Depression is an every day struggle, one that I seek to conquer outright.
There is a point in every man's life where things appear to be so bleak that even our thoughts seem to weigh down our every movement. When a man finds himself as a downtrodden entity, being kicked in the ribs by his emotions before he can stand back on his feet, he struggles to find any reason to continue onward. All too often, that same man is humiliated by this weakness he sees within himself, a weakness that he feels is out of his control and bleeding into everything he knows and loves. This seeming weakness dulls the sprightliest of events, scribbles out the most vibrant personality, and darkens even the brightest of smiles.
I'm here to say it doesn't need to be that way, and what you feel is a weakness to be ashamed of can be made into your greatest strength. The climb to the top of the pit of depression is one that leaves you more resilient than those who gawked the entire time you struggled. You may even find yourself jumping into the pit willingly, exploring every facet of your own psyche with a newfound zeal for all life has to offer.
Falling Into the Pit
The pit of depression is a strange entity that I struggle to fully understand. It seems to change shape, move locations, and sometimes even make itself enticing so as to ensure I keep falling into it. Whether or not my life is going splendidly, the pit is watching and waiting for its chance to catch me off guard and send me plummeting to its rock-hard, and unforgiving bottom.
That is the strangest part of the pit of depression, isn't it? You just got a promotion, that cute girl online is hearting all your pictures AND messaging you first, and you actually had fun cleaning your house for the first time in months. There doesn't seem to be a single thing in your way, the world is your oyster, this is your time to shine and there is no obstacle too large for you to overcome. Then you go to sleep, and in waking up the next day all those rose-colored feelings are gone.
You know the pit of depression sucked you in while you were asleep. That promotion is now overwhelming responsibility rather than forward and upward progress. The cute girl seems to suddenly only be talking to you because she pities you and could never really like you for who you are. When you look around your sparkling clean room all you see is the prison you subject yourself to on a day-to-day basis for no reason other than you need a roof over your head and AC/heating is a commodity you've come to find pleasant. Nothing is worth it anymore, but why? All you did was go to sleep, you didn't even have any dreams, but you woke up as if everything you cared about was set on fire and you were forced to watch it burn.
Nothing you tell yourself to the contrary of the pit of depression is working. Not a single objective observation about how well things are going can change that sinking feeling in your gut that leaves you perceiving yourself as an utter failure. The bottom of the pit of depression caught you gently, holds you tightly, and the horrible feelings that replaced the warm fuzzy feelings of yesterday appear safer to embrace than the idea that you could actually escape them and never look back if you wanted. You accept the replacement for the good feelings, because why would you fight something that comes around for no reason and feels so correct?
Time to Start Climbing
A few days have passed and the cold, hard bottom of the pit of depression is starting to hurt your booty. The feelings aren't just staying inside where you wish they would, and their bleeding out is beginning to attract onlookers. Of course, the onlookers are more gawking than they are trying to rescue you but every once in a while one of them yells a kind word or two down the pit at you. These words seem to hurt more than they help, but look at you standing to your feet and trying to see if there is an easy way out of the pit. You know there isn't, but you can't help but hope that magical path to the top is there and waiting for you; and so you begin the climb hoping that this time it won't be so rough. You'll make it to the top, I am confident you will, and when you do we'll all be more proud of you than we were before.
Enough of the figurative language and metaphorical phrasing written strictly to fluff the article, I want to get down to brass tacks. I'm currently struggling, heavily, with the pit of depression. I found out that I have an overactive liver, low testosterone, vitamin-D deficiency, and high blood sugar. All of this is contributing to my depression which looks like extreme hopelessness and impotent rage. Conversely, the depression can look like unfounded enthusiasm and positive outlooks with uncontrollable levels of energy that leads to unsustainable levels of impulsive risk taking. I strive every day to find out how it is I'm going to climb my way out of this pit, and I think I may have found a proper solution that works a majority of the time.
Reaching the Top
Having been made aware of these health issues I am facing, I immediately took the steps necessary to remedy them. I switched over to a gluten and red meat free, low-carb diet loaded with all the goodies like Spring mix lettuce, beets, peppers, onions, kale, and blah, blah, blah. Occasionally I throw in a diet cream soda, because you know I like to live dangerously every now and again, but mostly I am sticking to the healthy food. A twenty-five microgram vitamin-D3 supplement goes down well with a bottle of water, followed by more water, and then maybe some milk if I'm feeling frisky. That is my every day routine, but every other day I throw in a heavy workout. No matter what, every other day, I get my push-ups, sit-ups, planks, and a bit of tanning if the sun is available. This has done wonders for me.
I've been on this regimen for a month or so now, and though the progress seems slow and I still stumble into the pit of depression, the results are resounding throughout my entire life. My son and girlfriend are both happier now that I am able to smile, joke, and go for walks with them again. Not only am I able, but more importantly I am willing to go on these walks. Sometimes those walks include a serious hike where we get wonderful pictures. My energy and outlook are generally higher, with a newfound passion for my hobby of writing leading the charge into the future full-force. Despite the struggle of sticking to a healthy diet like this, seeing my muscles get bigger, my skin get tighter, and everything in my life get better makes it all more than worth it.
For so long my doctors told me, "If you don't change your diet and workout you're going to end up like me!" and I brushed it off with an awkward chuckle, thinking there was no way I was going to fall apart any time soon. Having turned twenty-six on February 8th, you and I can both see it didn't take long at all. Even my degenerative disc disease is better, and infrequently bothers me compared to when it was an every day struggle just to pick up my son and get him in a car seat.
Take it upon yourself to perform maintenance on and to put the proper fuel in your meat-vehicle, you only get one and the effort you put in pays off quite quickly.
Here's a Helping Hand
If you made it this far in your reading then I assume you care enough about yourself to read a little bit more. Here is a wonderful little resource to help kick-start your journey up and out of the pit of depression.
If you'd prefer a more personal, hands-on approach to things than just reading about what to do you can always comment here, or send me a private message and I would love to talk to you about your depression. I'm here to listen, support you, and even offer advice if that is what you'd like.
No one needs to suffer in silence, and I am confident we can make it out of the pit together.
Kyler J Falk (author) from California on February 13, 2020:
Thank you, JC!
JC Scull on February 13, 2020:
Very good article.