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When the fog lifts.

Depression is like living with a thick fog all around you. Now and then it might slightly lift but generally it gets thicker and all-consuming until it is hard to see anything. Imagine living like that all the time. In this constant haze where everything feels so blurry and dark. Where life feels hard work and constantly tough going. Imagine how exhausting and relentless it must feel to keep trying to pick yourself up when every part of your body and mind feels shut down and shut off.

It is nonstop.

It is painful.

It is bleak.

It is gloomy.

And it feels like it will never end.

People work hard in therapy and on themselves to find a way through the difficult journey that is depression. They use many tools to guide their way through the tough times and to find a way back to the light. It isn’t easy and it isn’t straight forward. But it is possible.

Then one day – the fog. Well, it starts to truly lift. Suddenly a person begins to feel re connected to who they are. They start to notice things around them that they haven’t seen for a while. Perhaps they see the beautiful sun coming up, or they notice the stillness around them as they walk or maybe they connect to those closest to them for the first time in a long time.

They might find themselves doing something they have been doing for many months but enjoying it. Instead of just going through the motions they find themselves really connected to the process. They are aware of what is around them, they can truly hear what is close to them, and they find themselves starting to smile again. Finding that energy that has been missing for a while.

Welcome back. They might say to themselves. Where have you been?

When we start to come out of the darkness it is quite remarkable how light things can look and feel. Living in the fog can be all consuming and at times people might not even realise how low or down they have been until they finally start to turn a corner.

Looking around they may notice the things that they haven’t been doing. Perhaps they haven’t been truly taking care of themselves – this could apply to eating, drinking, self-care etc. They may have stopped doing those little things that they did for themselves – that made them feel so good. They may have lost site of the environment that they need to feel calm and good. They may have stopped doing the things that make them truly happy.

Once a person starts to realise what they haven’t been doing, they can then start changing things and working towards doing the things that they need to do to feel more content and happier in themselves. Beginning to reconnect with themselves is a wonderful feeling. Starting to put some positive changes in place can feel good.

That said – it isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always simple.

The fog starts to lift, and an individual begins to feel more connected to their own world and more content with what’s happening in it. They start to feel more alive, and they begin to do more of what makes them feel good. While this is all positive at first a person is still likely to feel exhausted and at times drained.

Their energy levels wont immediately come back – after all they have been living in a dark and difficult place for a very long time. They wont instantly bounce back – they will need to re charge and take their time to recover properly. This means adequate rest, self-care, down time etc and it means striking a good balance in life. That isn’t always straight forward.

It is of course possible, and it just needs some time and attention. Perhaps a person needs to sit down and look at their week – look at how they carve out the things they need in the week and how they fit in the things that make them feel good, as well as the people and adequate time for themselves.

They will also need to think about how they take care of themselves and re charge after the difficult journey that they have gone through. And during this process people may start to reflect. To look back and see how things were when they were living in the fog. This processing is key, and it is important. It’s a time of healing. There will be some sadness as they look back at times and events when they felt they were physically there but not psychologically or emotionally present. There will be times of anger when they look back and feel they were let down or hurt in some ways – when at the time they may not of even realised it. And perhaps there will be times of remorse as they look back and see times that they may have either lashed out or hurt someone without meaning too – but perhaps though unresolved emotions and feelings that felt huge at the time.

To move forward it is important that an individual feels they have the time and space to process and to heal. This journey is one of empowerment and once it begins it can be truly magical. Therapy can help with this process. But it is also about a person slowing down and recognising what they need. Sometimes its silence in a world that constantly feels loud. Sometimes its alone time in a world that feels so busy. Sometimes its company when an individual feels so isolated. We are all so different. It is a case of tuning in and getting our own needs met. Work hard to find the things that work for you – but most importantly re charge and take care of you. When the fog lifts it is so beautiful. But you can be left feeling quite fragile and exhausted at the same time.

Above all – never forget that you have got this.