I want you to repeat it loud until you hear yourself saying it and it resignates, “I Am Not Depressed! You are not depressed, you just need to focus!
Just because you are feeling low does not mean you are depressed, you are probably feeling discouraged and given the present season, that is understandable. You are probably doing a great job given what you ate going through, but wish you were doing better.
I am now in week four of isolation and I’ve lost count of the numerous emotions I’ve gone through in such a short time. Because of my past history with mental health, my challenges have been up and down. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today, what made feel better last week, has no effect now. Yet I am thankful.
I am thankful because the determination to never go back and the perseverance to never give in to depression has meant finding new ways to stay afloat so as not to become emotionally stagnant. All the things I rely on to motivate me have been removed and all that surrounds me is an environment that fuels depression.
This time was supposed to be spent doing all the things I didn’t have time to do before. Instead, I’ve found myself having to fight to stay focused, motivated and driven in a surrounding that re all too familiar to me, with nowhere to escape from the walls that feel as if they are closing in on me.
Tomorrow will only pay off if you have plans and goals. I always knew to have them were important, but the lockdown has made me realise just how important they are. Depression has a way of masking your future, making it seem bleak, dark and nonexistent, so regardless of where you are in your mental health journey you are going to have remember that your feelings cannot always be trusted, it may FEEL impossible, like the pain, the heaviness will never lift or go away, but literally all that stands between you and what you need to do to keep your head above water is a thought that is doing overtime in your mind, making itself known in your feeling, manifesting in your actions. In this present climate, those of us who have or are suffering from depression will have to fight a little harder to stick to your daily plans and goals, because if you don’t, your mind will send a message to your body reminding you of all the things your haven’t done, this will trigger a feeling of guilt and before long you will find yourself feeling worse for not having done what you needed to do.
I know it sucks doing something you don’t want to do, which is why we hear so much about setting goals and being accountable, so on days when you’re questioning why, on days when you can’t see the vision, the purpose or sound reasoning to justify why you need to do what you need to do. On days when you have no idea what possessed you to embark on the journey and you’re feeling sad and feel like giving up, because of your goal, you don’t give up, but find something (legal) to help you push through.
This is possible if you have a vision with a plan, backed up with a routine that helps you achieve the vision and the plan. I’ve had to change my routine numerous times during isolation, and that’s ok because the new routines are all being driven by the desire to reach my goal, the desire to overcome.
I can be as driven as anybody but when discouragement sets in I’ve sometimes struggled. Being isolated has highlighted more of my weak areas, causing me to have to put things in place to overcome my stumbling blocks. Without a goal, I would end up becoming mentally dead by my surroundings. So I come up with new routines, new things that will stimulate me while shut away, with the help of accountability.
Things like going to the shop for fresh fruit in the morning gets me out of the house after morning prayer and ensures I have my breakfast smoothie, which means I have eaten, so I’m energised. Taking a shower mid-day and putting on something nice before I make video calls with friends, make me feel as if I’m doing some different, lifts my mood and breaks up the day.
Having a lunch break and going for a walk at the end of the day is a breath of mental fresh air, and then there is prayer. At the beginning of the year, I told God I wanted to overcome any lingering traits attached to my depressive years. I was willing to do whatever it took. When I did my vision board for the year, that was the main focus, that and becoming a best selling author. So what if this present season can be used to my advantage?
What if like the recovering alcoholic trapped in a liquor store, being isolated in surroundings that mirror my years of depression, with a determination to never go back is the push I need to break those ties? I don’t for one minute believe God is behind the virus, but as a Christian, I do believe all things work together for our good, and there have to be lessons I can learn from this experience.
I know I have a story to share that inspires others. I know I enjoy writing and have what it takes to write best selling books. I also know I have enough content to inspire and help people, but I won’t get there wishing it, desiring it, talking about it or saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”, so what I do today matters.
Isolation is teaching me to be more focussed. I can no longer take extended emotional breaks because I’m having a tough day, allowing procrastination to rule. I know I can achieve this, I know I will achieve it, and the best part is in achieving it I’m pushing myself, overcoming my limitations, developing a growth mindset, all steps pointing towards my goals
Where I finish today, determines how I start tomorrow. How I start tomorrow determines the course of my goals
At this stage in my life, I want a simple life, I want to be walking in the direction of my dream enjoying the journey with its highs and lows because I’m doing what I want to be doing. My biggest fear is falling prey to discouragement, and feeling so overwhelmed I’d end up drifting, going nowhere, hating myself for not achieving my goals.
