Depression can take a hold of us for so long. It takes over our lives and almost feels impossible to get out of. It becomes everything you know. Especially having dealt with it a long time, you lose a sense of who you are because all you do is cope.
That being said, what does it look like when you are finally healing out of depression? Here are a few things that are normal and something to expect.
- have ups and downs as you heal
Healing is not linear. I will always say that because people glamorize healing. You may feel that you are taking ten steps back when you just took two steps forward. That is okay, that is normal. You are constantly fighting and struggling what you have known this entire time, which is depression, versus the new reality you are trying to live, which is a healed fulfilled life. Something you probably have not known what is it even like.
Striving for such a life, when you have been depressed for so long is difficult because you do not even know how to get there but are doing everything you can do get there. You are fighting with your very own thoughts, but what is important is that you don’t stop fighting and struggling to get there. Your old self is going to fight back and there is no question that that will happen. You just need to fight back and understand that you have more waiting for you when you heal.
2. have flashbacks of your trauma, but your response will be different
You will start to remember the very things that hurt you, that brought you into the deep depression that got you here. But that will happen. The very trauma that your mind blocked out may come back up again. It may come harder but understand that your mind is different. You have come ahead whether it’s big or little steps. Your mind will respond differently.
Notice how you respond to memories. How different you react to them. The more you face them head on when you are ready, the more you heal and grow stronger past those memories, ready to move on.
3. need to find a new personality
When depression is all you know, you spend all your time either trying to heal from your trauma. You may make jokes about it, or just revel in your sadness, because thats all you really know.
When I was healing out of my depression, I realized that I lost my entire personality, but it has been so long that I do not even know what my personality even looks like. I started letting myself be free to laugh, free to discover what hobbies interested me, and what my boundaries are. I had to find out who I was before I was depressed.
4. need to accept that you are not who you were
This is easy to logically see, but hard to accept. You may always feel like the little girl (or boy) that you have been. Trying to figure out the world. People will only know the version of you that they met you as, and it will be hard for them to change their perspective of you, just as you of yourself.
Know that you are not what you were. Life has changed you, and you have changed you. You are stronger than you were and you need to remember that. You have reached a different chapter of yourself. You need to identify with the new version of yourself. Who is that? Who are you now?
You are allowed to have a past. You are allowed to change your future. You are allowed to be different.
5. be okay with a new direction of thoughts
Sometimes, depression can seem familiar. When you live in it for so long. It becomes comforting to be sad. Because that is what you have known for so long. Happiness can be scary and unknown. You don’t know if it will be fleeting.
It is okay that you are happy sometimes and sad others. It is okay to be happy. It does not mean that something will have the opportunity to ruin your happiness, but it means that you have the opportunity to decide whether you are going to be okay or not. You are in charge of whether you want something to destroy you, or whether you will take it as an opportunity to be a stronger version of yourself.
If something scares you, don’t wait to feel ready. Just do it scared. You will never be ready. Or you will wait a long time to start your life. It is perfectly okay going into new situations (that will enhance and fulfill your life) scared. And just keep breathing through your emotions, and go for it.
Starting your journey of healing through depression may be even scarier than being in depression, but it is all worth it.
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