February 19th, 2014
I so often write about dealing with depression, loneliness, hopelessness, and other difficult, dark times. I do this because we all go through challenging periods, but many of us rarely talk with our friends and loved ones about how we cope and find our way. Usually, I’ll write about the suggestions I give to clients, the ways my clients cope, or advice from other clinicians. This time, though, I’m doing something different, with the hope that this will be helpful as well.
I wrote the following status update on my personal Facebook profile: I want to write a blog post on how people get themselves through times where they are lonely, depressed, and or hopeless…but I want to write about what real people do, not my suggestions. So, I’d love to hear what you do for yourself in such times. You can message me for anonymity’s sake, or feel free to post here as well. I won’t mention your name in the blog post though.
What I received were some very heartfelt, sincere, and genuine responses – which I will share with you, in my friends’ own words, with limited editing:
One friend wrote: I get through by remembering that the bad/low time ends eventually, trying to sleep more (i.e. just let myself be exhausted and not try to push myself through, which is what society is often saying I should do), seeking support from friends/loved ones, get things done first thing in the day when I usually have energy even when in a depression.
Another shared this with me, and now with you: Go to the beach. Even if it is just a day trip; I have yet to encounter a problem so large some salty air can’t bring a sigh if relief and some fresh perspective to.
And someone else I’ve known wrote this: I’ve been lonely, but I’ve never been depressed or felt hopeless. At times when I was lonely, I’d always turn to arts or doing things to be productive and feel my time was well spent, even if it wasn’t spent in the company of loved ones. I don’t mean I mopped the floor. I know it sounds kind of “old lady”, but even as a teenager, I quilted. It’s something I was taught (I come from New England where that’s fairly common). Or I painted.
Clearly quilting has helped more than just “old ladies” get through difficult times, if the AIDS Memorial Quilt is any indication! (See the picture above.)
More advice to come in Part II!!!
If you’re looking for a therapist or counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, feel free to contact Mike Giordano, LICSW at 202-460-6384 or Mike.Giordano.MSW@gmail.com.