Your biggest fear has the potential to win if you continue to allow your feelings to rule my life.
I’ve spent the past few days soul searching and writing a vision for my life. This is crucial, but not something that should be done when you’re on an emotional high or low, but always with a level head. When I’m high my head is filled with so many ideas and false reality of what it will take to achieve them. When I’m feeling low there is no vision and I don’t feel I can do anything unless I’m on a high. So balance is key!
It’s A Goal!
Yesterday I made plans for today. Today I woke up not feeling them. Remembering why I made the plans, forced me to get up and start the day. When things took longer than I planned and I started to feel defeated, but cut it short by reverting back to my goal for the day.
When I got distracted by the confinement of my surroundings, I reverted back to my goal. When I started to feel as though I hadn’t achieved enough for the day, I reverted back to my goal. Presently, I’m way behind schedule, but I’m still on course with my goal.
Without my goal, I would have given up by now, called it a day, and said, “I’ll do it tomorrow!
Today, tomorrow and the futre. What you do is just as imposrtant as what you don’t do.
If you have been inspired by this blog, please do share and comment below, I would love to hear from you
I can so resonate with you as someone who is also on a new journey having recovered from depression, anxiety and fear.
I am not alone during this time as I have my 2 boys for company.
This lockdown has a way of bringing you right down again may one feel low within themselves. But you have mastered new tools and techniques and you now have eagle eyes to detect what’s actually happening and therefore you know what to do to bring you back up.
Keep rising and keep sharing dear Jemma. God has you and you have so many loving people there for you too.
Rejoice everyday successful black woman❤❤
Thank you for taking the time to read and for sharing. It has and continues to be an interesting journey of self-reflection, discovery, strategy, and progress.
In many ways, the lockdown has been good for me. It is pushing my to build on my strengths, work of my weak areas, define my purpose and set things in place to move towards achieving my goals!
When this is over, Jacks, we will be having monthly catchups at costa!
Thank you, my Strong sister!
It takes an amazing amount of courage and strength to be so honest and laying it so bare. Something many of us would, and do, run a millions miles from. It’s such a key point where you stated that “Fear has the potential to win if you continue to allow feelings to rule your life” – Thank you for sharing and encouraging.
Thank you for raking the time to read and share. I am glad you got something from it. Yes, fear is the one that gets us all. Would you believe fear almost stopped mt from posting this blog, not because of the content, but from a place of “who will read it?” and “you can’t post on a Sunday” I got the biggest response from posting. Fear almost made me give up on blogging too, then someone read one of my blogs, shared it and I was encouraged to keep going based on their feedback.
It is a case of feel the fear and do it anyway! Often the frustration of not doing something can be more intense than the fear that held you back.
Interestingly, I don’t think I expose myself as much as others say I do, but I keep hearing people speak on how encouraging it is that I speak so openly and beginning to realise that is what makes me me.
I hope this helps you push past your fears.
Wow Jemma! A fantastic blog! What I love is how real you are. You being able to go inside, pray and reflect and make sense of your emotion in itself is tough but as a result, it can help others to make sense of theirs.
Thank you for being so courageous, determined and strong! You are certainly a voice of hope and encouragement to all.
Wow, what a powerful word of encouragement. Thank you.
And to think I almost have up on blogging!
Thank you for continuing to inspire me.
Thanks for being so honest open and real so needed in this time.
Keep doing all you need to do to get through this season
You will never be the same again
Love yourself through this and be gentle
You HAVE made it and WILL again
Love you STRONG WOMAN OF GOD.
Thanks for sharing your story. Is so encouraging to hear that God keeps you going.
I understand a little of what you are going through, as I have mental health and recently had felt low. I feel having a balance it helps and hope for the future. I thank God for every day and the breath of life, Jesus.
Mental health is real but after 35 years of living in its grasp, believing there was no hope of ever being free, I am so thankful to be alive and no longer under its thumb. It’s a decision I choose to live by daily. Balance is crucial. My hope is to help others walk the same path as to freedom and I did. Bless you, I pray these blogs and the steps help you
Thank you for your encouraging words.
We must keep going and keep encouraging each other.
You have encouraged me