I missed my last scheduled blog post due to illness, but in truth, I was relieved because aside from the gastric flu wreaking havoc with my digestive system, I didn't have anything to talk about. I was (and am) doing well. When I sat down to write this week's piece, I had a similar bittersweet realization. This blog is "Coping with Depression," but at the moment, I don't feel as though I am "coping" with anything in particular. I am, for all intents and purposes, recovered from depression. Does that mean I should give up writing this blog? I think not.
Coping with Depression
It's one thing to have postpartum depression (PPD), but discussing your PPD with others is a completely different beast. Should you tell them or not? How much should you share? What if they don't understand? What if they aren't supportive? Will they try to give you advice? There are a lot of questions to navigate as you decide if and when to talk about your postpartum depression with others.
Those empty "inspirational" quotes are a particular pet peeve of mine. Facebook and Instagram are littered with them, and the more of them I see, the more aggravated I get. It's not just that the same ones seem to do the virtual rounds every few months ("Live, Laugh, Love" anyone?), it's that they have become so ubiquitous that they feel insincere.
We all want to feel like we are contributing to the world, but as the world grows more competitive, it can be hard to feel that we are doing "enough"— as employees, partners, parents, or just as members of society. This has resulted in a culture of "competitive tiredness," in which we measure our worth according to how exhausted we are and seek recognition of that exhaustion from the people around us as proof that we are "doing enough." It causes friction in personal relationships and is terrible for our mental health. So why have we become so invested in the idea that to be fulfilled, you also have to be knackered?
How do you know if it's the "baby blues" or postpartum depression? Learn how to tell the difference and what to do if you think it is postpartum depression.
Childhood bullying caused me to have a fairly miserable time at school. I was bookish, physically inept and socially awkward. Add to that the headgear and a built-up shoe, and you had a sight that would make any school bully drool.
I have an idea for a children's book, but anxiety-induced procrastination is in the way. I've been saying for years that I want to write a book, and last week inspiration struck. I am telling you this because I know that if I don't, the idea will remain just that: an idea. And I will continue to be what I've been for years: someone who says they want to write a book, writes a few chapters, then leaves them to gather dust in a long-forgotten folder on a laptop. I am a pathological procrastinator, but I believe I have found a way to tackle my anxiety-induced procrastination and share it here in the hopes that it will help you, too.
Can minimalism help when you have postpartum depression? I think so, and here's my story.
"Gaslighting" is a form of emotional abuse in which the abuser makes the victim question their perception of reality in order to undermine their feelings and avoid accountability for abusive behavior. It is cruel and inexcusable to deliberately treat another person this way, but is it possible to do it unconsciously? Is it possible to gaslight someone with nothing but good intentions? I believe so. In fact, I believe unconscious gaslighting is a trap into which it is easy to fall when you are caring for a person with a mental illness.
I have been lying. I have spent the last six months writing this blog about the importance of letting go of shame and talking openly about the realities of living with depression, yet recently in my private life, I have forgotten to practice what I preach. I have become too invested in the idea of myself as someone who has "recovered" and stopped acknowledging my bad days. This is both insincere and unhealthy. Bad days will happen, and learning how to deal with them is a vital part of depression recovery.