3. What treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?
“Coping”…what an interesting word! It implies a lot more than it states. It implies a sub-par life, one spent in struggle or adversity, one that’s never quite 100%. When somebody suffers a bereavement people ask them “how are you coping?” in hushed tones. Tones that imply the asker fully believes the person is suffering, barely living, just about getting by.
Am I getting by? Am I suffering? Hell no! I may not always be living life to the fullest and I may have times when all seems hopeless and lost. But I am living. Living, not “coping”. I am not stuck in some suspended state of reality. I am not someone to be pitied. I am not different from the next ten people I pass on the street.
Instead of “how are you coping?” I’d like to be asked “how do you kick depression’s ass?” or “how are you kind to yourself on the days that depression is winning?”. Because yes, I have those days. Days when I’m not living life. Days when life is happening to me, or around me. On those days I have strategies and methods. Or not. I may sink into it and let myself be consumed. Whatever. But the rest of the time…well I simply refuse to divide my life into good and bad like that. Instead, I live a life occasionally marked out with depression days. I have me days and not-so-me days. But who doesn’t?
Perhaps it’s no more than semantics. Perhaps I’m just being stubborn and wasting my energy in a futile rebellion against a word, a definition. But it’s important to me. It’s important that my entire existence is not defined as something less than whole.
I wear this label. I wear it willingly. But I refuse to let it define me.
What’s this all about then eh?
I found a pretty cool challenge on a blog from last year – 30 days of mental health posts. I’ve decided to give it a go, despite being a year late to the party! You can also see the other participating posts. This is my third entry. If you prefer, you can read from the start.