I remember when I was a younger (probably early high school years) and I was always complaining about something hurting or just life in general. BECAUSE that's what you DO when you are a TEENAGER! One day my Mom bet me that I could not go a week without complaining about something. I thought, how dare you say something like that to me! I will take that bet and win hands down.
People, I think that was the hardest bet I ever took. The beginning of the week was torturous. When I wanted to say something negative, I had to mentally and pyhsically (hands over my mouth) stop myself from saying it. By the end of the week it got a little easier, but I still had to REALLY work on it. And on the LAST DAY of the bet, I lost - by a technicality, mother!
At the time, I thought it didn't not matter that I lost because I was not a negative person. But here's the funny thing about that. Even though I was not a negative or down person (so I thought), that was not how other people perceived me. It was not just what I said to be down or negative, it was my actions as well.
I've said this before, but when I moved out of Mark and my house in August 2008, I was a new person - a work in progress - but a new, improved person. And for a long time I struggled with what made me truly happy. I lost myself and that's not a fun road to be on. But here's what I found - nobody could make me happy but me. I could not draw my energy or happiness from others. I had to find it within myself.
That meant focusing on me and to tell you the truth, being a little bit (or a lot bit) selfish. When I finally let go and realized that, the results were amazing. Some of the most fun times I had was just sitting by myself and doing nothing. I had to "unlearn" all the negative traits I had carried from the previous years and "learn" to take life as it comes - one day at a time.
I have been truly happy for the past couple years, and I have not been down one time. Of course I have good days and bad days, everybody does. We are human. But here's the difference, when I have bad days, I ALWAYS remember that tomorrow is a new day and I have way too many good things in my life to let one bad thing get the best of me.
I'm a fighter and I have been a fighter all my life - it's just recently that I figured out what was actually worth fighting for and what was worth letting go. I refuse to let someone bring me down. I refuse to always be the strong one in a relationship and I refuse to "give myself away" (thanks Mom).
So if there are people in your life that suffer from depression or being down - as a true friend, the best thing you can do is be open and honest with them. Don't sugarcoat it for the sake of feelings. Sometimes it's hard to see what's wrong with yourself and why you feel the way you do. It takes an outside perspective to make you realize there's a problem, but with time and unconditional support there's always light at the end of a long dark tunnel.