I have struggled with depression my whole life. I am doing all I know to do to be better ( counseling and medication) but I feel like I’m just surviving. I want to have better mental health but I don’t know what else to do. My life is already overwhelmingly busy— so it’s hard to add self care to my schedule.
Welcome to the forum! I’m glad you’re here and share with us how you feel. The first thought that came to mind when reading your lines was whether there was something you could remove from your schedule. Would that be helpful rather than adding even more to it? What happens when your nervous system really calms down, for example in the evening, is there something coming up?
Have you ever had a period in your life during which you’ve been going through the pain and crying a lot, or are you rather numb?
I’m so sorry to hear that depression has been in your life for so long. I can relate to just trying to survive somehow.
Sending you a hug - if you want one, of course! You’re loved.
What does self-care look like to you? To me, it’s in the small moments of “me-time” that you inject into the day, rather than carving out a big chunk of time for it. A cup of coffee or tea, a small snack to unwind, looking at a relaxing nature video on youtube, five minutes of meditation, anything can be used to create a small moment of peace and serenity for yourself. On the way to school/work or while at home or running errands, take a moment and just do some deep breathing. I’m glad you’ve been to counseling and have some meds to assist you, hoping these little moments will help give your days a bit of brightness and light. You matter.
Hi Sch, welcome! I’m sorry you have struggled so much with depression thru your life. I’m 54yrs old and have MDD. I know it’s never going to go away, but I’ve learned coping skills from therapy and doing my own research that most of the time now, my episodes are manageable. Meds, therapy, home work are all great and all work together, but when your brain decides it’s just not going to work right, there isn’t much we can do but use our coping skills to make it a little bit better. I hope you can figure out a way to make your schedule less overwhelmingly busy, I’m sure that would help you a lot. ~Mystrose
I want to welcome you to the HeartSupport Wall. I am so proud of you for coming here so we can come alongside you to support and encourage you through this rough part of life. I hope that you find something that can bring you joy. I know some of the things that help me are: going for a walk while listening to a podcast and getting some sunshine, cooking a meal that I have not had in a long time, calling a good friend, or getting a nice bath. You are an amazing human being. I am thankful for the unique gifts that you can offer to others in our world. Take some deep breaths. Remember to drink some refreshing water. Get quality sleep.
You are valid. You are strong. You are enough. You matter.
welcome to the forum, my friend! and thank you for your vulnerability on how your mental health is doing despite the time and energy you’ve put into counseling and finding the perfect medications for you. i feel like a majority of people working on improving their mental health have felt or are feeling the exact same as you… wondering what comes next to finally feel more than just a surviving body in this vast world. personally, my answer to this frustration was finding my own fulfillment, taking care of another life (my dog), and creating my own journey/goals. i no longer feel like i’m just surviving day-by-day, feeling numb to the life around me. by finding that fulfillment and assigning goals to look forward to, maybe that could give more substance to what is currently making your life overwhelmingly busy.
i know for me, having those goals, a dog to care for, and volunteering outside of my day job gave those busy, exhausting days so much more meaning than they did during my long-term depressions. however, no solution is a perfect fit for everyone so i encourage you to find the answer that will give your life an added meaning so you don’t feel so empty about surviving. i’m proud of you for making it to today and i look forward to hearing from you soon on how things are going. you got this, my friend!
Hi Friend, Welcome to Heart Support, its good to meet you. I am so sorry that you feel like you are just surviving but grateful that you feel hopeful enough to want to still better your mental health, that really is good to hear. One thing that is a useful tool that helps with mental health is journaling and the wonderful thing about that is that you can do it virtually anytime, anywhere so you could do it when you get in to bed at night which actually you may find relaxing? if that is something you would like to try, check out youtube, there are vods on great ways to journal. I hope this helps a bit along with the other suggestions you get. I wish you lots of luck and love for the future. Much Love Lisa. x
Welcome to the HeartSupport community, Sch Thank you for sharing this with us!
I know how you feel. I have dealt with feelings of depression most of my life as well. It is awesome that you are taking the steps to work on improving your mental health even if it feels like it never helps. It may not help to hear but for some people depression is a life-long companion and the best thing that can be done is to keep finding moments of joy and peace when you can. It can be hard to do especially when you have a busy life but it is important as well for sure. And keeping an open dialogue with your counselor is important in getting to a place and maintaining the place where your mental health doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Life will always be busy if you let it be. The trick is to focus on what needs to be done and what you think needs to be done and finding activities and obligations that you can cut back on to make time for yourself and your self care. Maybe make a list of everything and the time commitments of those items.
Thank you again for coming here and sharing your story with us and I hope you find some peace and time to start enjoying life rather than just surviving it. But surviving is also a great accomplishment. I hope to see you around the community and keep swimming
First of all, props to you for already taking steps to tackle your mental health. Getting counseling and medications going can be daunting for some, so give yourself some credit for already taking those steps! And it is good that you desire to keep improving. Don’t let that slip away!
My question to you, is what is taking up your schedule each day? Can you find a moment to think over what your day looks like, and decide… is this activity really something I HAVE to do? Can you prioritize your activities, and see where your time may be better spent on self care? Also… what activities are self care for you? Would 2 extra minutes in the shower let you relax a bit? Can you take 5 minutes to make a cup of tea/hot beverage of choice? When you do take time for yourself… are you actually letting it be time for you? Have you looked into books/videos/guides on how to self care? I have a hunch there are a lot of people in this community that may have all kinds of experience and advice they can share in how to find the time for self care, as well as ways to care for yourself.
In any case, I am rooting for you, and hope that your can keep making progress on your journey. Stay strong, friend
Thank you to everyone who responded. The ideas you shared are really good. When I am overwhelmed I lose perspective and can’t imagine doing things differently. But your ideas help me see many paths forward and I want to try implement them gradually in the next few weeks and see what helps.
Thank you for listening to me— it helps just to get things off my chest, but the fact that there are others who care enough to respond to my post brings me to tears. I put a lot of pressure on myself to function everyday because my family needs me. It’s good, but it’s so hard.
I’m going to think about what I can remove— it will take work to remove anything from my schedule, but if the payoff is better mental health then I really need to try.
Thank you for your encouragement.
It is genuinely inspiring to read these words. Depression gives us the illusion that there weren’t any ways out, that things would never change, and that trying wasn’t worth it. I really admire your willingness to take action and try out things to improve your mental health. When you take the time to take care of yourself, you’ll also have more resources to support your family.
You’re so welcome to come back here as much as needed. The support wall is always a place to get things off your chest.