You shouldn’t miss this first in a series of personal stories at Recover Life from Depression. The series will be a major feature of the new site in order to show you the many forms recovery can take.
In this initial post, Donna-1 recounts the turning points in her lifelong struggle with depression. As she tells it, a key step was forcing herself to get out of her isolation and lethargy to start doing things. So she began journal writing, which helped her separate the good from bad parts of her life with depression. She did individual and group therapy, used medication, started exercising and tried several other treatment methods.
But she realized that none of these would help enough unless she could also take on activities that depression made almost unthinkable.
Chief among those was spending time with people. She forced herself to face that challenge by volunteering to work in the community with people whose needs were even greater than hers. Her upbringing had taught her that service was an important part of finding satisfaction in life, and volunteering helped her meet that need.
She wrote a recent comment here that described the need to face difficult things from a different angle. Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning made her aware that she did have a choice each day on how to live and didn’t have to sit still with her illness. That insight helped keep her going through the hardest things she had to do in order to transcend the anxiety and fears brought on by depression. As she put it in that comment, “Seeing myself as a part of a greater good, rather than a greater evil, helped propel me into recovery.”
I’ve learned a lot from Donna’s writing, and I hope you will too. You can find a more in the many blog posts and comments she contributes to the community at My Depression Connection, including several on my posts there.
Donna is also a painter, and the image above is one of her works.