There is a reason why you don’t look back in horror films, because those of us who look back get eaten. Okay so I might have been watching World War Z again but this morning I was feeling my depression creeping up again and I had to remind myself to stop looking back.
When things are a bit slow or I am alone with my thoughts I often look back to times that were happier and like the ditzy teen heart throb in the Zombie movie, I get eaten. I get eaten up by that “gee I wish I could go back to that day, that was a good day” earworm that starts playing over and over in my head.
Depression is like a Zombie, and there are a few things that I have had to add to my survival guide.
– Know your Zombie. Identifying the Zombie is sometimes the hardest part. Depression like a Zombie plague can be insidious. It starts with that one negative thought and like a virus multiplies until eventually it spills out in to the open in a orgy of self destruction. Denial is the enemy at this point. Telling myself that everything is fine only ends with me holed up in a forest shack surrounded by Zombies and a single bullet. When I feel the negativity settling in I am getting better at identifying it and making sure that it doesn’t take hold.
– Early intervention is the key. The key to stopping any Zombie horde is early containment. It’s the same for my depression. If I can catch myself early enough in a downward spiral then I can take action to stop it.
– Don’t get stuck in a dead end. When the Zombie horde of Depression starts to batter on your defences no amount of baggage stacked against the door is going to save you, like wise when depression sets in, hiding under my covers and hoping that everything will be fine has never worked. Locking myself away from the world in a fortress has only every served to isolate me from the people who can help me.
– Know your exits. Just like knowing how to get out of the abandoned asylum saves the hero in the movie, knowing my exits when I am depressed has helped me on many occasions. When I am feeling sad my exits are my Family, friends, riding my bike, taking photos, blogging and all the other things that help to make me happy. KNow what your own exits are and use them.
– Keep moving. It’s easy to look back and focus on what was, especially if you think that you were happier back then but the survivors are the ones who always move forward, they act even if they don’t really know what the outcome might be. They are the ones constantly looking towards new and better things, brighter solutions and new adventures. Thats what I try to remind myself of every time I start to look backwards rather than forwards. It’s comfortable living in the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve cocoon but it gets you nowhere fast and only makes things worse.
Yeah I’m making light of my depression but it can’t always be doom and gloom. Not being serious for a change helps me too and I know enough about myself to recognise that I have always done better at solving my problems when I’ve been able to relate to them, break them down and think about them. The Zombie analogy might be light hearted but the advice isn’t.