The day was going well enough. Nothing bad happened. I worked. I read a book. I actually left my phone in airport mode and away from my desk almost my entire workday. Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, I realized that a depressive mood was sneaking up on me. So, I started to ask myself, why? Why is depression gaining the upper hand at this moment? What triggered this?
This was a light bulb moment in four parts, if you will.
First, I recognized the depression before it became overwhelming. That’s an achievement worth acknowledging for me. Usually it’s days or weeks or months down the road when I realize I’ve been overwhelmed by the depression, that it’s ruling my life again. When I’m overwhelmed, the second part doesn’t happen. It just feels like the air is sucked out of the room, the light is gone, the turbulence is all there is.
Second, I consciously recognized that something or some things had triggered the rise in depression and I sought to figure out what that was, either internally and/or externally.
Third, even though I didn’t identify the exact trigger, I acknowledged several things that could be the possible triggers today.
Finally, I didn’t judge myself as failing to identify whatever the exact trigger/s was/were. Instead, I learned that asking the question was enough to stifle the depressive mood, to prevent it from taking a firmer grasp. As I took the time to sift through some of the possible answers, it centered me back into awareness, into mindfulness. Questioning myself, inventorying the possibilities moved me to a different place. It allowed me to acknowledge the crappy feeling, to accept that it was present for a reason, and to choose not to be overwhelmed.
Wellness doesn’t need to be perfect for it to be good and lovely and worthwhile.
So, tonight I’m awarding myself a bunch of points that mean don’t mean anything except that I’m working at it, I’m managing my encounter with depression, I’m learning and using emotional and coping skills, and I’m choosing wellness over wallowing.
For that matter, while I’m awarding points, even if they don’t mean anything, here’s like a thousand of them for you just for dropping by! Thank you!