Healthy Mind Uncategorized

The Depression Tent

February 14, 2017

First off, sorry I have been a bit absent from the blogosphere for the past couple of weeks. Life got busy and I did not manage my time as well as I would have liked. However, I have had many great experiences including multiple trips to the dog park, brunch with my sister, watching unhealthy amounts of family feud with my husband and attending a training on a therapy model for trauma. 
Another experience I have had is attending my own therapy. I shared with you guys in another post about how I have been struggling with depression and how I was planning to seek therapy to get some help. 
Well, I started therapy and have attended two sessions. I have learned some awesome things to help improve my self care and hopefully my depression.
My therapist shared this analogy with me about depression being like a tent. Some days we are completely inside the tent with the door all zipped up. These are the worst days of the depression. You feel alone, isolated, like you’ll never get out. On these days it is important to cut youself some slack. Allow yourself not to meet all of your expectations. Another thing that is important to do on these days is remember you will not always be stuck in the tent. You’ve been out before and will be out again. You can also think about things that have helped you see out of the tent. Maybe a walk outside. Maybe a funny movie. Maybe making a healthy meal. Maybe a hot bath. These are all things that are helpful to me, but I struggle to find the motivation for them on days when I’m all the way in the tent. So when i am in the tent I remember these things, try to engage in one or two if I can and if not, I let myself rest and try not to blame myself (easier said than done).
Other days we are inside the tent, but the door is unzipped and we can see out. It’s these days for me where I am more able to engage in some of those activities that help me get out of the tent and be outside of my depression for a while. I’m in the tent, but it is easier to remember times I was outside and to notice the good things around me. This past Sunday I was feeling this way. I went to church with my sister. It was very hard to get out of bed, but I got up and dressed because I had already made plans. I got to church and didn’t even have the energy to stand during worship. I sat down, blamed it on my legs hurting, and tried not to cry. I kept wondering what was wrong with me, why was I feeling sad, things are great. I have an awesome dog, a great husband, a day to spend with my sister, a great job, why can’t I feel happy. After church was over we went to brunch as planned. We were downtown so we decided to walk. It was this walk outside in the sunshine that helped pull me out of the tent for a while. I got to enjoy the sunshine, conversation with my sister and brunch at my favorite place!
Other days we are outside of the tent! Our depression has lifted and we are able to feel ‘normal’ for a bit. It is important on these days to remember that they exist. Remember that depression (or anxiety, or stress, etc.) doesn’t have to be on the forefront of our minds each day. Life is beautiful. There are good things in the world. We are worthy to engage in the world and there are things to be thankful for. 
I hope this analogy is helpful for someone. For me it has been a helpful way to communicate with friends and family where I am at some days. This has helped me feel less isolated and increased communication and understanding with those closest to me. 
As always, wishing you well.
Kylee Alyse

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