12 Ways to Keep Going
Even when you feel mired in fear and sadness, there are ways to persevere.
By Therese J. Borchard
A woman who lives with chronic pain said to my mom the other day, "You can't sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You've got to learn how to dance in the rain."
That's a perfect description of living with depression, or any chronic illness. But what do you do on the days you don't think you can take the pain anymore? When you want so badly to be done with the suffering? What do you do when anxiety and depression have spun a web around you so thick that you're convinced you'll be trapped forever in those feelings?
We've talked about this on various threads of Group Beyond Blue. From the discussions there and on the Beyond Blue blog, I've compiled a few tools for moving past that harrowing darkness, suggestions on how to emerge from a place of panic, and techniques for how to dance in the rain.
Escape from the Pain
Lately, when my depressive thoughts have turned suicidal, I've been telling myself that I don't want my life to be over--I want a reprieve from the pain. I'm usually at a loss on how to get there. I'm tired, frustrated, desperate, so my thoughts follow the path that has already been blazed throughout the years. I fantasize about death, intoxication, or some other destructive behavior that doesn't require a lot of imagination.
But how else can I escape, in a more positive way? Instead of romanticizing about death or inebriation from booze, I can research new kayaking routes, bike baths, hiking trails, and camping sites. I can invest the time I lose in unproductive and dangerous thoughts into planning creative outings for myself and for the family that will give me/us the reprieve that I'm craving. I can be proactive about finding sitters for the kids so that my thoughts won't revert back to "stinking thinking."
It's so bloody hard to take that first step ... to Google the state parks in Maryland that rent canoes, or to tune up my bike for a nice ride. But those first steps are life savers because they afford me the positive escapes that I need.