Today is the World Mental Health Day and I felt really strongly that I want to write about my depression again. Because it still didn’t magically disappear.
So… How do I live with my depression?
Over the course of the past two years I have found ways that really work well with balancing my depressive mind. I have been working towards this for my whole life, and it has been the hardest battle that I will ever have to fight. And it’s a constant battle, but I am on a right path.
I started changing my food choices about two years ago. I saw this documentary called “Hungry For Change” and it really hit me hard. At the time when I saw it I was in a really bad and deep depression. I don’t remember what it was that really made me think “I have two choices, either I keep being how I have been until now or I change everything now and try to improve this life of mine”. But the point is that they talked about depression and how the stuff you eat makes it either worse or better. So there was a clear reason for me to understand and try something new.
So the first things that I did was weave processed foods and drinks away from my diet, not the easiest of things to do. Have you ever tried to get rid of sugars and highly processed foods? Our brain is addicted to them, because the foods and drinks are made of terrible things that make our brain need them… Scary, I would say.
I started feeling better, started loosing weight which made me feel better, because when I saw myself in the mirror I go even more depressed. I felt that I had more energy and I was happier. This all happened slow, not like over night or anything, but fast enough for me to notice.
At the moment I am pretty much plant based or a vegan, how ever you want to say it. For me, my mind and body that is the best way for me to keep going. I still have these moments when I just crave cheese… Then I taste it and it tastes really bad, so I kind of have left that one too. Once I got rid of this mindset that I have to give up foods, all got easier. The truth is that the choices in plant based nutrition are endless, you just have to be open to exploring.
I also want to be honest, during the last two years I have gone in and out of this choice to clean my nutrition. I am an addict when it comes to certain foods and when you have a mental health issues, you are not always the strongest when it comes to deciding what to eat, even if it makes you feel like shit. It’s about that moment of good feeling, even if the shitty feeling comes about five minutes later. Or the guilty feeling. So I have learnt to try to be more gentle with myself and just try my best. That’s all I can do!
Yeah, running has saved my life! It’s not a hobby, it’s who I am.
The main reason why I started running is that I knew that I have to start doing some physical exercise to feel better. I had old running sneakers, purely for fashion reasons, but good enough for me to use them. The first time I went for a run, my amazing boyfriend came with me and we fast realized that we should not run together haha, but I wanted to keep going. So I did. And I did have this small “relapse” after the first couple of months of that adrenaline happiness. Then I came back to it and now I am still here. I know for a fact, that if I wouldn’t kept running I am not sure that I would still be here.
It’s a noun fact that physical activity balances our mental issues. But for people like me, with bigger problems than everyday stress, it works miracles. These days I notice right away if I haven’t run in a couple of days. The person I am now and who I was two years ago… completely different and only for the better! So I will keep running and dreaming of all the amazing things I can do and have already done with running.
Running is the reason why I love myself, respect myself, know that I can and can’t lie to myself anymore that I can’t. It makes me feel free, beautiful, strong, like a warrior!
It’s a constant challenge and that is exactly why I keep going.
And I don’t mean religion with that. I mean a way of thinking and using your mind the way that it works the best for you.
I have some religious past in my life, for a short period of time, but I do. For me the way of someone else making the plans and rules for you didn’t work. I had too many questions and that was a problem. What I did have from that time is the ability to pray and calm in that moment. I have been praying on and off, and every time I pray more constantly I notice that I feel more grounded and calmer. I have always taken it more as a talk to a friend, giving thanks and talking about those fears and dreams of mine, asking for patience or guidance. I don’t know who I talk to but it makes me feel better so I keep doing it. My mind feels clearer when I pray.
I am also really into PMA = Positive Mental Attitude, I even have it tattooed on my arm as a reminder. I haven’t always been too positive and it took me a long time after getting that tattoo that I can really act positively. These days I try to tackle all situations first with a positive outlook and ask myself if there even is anything negative or a reason to panic or go all crazy angry.
Lately I have been really interested in Buddhism, as it’s not a religion, it’s more of a way of life. Do the best you can and that is enough, don’t do harm to others with your actions. The more I read about it, the more I feel that I have been a closet practiser of Buddhism. I will learn more and see how I feel. No have to, only interest and learning more.
And the more I learn and read about running, faith, nutrition, anatomy, whatever, the better I feel. Books are my religion :).
I have always been really blessed with ability to talk about my feelings and through my bad moments. It’s been a savior for sure. I have been going to therapy before in my life and now after moving back home, I went for a “check up”. The fact that I am open with asking for help these days is a huge thing! I highly recommend talking, whether it’s a professional or a friend, please do it even though it’s hard. It will help so much!
I never wanted to take any antidepressant drugs because I felt and still feel that I need to be without them one day so why would I start. But I do respect people who feel that that is the help for them.
So with these things I am in this amazing place in my life. They help me, maybe some of them could help you. If there’s anything anyone wants to ask, please do. I am happy to answer! 🙂
And people with no mental issues or who of you who doesn’t understand how this all feels… Please try to respect the ones who are hurting, this is not an easy task to have everyday. Let’s be good to each other, let’s love and help each other. You are not alone!
LOVE. PMA. HUGS.