Everyone has had depression being mentioned, nobody or very few truly understand what it truly is. Unless you have been afflicted, there is no telling how you’ll handle it. I think depression makes one a fly inside a bottle that is itching to be free. We know how this might end; the fly can either liberate itself or die. (I always run away from die trying, it has such a bad aftertaste.)
I’ll jump right in and tell you; the moment you feel a bout of depression kicking in, the slightest hint of it, literally and practically set yourself in motion. Throw an arm up in the air, walk around, run, and dance. Keep yourself in motion for as long as you can. This is not a metal drill—get up on your feet and move. This helps with your cardiology. Your heart gets to its proper pulsations. I know how self-help manuals work and how they might be flabbily vacant. My intention isn’t to develop a manual.
To walk is a simple process, that is at its most elementary and visual level. When you look at some walking, the harmony of the body is hard to miss. One foot forward after the other and at times, have earphones on has you listen to music. For a person struggling with depression, it isn’t this easy. It’s a stroll, yes, maybe within the estate, but the mind is telling the body not to indulge. It becomes painful. It is not like ordinary exercises where you find pleasure in the pain. The pain, in this case, makes you want to give up.
I want to tell my story, and in my notebook, I have labeled everything here as a diary entry. I will tell everything my mind allows me to. As such, I mightn’t share everything but I will give myself freedom. I am not offering a reductive position but giving this as a part of me. I know that tone. How are you going to get out of bed at the moment when you feel like your skin is caving in? I am not telling this as a champion. I don’t want to be indefatigable. I also understand the brain fog that develops from depression.
When I first thought of going out for walks, I thought it would be an easy task. One moment I am charged at the prospect of the fresh air and the moment a fit kicks in, I have to drag myself out. The air might be so fresh outside the house but depression gives no hoot to it. I understand the amount of work that one has to put just to open the door. Depression is so overwhelming and the debilitation just makes one to lie down, at times, and cry. It’s so hard fighting yourself, asking your mind to give you a breather—even for a second. At the end of each episode, the numbness subsides and a huge relief kicks in.
There’s this time a friend called late at night and was surprised that I had gone for a walk. It’s so hard telling people how you feel. Opening up becomes the second phase of the pain. It is relieving in the long run, but making the first shot at trusting someone, and yourself, and opening up is a squeeze through a small-neck bottle. I honestly don’t know how other people cope. Depression never exists in the physical state, if it does, that’s a manifestation of so many things. It’s hugely a mental state and the fact that your friend laughs at every event you both attend doesn’t mean they’re fine.
Emotions are influenced by motion and the movements (walking, running, etc.) did help me to calm down a lot. My struggles with depression was always about attaining calmness. That was my immediate desire. To be calm. Anxiety, anger, sadness, and lack of motivation all work toward creating an imbalance to this. My mind, always wanting the truth and dignity had to adapt toward relief and walking, was a go-to method. When I suggest motion as a method, I am aware of different therapies and how they all work in unison. This again is not a self-help manual.
Walking makes my mind wander, and at such moments I am always able to think on my feet. Each time I go for a walk, I wish I had a means to record my thoughts. For me, these thoughts in transit did become a means to alleviate my depression. Nietzsche argues that when one moves, ultimately, the body gets to remind itself that the flesh is still kicking.
The control that one has over the pain is strangely affirming: Can you make it to the next rise, to the next outcropping of rocks? Life is often painful or bothersome, but the hiker, at the very least, gets to determine how he or she is meant to suffer. — John Kaag, Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are.
I want to get something out of the way. I admire Nietzsche’s work and I am hugely doted on it but I do not agree with him that, “things must suffer, go dark, perish before they live again. This is not an escape or respite from life but rather its realization.”
Walking has become so much of an individual process that going out with someone, a friend or partner, is practically not an option. It is not a case of being selfish, but I consider this my time, something for my own redemption and having a partner de-fortifies this space.
#Depression #LoveandLight #MentalHealth #Therapy