Depression is a fog—a tender weight that rests on the forefront of your brain, like a girl sitting on the edge of a diving board with her feet absent-mindedly flicking the water.
Except she is heavy—so very heavy—and she carries a lot of pain on her back. She holds anxiety, anger, sadness, helplessness and confusion. You don’t quite know what to do with her. You can’t move an inch, lest she fall, but you hardly know if you can bear her weight much longer.
That’s how my depression feels.
I keep reading people’s posts on how to deal with depression and how to pick yourself up when your world falls apart. I dig through the words, cradling and holding them up to the light—to see if I can find some shimmer of happiness in them. Some way to make myself better.
I’ve finally found those words, but they didn’t come from any blog post—they came from my big brother. Who better?
I’d like to share them with you.
In a moment of rare bravado and putting on a good face, I told him, “I’m going to get through this.”
Then—with all of the sensitivity in the world—he endearingly replied, “You’re damn right you are.”
Yet, it was not these words that caught my attention. It was what he said after:
“It makes everything better when you do.
We all f*ck up. It’s not the f*ck-ups that define us. It’s how we handle our f*ck-ups.
You will be fine, just take one second at a time.
Don’t live in the future or the past. Literally remind yourself every second that you can’t control anything but your attitude in that very second.”
My depression makes it nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other. I can’t think of tomorrow or the day after. I can’t think of what will come at the end of the week or how I’ll feel as I lay my head down to go to bed this night.
But I can take my brother’s words to heart. I can live for now—right now-–and no other time.
I can’t control other people or the sh*t that happens to me, but I can control myself and the feelings I put forth. So I may not be able to see the end of the week, but I can see right now.
And eventually, when things do get better—when I string together enough moments of now that suddenly I look around and find I’m in a completely different universe—it will be that much better because of what I went through.
In the words of my brother: “Everything is made better when you get through this.”
It is this mantra that will help me get through today.
I hope it gets you through your day too.
Author: Brittany Ann Bandemer
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Unsplash/Volkan Olmez