Oh, the promise of a new year. It can be intoxicating. That thought of putting all the crap from the prior year behind you and beginning anew. You make resolutions, promises to self and those around you. You raise a fist in the air. “This is MY year!” “This year is going to be awesome!” “This year I’m going to be happy!”
All good. Definitely things to work towards. But for the depressed person, despite the daily wellness we wish and strive for, the daily wellness that others take for granted, we are at the mercy of our illness. To steal a quote from a movie, we are “at the whim of a madman!”
For some of us, our resolutions sound quite different. “This year, my depression won’t own me.” “This year, I’ll try to be happy… I really will try.” “This year, I’ll try not to hurt myself.”
I implore you to reach out for support. It can be as simple as following a depression support handle on Twitter to reading a depression blog online to joining a support group at your local church or community centre. If you haven’t already, seek medical advice and while lacking motivation is a key and often debilitating symptom of depression – be your own wellness advocate. If one doctor doesn’t work, find another. Insist on the appropriate referrals. Read up on your illness and take charge. Take it from someone who knows, someone who has been on the proverbial ledge deciding whether to die or live, depression can be managed. There is light in your seemingly pitch black tunnel.
Here are a few coping tips for managing your New Year’s expectations:
- Do NOT make resolutions! Make small, daily goals that are realistic and attainable for you.
- Understand that you are sick, not weak! Seek support. Be your own wellness advocate.
- Laughter is cathartic! Watch funny movies, television and funny animal videos on YouTube.
- Get some exercise (I am really bad at this one). Exercise is proven to help every kind of ailment.
- Know yourself and your triggers. A depressive cycle may be avoided by steering clear of those situations that trigger them.
New Year’s eve can be especially difficult for a lot of people, especially those with depression. Reach out. You are not alone.