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This is the fifth in a series of posts about depression and more importantly, how we can take steps to hopefully keep it under control.
After I was diagnosed with depression, I was convinced I could limit both the frequency of my ‘bad’ days, and also the severity of those days. I researched everything I could about how other sufferers deal with their condition, and listed all the advice I thought could work for me. This resulted in fifteen steps, which I’m covering over fifteen weeks, and this is number five.
Step 5 – Turn on the Bat Light!
AKA – Look on the Positive Side
The Mayor of Gotham City has a major problem. The Joker is holding several high-ranking officials hostage, they’re roped and suspended over a huge vat of bubbling, corrosive lime-green acid. In 24 hours, the ropes will be cut.
What does he do? He turns on the Bat Light, of course! He asks for help!
The moral is: talk to people, ask for support.
The last thing I wanted to do was talk to anyone. I couldn’t even see anyone.
My thoughts were so irrational that I refused to believe someone else could be in my position, let alone millions of others. No-one could help me.
But, they did.
A lot of people are suffering the same hardships, many have come out the other side, and I found a few of them. I felt great opening up. It helped me because they knew what I was going through. They shared the steps they took to fight depression; what worked, what failed, ideas I was unaware of, approaches I hadn’t contemplated, and methods I never thought relevant.
I concealed my condition for over a year. Not because I felt ashamed, I just didn’t need to broadcast it. I dealt with it on my own.
However, what surprised me, when I did start opening up, was people’s reactions. They held my gaze, listened intently with little emotion, then simply told me they understood completely, and that they, too, had been battling depression for years.
I was dumbstruck.
And they helped me, making valuable suggestions. Better advice than the therapist even!
Try finding those people and talking to them.
Turn on the Bat Light!
You can read about my hike across Scotland, while coming to terms with the fact I had depression, in my latest book – High and Low. Just click on the image for details.