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.
My Experience with Depression
Depression and I met long ago. I have had the “incredible” opportunity to get to know it well and to become very close with it.
It all happened step by step. Depression definitely can be very stubborn and patient. I went through very difficult times. I felt extremely confused, I hurt a very dear person to me with my actions; I faced a big change and I could not stop blaming myself. Here I have to say – feeling guilty and blaming yourself are the fastest and the most secure way to self-destruction.
And so, I gradually reached out a condition in which even the most routine day-to-day activities were extremely difficult for me to deal with. It was hard for me to get out of the bed in the morning, to go to the bathroom and brush out my teeth, to make a breakfast, to go to the supermarket, to work (I was lucky to work from home).
The hardest thing for me was when I had to mobilize each and every cell of my body to meet a family member. I quit sport and I stopped talking to everyone. I isolated myself from the whole world. It was only depression and I.
I did not want to do anything, I just wanted to lie on the couch and to sleep as much as I can because then I was able to forget the sea of emotions raging in my soul. Although sometimes I woke up with a startle bursting in tears.
The scariest thing with depression is that it takes away from you the feeling of joy and pleasure of your favorite hobbies. I love sports in all its variations. Tennis is one of the activities that has always made my heart sing. When depression tightened its embrace, tennis became real torture instead of pleasure. I perceived it as something that would require superhuman efforts from me and that would take away the remaining energy I had left. I was terrified by the thought of changing my clothes, of packing my bag, of going to the tennis court, of talking to people and pretending to be fine…
Depression literally made me have no energy. There were times when I could hardly get to the supermarket to buy stuff. I was gasping for breath and felt extremely tired. Here I need to clarify that currently I am 33 years old and I am an ex-professional basketball player who has played at a high level and worked out twice a day. Nothing has ever made me so tired as depression did.
That is why I know very well what depression likes and what literally terrifies it. I know what feeds it and makes it enormous, as well as what makes it huddle in the corner as small as a sixpence.
Everybody wants to find the magic cure with the help of which to kick out depression so that it is not here starting from tomorrow. I did not find such a cure. And I had looked for it really hard. My experience with depression shows that such a cure exists and it is different for everyone. But exactly as a broken leg needs a doctor, individual care and time to heal, depression needs that too.