“It is not about the fall, it is about how you get back up”
So it seems like the world around you is coming to an end, the walls around you are tightening, all your plans and back up plans have failed. There is misery, hopelessness and no sight of future. The road ahead seems heavily fogged and you feel as if you have been chained to a stagnant position -now what?
The bad news is that there is no one in the world to fix it all for you. Yes, people can sympathize, empathize and try help, but there is nothing anyone can do about your current state.
The good news is that you have not always been like this. Not like you have been miserable and depressed throughout your life. This means there is hope to regain the state you were in before falling into a deep pit of endless failures and misery.
Different things work for different people. It seems obvious that after all the circumstances you have been through, you can not ever be the same person again -which essentially is not a bad thing. As long as you want to feel better and/or be better, there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel -you are just unaware of it at the moment. All you need to do is to trust the process or the Creator of this ‘process’ if you believe in one.
Here are some things you can do right away to regain some energy and get back up.
Though it may seem counter intuitive to even the most believing among us, just give it a try. Try have a chat with your Creator. Tell Him everything from the start -just like you would talk to a friend, a confidante. Yes, he already knows everything, but try talking it all out. There is a liberating feeling to it. With no one to judge you on your specific words while you talk or to make assumptions on why you did what you did, you eliminate the chances to be embarrassed or exploited later.
For those who do not believe in a God, I recommend to start discovering the possibility. Meanwhile, you can try one of the following.
Cry it out
Though crying is not what most macho men and women prefer, but it is a proven anti-depressant. It relieves emotional stress. I don’t think anyone can claim to have never cried in their lives -you did cry as a baby now didn’t you? :)
Yes, you can cry it all out alone , by yourself, as much as you want. I prefer crying alone though. If crying in front of a friend or a therapist works for you -do it! Just be careful about the negative consequences that might arise with someone knowing your weaknesses.
Talk to yourself
This may or may not come naturally to you. Some people find it creepy. Talking to yourself helps you better understand yourself. Reflecting back on your life events, your actions and reactions to various circumstances reveals some interesting data and facts about your personality, strengths and weaknesses. Once you are aware of your weaknesses, you can work upon them. Whereas, strengths you can use to your advantage.
For some of us, pep talks are the way to go. Having a close friend, family member or a therapist give you emotional support helps you feel motivated and back on track. For the ones who find pep talks useless, it doesn’t hurt to try – really.
Go on a trip all by yourself. Even if you can not afford one, try visiting a nearby place on foot or cheapest conveyance possible. This not only gives you a break from your depressive and mundane routine, but also helps you feel in control -in control of your own self, your own life. Going around solo gives you confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Meeting a variety of people, collaborating or interacting with them gives you insight into the world you exist in. Life more than often is not as rosy for many of us. You are definitely not the only one facing obstacles and misery.
Volunteering for a social cause gives you a sense of gratification. The realization of being useful to someone out there gives meaning to your life. Moreover, witnessing people who are not as privileged helps you reconsider your priorities in life. It makes you more empathetic and understanding -which if you are aware, is a favorable trait for any future leader.
Do what you CAN do
It might seem you have lost all your zeal and there is nothing at all to look forward to. The ground below you might be rendering you unstable. Nothing might mean anymore to you. But, you are still breathing aren’t you. At this very moment, there might just be a teeny bit you can do. May it be writing down your emotions or taking your dog out for a walk, may it be as small as fixing a leaking tap or helping a neighbor in need, may it be updating your resume or teaching someone a skill you posses. Do what you can do right now. Taking a small step towards an action, leads to further smaller steps -eventually leading to a series of actions and accomplished goals. Your day will not look wasted and gloomy. The first step is the hardest, but definitely not impossible.
If you have more tips on how to get back up from a depressive rut, i would love to hear back from you in the comments below. Just remember, you are in the situation for a reason, you are a brave soul very much capable of escaping the gloom, keep strong -the sun will shine through Insha’Allah.