It’s Okay If You’re Depressed

I don’t know who needs to read this. Today, it was me. Tomorrow, it might be you.

There’s only one thing that hurts more than being depressed: being depressed whilst telling yourself you have no right to be depressed.

So let me make it clear to you, in case nobody ever did before: You have every right to be depressed. You don’t need a reason. You don’t need a justification. You don’t need anybody permission. You’re allowed to just… be depressed.

And speaking from personal experience (I am going to write tomorrow about my first depressive episode at the age of 11) I can tell you that the most insidious and depressing aspect of depression is how it robs you of the ability to do the things that would help you feel better. As in… your mind comes up with the solutions, but then won’t allow you to follow through on them. Isn’t that just evil?

So whilst I of course would recommend you do the usual common-sense things, like go to the doctor, talk to someone you trust about how you feel, make sure you’re eating enough plants, getting enough light, going for a walk every day… you might answer “Yep, all great ideas… but I’m depressed. So I won’t be doing them. Because I literally can’t. Bye.”

And I would completely understand. So that leaves you with just one option.

Let it in.

Because no matter how god-awful you feel, no matter how ashamed you are at this depression you “shouldn’t” have, no matter how much you wish you could have someone else’s brain for a day, not allowing it to be is making it a hundred times worse.

Of course you don’t want to admit it. Of course you don’t want to accept it. You don’t want to feel like shit. Why wouldn’t you resist it? It’s just that what you think you’re going to get from resisting it is not what you’re going to get. Ignoring will it always make it worse in the long run. I’ll repeat that: ignoring it will always make it worse in the long run.

Please, for me, if you can’t do any of the other stuff, at least do this. Tell yourself it’s okay to be depressed. At least stop fighting yourself. At least stop using half of your brain to attack the other half.

To whatever extent you are able to, accept that right now, at this moment in time, this is how you feel.

And no, you’re not going to magically become un-depressed. Your life is not going to sort itself out overnight. But you will get the only thing you need – a tiny bit of relief. Relief is all you need. Because if you can get a little relief today, even just a snifter, you can get a little more tomorrow. And then maybe you can try some of the other stuff you know would probably help.

Depression is hard enough by itself. Don’t make it even harder by denying that you’re experiencing it. You might think you’re being optimistic – you’re not. Denial isn’t optimism. It’s incredibly fucking dangerous.

Lastly, I love you, and I promise you I’m not the only one.

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