Having depression is hard. In fact, it’s debilitating. But on those days when I can’t even bring myself to get out of bed, I end up facing an even bigger problem. Here is how I survived my battle with unsolicited advice about my battle with depression.
When I opened up about my mental illness to close friends and family, I thought it would feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. That was when they started asking things like, “Have you tried thinking positively?” and “I get sad sometimes too.” Then there were the incessant suggestions of aromatherapy. Even after finding the courage to get out of bed that day, I suddenly felt the urge to go back to bed. How was I going to overcome my battle with this battle over my battle with depression?
So many days, I’d wake up and check my phone only to read even more unhelpful tips to fix my chemical imbalance from my well-intentioned loved ones. One time, it was a text from my college roommate with a link to some crystals I could purchase to balance my negative energies. It took all the strength I had to say, “Thanks, yeah, I’ll try that” without just giving up on the idea of friendship altogether.
But, I persevered. There was no way I could let my battle with unsolicited advice about my battle with depression stop me from living my life to the fullest. So I started replying, “omg thanks for the suggestion!” to every text message telling me to go to yoga. I answered, “Wow, I hadn’t even thought about that!” to every friend telling me to try smiling more. I made sure every single person who was giving me advice that I didn’t ask for felt like they were really helping, which sometimes got in the way of things like seeing my therapist or finding an antidepressant that was right for me. These are battles I didn’t choose but bravely face, regardless.
And I survived. And you can too. Have you tried meditating? It really worked for me.