автор: Теодора Ангелова
My name is Teodora Angelova and I have had the opportunity to become really close with depression. We know each other with panic attacks very good as well. It turned out we had been acquainted long before I assumed. I know what it is like to be in a situation in which you think you are either losing your mind or dying. I know what it is like to lose the sense of purpose and not to feel joy even from your favorite activities. I know what it is to be in a self-destruction mode while judging and blaming yourself.
I know what depression likes, what it feeds from and how hard it is to get away from its embrace. I know also what it does not like, what terrifies it and makes it huddle in the corner. I learned it the hard way.
I know also what it is like to be burned out. I know what it is like all the people in a crowded hall to chant your name and to expect from you to ensure your team’s victory. I know how heavy the burden of great expectations and responsibilities is. I know it because, before joining the corporate world, I was a professional basketball player. I played for various teams in Bulgaria and Spain and I was part of the national Bulgarian basketball team.
What do sports and depression have in common? What can sports give to us and what can it take away? How do sports help us be more successful in life? You can find this and other topics on my blog ТениСтраст.
What does depression like?
You can read about my experience with depression in my previous article. We have become very close and that is why I know very well what depression likes.
Yes, depression had swallowed me but it did not mean that I did not try to fight it. I used to read and listen (when I was able to focus) a lot of books and materials on various subjects – psychology, personal development, finance, business etc.
In almost everything I read and listened to there was one and the same to find:
· 7 tips for dealing with depression;
· 15 simple rules for overcoming depression;
· 5 strategies how to be more successful and happy;
· 30-day challenge for achieving you goals;
· A new habit is to be formed in 60 days;
· 12 tips how to be more productive;
· Take a walk / train / read every morning;
· Practice sport regularly;
· 9 steps to healthy eating
All these strategies and tips are probably wonderful and work fine for some people. But not for a person who has depression. Depression likes numbers and the obliging – “every morning”, “every day”, “every week” etc.
Why? Because it knows that you are going to go down in flames. A person with depression will sooner or later miss one of the tips, will miss the walk promised for the next 30 days in a row, will miss the workout scheduled for every week…And when it happens, the depression’s embrace becomes even more suffocating.
I had promised to myself that I would go for a walk every morning – just put on my sneakers and go out even for a 5-minute walk – but every morning. And…I failed. After 2 weeks I missed a day. I said to myself: “Fine, it is just one day, it is allowed. Tomorrow you have to get up and go out.”
But “tomorrow” I did not feel good again and I could not get out of the bed and go out. So it was two days in which I missed my walk. Depression rejoiced. And as if to show me its joy, it embraced me even stronger. I could not only get out of my house, but could not get out of the couch and make myself something to eat. I said to myself: “It did not work this time but I will try again on Monday, or even better – on 1st of next month. Now I can fall to pieces, quit everything for a couple of days and then I will keep my head and will try again.”
I quit sport the same way because I missed a week and then another week so that I completely fell out of shape. There was no point in training once a month and get sore muscles. I tried different strategies and prepared plans – every day’s exercises, reading, walking, keeping a diary, eating at least 3 times a day, a big shopping once a week etc. All these failed. Because there was always a day in which I missed something, I just felt too bad to find strengths to do it. This in turn led to even stronger feeling that I am no good, that I am a complete failure and the worst thing – that nothing makes sense anymore.
Depression feeds from numbers, binding and obliging phrases, plans and strategies.