You ever have a day where you can only describe the way you feel as deflated? It’s the only word I can think to describe how depression effects me. At one point, I had a (metaphorical) balloon; it was full and light and floated up towards the sky happily. Some people have never had their balloons deflate, they’ve remained afloat their entire lives. For me, depression makes mine deflate.
At some point, small holes were poked into my balloon that began slowly releasing air. About two years ago, my balloon was deflated completely and I had to carry it in my hands instead. Before you tell me to just throw out the deflated thing, you have to know that it is a part of me, it’s what holds my motivations, hopes, dreams. I can’t throw those away without losing a huge part of myself.
For months I had been performing CPR on my balloon, blowing it up futilely to only have it float sadly to the ground after a few hours. Fast forward two years, my balloon is patched up and covered in bandages, floating happily beside me most days. However, inevitably there are days were it springs a leak and deflates again.
Today was one of those days I was deflated, my balloon sprung a leak in the morning and by early afternoon I was lagging. I’m an expert at this point at reinflating my balloon at this point, I’ve cultivated an excellent set of tools to patch up the holes.
For starters, I visited my therapist. I’ve been in therapy weekly for the past 2 years. Therapy ROCKS!! I won’t go into details of what I say in therapy (That is my private time to struggle and work out mind traps I fall into) but I am always happy to encourage people to seek therapy when struggling with mental/emotional disorders.
Meeting with my therapist helped me work out my emotions and frustrations, but I still felt absolutely drained afterwards. So what did I do? I took a ‘me’ day. I cancelled my plans to go out in the evening and made myself comfortable in my apartment, relaxing and doing things that made me happy. Lately I’ve found watching the british show, Miranda, helps inflate my balloon so I’m at least floating off the ground. I watched the Ultimate Edition of Batman Vs. Superman (It’s three. fucking. hours.) and spent hours afterwards shouting, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK”, blowing a bit of hot air that lifted my balloon yet higher off the ground.
When I see people struggling with depression, I want to encourage them to seek help in order to patch the holes in their balloons. I know how easy it sounds to just cut the tie and throw the rubber away, but that wouldn’t do any good in the end. Get the tools you need to fix the balloon and learn what to do to keep it floating. Tools are going to be different for everyone, but in the end, they’ll get that balloon off the ground.
If you’re struggling with depression and/or other disorders, ask around for a referral for a psychotherapist who you feel comfortable working with. Comfort is the key, make sure you’re comfortable letting them handle your metaphorical balloon and help you learn to cover the holes.
For now I’ll enjoy The Lizzie Bennet Diaries with my buds, Ben and Jerry, and my patched up emotional balloon.