Depression: Getting Out and About Despite Sadness
Yesterday was a rough day for me. Actually it has been some rough weeks. I could feel my symptoms of depression return due to extreme stress. And I have not been doing what I advise to others who have depression. I have been hermiting. To some extent being still, keeping stressors to a minimum, and little communication sometimes helps me to regroup. But too much isolation and you miss out on opportunities.
One of my dear friends got me to agree to go to a concert months ago to see Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul. I love me some Aretha. But a day before the concert my friend could not go. But she had set this up as a group thing where another friend of hers would also be going. My friend was going to be there to introduce me to her other friend and daughter. So here was this decision to go to the concert but without my friend and meet a new person I had never met.
For those that don't already know I do suffer from social anxiety. I don't do well with meeting new people. I get nervous. I don't do small chit-chat well. And to boot I was feeling depressed. I just wanted to stay at home and go to bed.
But then I decided to go and at least try. I mean after all... this was Aretha Franklin. I mused that it always seems that I am supposed to go to something big and social when I am feeling at my lowest.
My husband went with me which helped a ton. I did meet my friend's friend and there was much time for chit-chat as Aretha, in her diva fashion, started the show just a little late. My words felt forced and it was a bit awkward but I did it. And as much as my mind was vexed by life stressors I allowed Aretha's soulful singing (she still has it!) to take me away. I didn't stand up and dance like most people were doing but I did enjoy the show. For those couple of hours I allowed myself to be distracted and this is a good thing.
There are some days that depression will weigh you down so much that getting out is an impossibility. But if you can, sometimes a new perspective (getting out and doing something with others) can help however briefly.
I am proud of myself that I got out and about even though I didn't think I could.
Now I want to hear from you! What have you done this week that you are proud of? How hard is it for you to stray from your comfort zone when you are feeling depressed? Tell us your story.