Sometimes, we are so consumed by our depression that it begins to take over our personality and sense of identity. This, in turn, exacerbates the symptoms. We begin to feel lost and trapped. Most who have not been through something like this, do not realize that this part also affects us.
There’s no wonder why this happens. If you feel a loss of energy, low self-esteem, and the inability to focus on a consistent basis, it is only natural that things in your life begin to feel out of balance. Old interests begin to feel bland. Everything around you begins to seem monotonous.
Breaking the Spell
I like to think that depression works as a horribly-crafted alarm that acts as a call to change. Something is preventing you from being who you are meant to be. Could it be your job? Your living situation? A career path you’re working towards? Dropping out of school? Keep this in the back of your mind. Don’t answer this just yet.
Identity is a funny thing. You are not meant to answer the question of who you are. If you are in search of this, understand that you will never fully know. It’s a constantly evolving answer. Therefore, it makes no sense to stress about not knowing what you like, who you are, and who you are meant to be. These questions are just too big.
So are you trying to tell me that I’m supposed to ignore my life?
Not necessarily. Stressing about who you are doesn’t help you understand you. All it does is give you another source of anxiety. The only way you can begin to rediscover yourself is by trying new things. It may sound cliché. I would have thought so when I was in your shoes. Just bear with me for a moment and pretend like this thought doesn’t make you want to roll your eyes.
Think back to your past. What things made you happy? Do you remember a hobby that you used to enjoy? Were you ever a part of a group that you thought was fun? Try getting involved in that once again. Don’t worry about looking silly or feeling out of place. Most people don’t even notice.
A good website to look into for this is Meetup.com. This site lists groups for like-minded people within a certain distance of your city. There’s so much variety on here that at times it begins to seem overwhelming. This website also does something important: allowing you to try new things without worrying about what your friends say or do. This is for you and you alone.
Learn to play an instrument (more and more adults are beginning to do this so you are not alone)! Begin writing again! Start experimenting in the kitchen! The possibilities are endless!
Hopefully, you will begin to feel a slight twinge of … dare I say, excitement?
This sounds a bit too good to be true. How does this help me?
One thing that you have to keep in mind is that you will feel boredom while immersed in your new-found hobby. That happens every now and then. I mean, we are human after all. Just think of how this new hobby/sport/interest makes you feel. What are you getting from it?
This is supposed to serve as a means to pick at the broader question of what you are missing in your life. Maybe you find a new career path. Maybe you realize that the people that you live with are detrimental to your mental health. Maybe you find new friends to lift your spirits.
Here is something that I heard that has always stuck with me. If you are afraid of doing something, whether it be going back to school or putting yourself out there when trying something new, it usually means that this is important to you. You do not want to risk failure or losing something. Let this fear guide you by taking the leap.
For example: I knew that the degree I chose was not what I wanted to do. I needed to find something new. I had so many fears about going back. Will I be too old? What about my financial situation? These questions still bugged me but I knew that this served as an investment for my future (not speaking in monetary terms but in overall well-being).
You are worth the risk.
So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Dare yourself if you have to. More importantly, have some fun!!!!