I hope this article can help others who may experience these powerful, difficult, and sometimes overwhelming and isolating feelings. I now realise that it is because I’m a therapist that I went through the experience of depression. By experiencing it for myself, I am now able to help others who are depressed with empathy and compassion.
I judged myself for years as wrong, inadequate, different from others and felt that I really should have been able to “just get over it”, as so many people suggested. Distracting ourselves can also be a way of coping, but this of course is short-lived. Depression is very different from “the blues”. “The blues” are temporary and don’t stop our lives, but depression can halt us in our day-to-day lives very easily. Feelings of “what’s the point?”, inability to see a future etc, were very familiar and unwanted thought patterns. I used to feel unable to carry out simple daily tasks, and bringing up my three children was a challenge, particularly as I felt it important that they didn’t see how awful I felt. It’s hard to just carry on and pretend all is well when inside you’re feeling desolate and desperate. Family and friends offered short-term relief at times (and are often very caring), but the feelings would return, often sudden and unexpected.
I used to try to avoid the triggers of depression, but it would suddenly appear and, “bingo”, I was back in the black hole of its grasp. I would read every article on depression, just to try to find a small release from it. Most days were happy and “normal”, and it would be hard to even remember the depression, but something would trigger it and I’d feel rotten yet again. It seemed to be a roller coaster of emotions.
Grief can be a large part of depression (if not the whole problem). Holding on to someone we’ve loved very dearly can seem like a good thing to do, but it’s healthier to let them go emotionally. Spiritual healing can help with this.
I had been diagnosed on several occasions as having moderate to severe depression over 23 years. Doctors would prescribe anti-depressants (which I refused to take) and occasionally counselling. Counselling is OK, but I don’t feel it gets to the root of the problem, is a very slow process, and can go on for years. With depression I feel it’s important to have help as soon as possible because of the severity it can reach, and also the impact on those around us.
I feel the first step to recovery is to accept the depression, from deep within ourselves. It is a part of our character, not who we actually are. Once we stop fighting ourselves (I realised I was in a huge battle with myself!) then we can start to release the deep-seated attachment to it.
I don’t believe there is a quick-fix; I feel it’s more about chipping away at the negative emotions, and suddenly large parts can fall away, we can then feel free and happier. Psycho-therapy has also helped me a great deal; being able to talk through the “bad” feelings and judgements can be helpful. It can also be very helpful for a qualified therapist to point out things out to you that you may not have noticed.
EFT (emotional freedom techniques) is a fantastic way to clear depression, as is Matrix Re-imprinting. (There is a lot about EFT online.) For me, forgiveness was a huge key to recovery, forgiving my mum for dying (and forgiving myself for taking on the depression). It seemed on the surface that this had happened a long time ago, but I realised that I hadn’t fully forgiven her and had some resentment left to clear. Forgiveness can clear a lot of our negative behaviours.
Gratitude can significantly help too. Be grateful for the days/hours when depression is not present. Also, being grateful for everyone and everything in our lives is helpful, particularly the small things.
Just start somewhere! Set the intention to free yourself from the depression – WITHOUT DENIAL! - and keep focusing on what you want and where you want to be emotionally. You can allow the feelings to come and tap on them using EFT with set-up phrases which feel appropriate for you.
Fear is likely to be involved too, fear of moving forwards. The depression will keep you good and stuck. An EFT phrase you could work with is – “even though I’m scared to find out who I truly am, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.” It’s important to use a set-up phrase which resonates with you. Many of the locked-in emotions and feelings will be from childhood so it’s good to hear what comes from within you and work with that.
Matrix Reimprinting is very helpful too, going into our traumatic memories is key to clearing depression. With Matrix Reimprinting we connect with our younger selves and heal the traumas there. It's extremely effective.
It’s important to stop judging yourself – that little voice within saying you’re not good enough and/or don’t deserve to be better. Rather than trying to stop it, accept it and focus on something positive. EFT is great at accessing the beliefs we have taken on as children and re-framing them so we can live our lives freely.
Getting “down” at times is a natural and necessary part of life. To appreciate the "good" we have in our lives we sometimes need reminders of the “bad”. I am now able to see the “bad” feelings as exactly that – just feelings; and feelings can be transformed (sometimes in a moment!). I am now truly enjoying life, including my children, work, and all the wonderful things around me. I feel that I’ve “earned” this wondrousness. Life feels empowering and fun.
Love and light on your healing journey. It starts with the first (maybe small) step.
Louisa Thomas, Massage Therapist, Spiritualist Medium, Angelic and Usui Reiki Master Practitioner, Advanced EFT Practitioner and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
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