn’t love reason enough to get back to the world. It doesn’t have to be because of someone. It can be for something, like a cause and a passion. A lot of people realized that life is beautiful when they believe in something greater than them. You can start with that.
Ryan Rivera suffered anxiety and depression for seven years. Luckily, he found a way to overcome them. Now, he is determined to help people get through the same conditions by putting up Calm Clinic. The website is dedicated to all who want information about managing and getting rid of anxiety, stress, depression, panic attacks, fatigue, and more.