How I Know I’m In Recovery From Depression

It’s Easier To Get Up In The Morning

When I was in the depth of my depression, waking up in the morning was the very worst part of the day. I lost count of the number of times that I woke up and muttered “for fuck’s sake,” because I was still alive. Physically, it felt as though someone had siphoned my blood and replaced it with cement. Mentally, I couldn’t face the long hours that stretched in front of me. Long hours that I knew would be spent with me moping around the house, unable to do anything other than think of how much I wanted to die.

I’d stay in bed as late as I possibly could. Most of the time it would be past ten when I’d surface and stagger downstairs. My mum would always ask how I was doing, her voice high with hope. “Not good,” was always my doom-laden reply. Nine times out of ten I’d be back in bed by the afternoon. And this went on for months. And months. And months.

Slowly, so – and I can’t stress this enough – incredibly slowly, it started getting easier to lift my eyelids. It started getting easier to pull back the covers and sit up. It started getting easier to accept the coming hours. It started getting easier to put my feet on the floor, stand up and move away from the bed.

Now when I wake up, my body feels like my body. I can sit up without struggling. I can think of the day ahead and feel a sense of hope, that anything could happen. (Although there’s still a certain amount of anxiety present if I wake up too early.) I no longer wake up and feel pissed off that I didn’t die in my sleep.

I Put Jewellery On

Just a few weeks ago, getting dressed was a mission. It was common for me to stay in my pyjamas until at least midday. It was much to do with the fact that it took so much god damn effort to actually go through the motions.

A lot of the time, I’d go to bed in my clothes, just too fucking exhausted from existing to get changed. It was only when I’d be smacked in the face with the smell of myself that I’d consider putting on something else. Makeup was rarely applied because the endeavour was too immense. And brushing my hair happened a couple of times a week.

Now though, now I’m actively going into my wardrobe and rummaging for something different. For something I really want to wear. For something that helps me feel good. Now – and this is a big one – I’m making the effort to put on the jewellery I made with such passion before I fell into this depression.

Writing Is A Bit Easier

When my depression was at its worst, I couldn’t write. Not a poem. Not in my journal. Not even a Facebook status. For the first time in my life, I was robbed of my writer’s voice. The one thing that’s kept me alive over the years that I’ve been struggling with my mental health. The one thing I never expected I’d lose.

When I started to fight to get it back, it was an exhausting battle. Even typing the simplest of emails to the sweetest and most understanding of persons was almost impossible. Much of the time, I left messages and emails and letters unanswered. I was worried I’d come across as an unimaginative and terrible writer.

Today, it doesn’t take me half a day to write an email. Today, I can post something on Facebook and not be overly concerned about what people are going to think about the quality of my writing. Today, even though I’m waiting for my voice to be fully restored, I can write this and post it and know that I can live with myself afterwards.

6 thoughts on “How I Know I’m In Recovery From Depression”

  1. It’s wonderful to read what you have written. Bi-Polar is heaven, and hell, in one breath, to the next.
    I hope you continue to say ‘fuck you’ to it, and continue to explore your amazing creativity. I am stronger the demons that haunt me, and I will defy them, as they do Not own me. They may be a part of me, but they do not define me.

    Blessed be. 🖤🖤🖤

  2. It’s good to read all this. Cement for blood–yes, that’s how it feels when frozen (too-good metaphor). And getting dressed (or not).

    Putting jewelry on? Hm, I should get some jewelry.

    Big steps and small ones, I’m sure. But maybe you feel relieved. I do for you.

  3. Oh, Katie. Oh. I’ve been following along with your journey and often I lurk and don’t have anything to say, because what can I say really, that won’t sound stupid and trite, without substance or meaning? All I can say is I am sorry that you’re struggling, and it sucks. But I am here, and I see you. It is good that you have these small, but bright and important things, that you recognize, these little mile-markers and signs that point you to UP and you are seeing yourself *seeing* them. The less-heavy body, the wardrobe, the jewelry. Feeling like you want to feel and look and smell (hee!) like you again. All the ghost hugs from afar, Katie. I’m rooting for you.

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