By Marie Cyprien
For people who have suffered with, or are currently suffering from depression, the popular term, “No one can love you before you love yourself,” is cringe-worthy because it’s almost impossible for us. One of the most difficult things about depression is that it turns you against yourself, taking self-loathing to a whole new level, and making self-love damn near impossible.
When it comes to depression, you need someone to support and love you, in order to love yourself and life again. That’s okay, because sometimes we all have to admit that we can’t go through this journey alone.
However, what isn’t discussed enough is the long process of loving yourself and loving others. People with depression tend to love things differently in terms of relearning love and happiness. I believe that in order to combat depression better, it’s important to understand the ways in which we do this:
- Our love for others becomes a crutch. Once you fall in love with us, we’ll slowly fall in love with you, but our love for you may become a bit of a crutch. Whether it’s to a companion, family member, or friend, depressed people will show their love by calling or texting often, or wanting to hang out constantly. We need the company to take our minds off of our negative thoughts.
- Our affection rises. People with depression sometimes show great amounts of affection to those who have been there for them. By giving people we love lots of hugs and kisses, we’re basically saying that we’re getting better. It may be a long way, but we’re getting there.
- We start finding interest in more creative hobbies. It’s no surprise that creativity is a great form of expression. People with depression learn to love life by expressing themselves through art, writing, music, and even knitting. It helps to let all the dark places in our minds out.
- We strive to find meaning in our work. Suicidal thoughts are all too familiar for those who suffer from depression because depression erases our sense of purpose. It’s easy to feel like we don’t matter and that we’re a burden to everyone around us. We will often struggle to find some meaning in our work: whether it’s working retail, an office job, or even a grocery store clerk, we will do all that we can to find a reason to live.
- We become highly sensitive to music and films. People with depression tend to lose interest in songs and films because they rarely evoke any emotions in us. However, when we learn to love these things again, we may become highly sensitive to them. Songs that have soft or haunting melodies, and movies that have emotional scenes can make us prone to tears.
- We’ll cry heavily on your shoulder. Even though we’re learning to love again, people with depression will have the occasional break down. Sometimes loving things can be such a labor and we need a shoulder to cry on.
- We try to look for purpose in life. I personally believe that we all have an ultimate purpose and that those who suffer from depression will look heavily for it. Just like with our daily jobs, we’ll try to find reasons to live. Such as, how to make in impact on the world, so that we can find it in our hearts to love being here.
- We find deep meaning in small things. Finding meaning in the small pleasures of life- like having a diner burger with friends, or hanging out in the library- can help us to enjoy our lives more. We do this because…
- We try to be as productive as we can. One thing that truly sucks about depression is that it will pin you to the bed. It’s even worse when that causes serious concern from a family member. Our way of showing love for others is to be as productive as our depression will allow us to be. This includes: washing dishes, baking, cleaning our rooms, and even thoroughly cleaning the bathrooms (as gross as that can be).
- Sometimes, we’ll even attempt to be spontaneous. People with depression may sometimes be daredevils. We’ll go on scary roller coaster rides, or even race in go-carts, in order to feel the rush of adrenaline that could make us feel alive for just a moment.