I have been feeling subdued and demotivated over the past week. There’s no particular reason; it’s just the nature of depression.
But the nature of depression, even after 15+ years, is frustrating.
I’m sick of it. I know, on a logical level, that the low mood will pass at its own rate. I know I can do all I can to practice self-care and use coping strategies, which will help reduce the impact of my dip in mood. I know this is a challenge I have to deal with, perhaps for the rest of my life, and I just have to do my best to achieve my goals when the cloud lifts a little. Yet knowing all of this doesn’t make life easier.
I feel quite useless when my depression gets worse. I have no energy and can’t work towards my goals — certainly not as much as I can when I feel better.
The only option is acceptance.
I can’t change the fact that I struggle with mental illness. I can try to manage it as best I can, but my coping strategies and activities won’t always be enough. And that’s okay.
It has taken me a long time to start thinking of my mental health as an aspect of my overall health, rather than a reflection of my shortcomings. I know plenty of people still regard mental illness as weakness — and I know they are wrong, because it takes incredible strength to keep going when your symptoms prevent you from living life on your own terms.
So I will try not to be so harsh on myself as I carry on through this drop in mood. I will do what I can, when I can — and try not to stress about the slowness of my progress.