Behind The Smile(5)


Happy New Month. I’m sorry this was supposed to go up 6 days ago but I got slightly busy.

Here it is though.

The second to last instalment to this series about depression.

.Depression.

.How to deal.(for everybody else)

Openness. Availability is key to helping someone who reaches out to you. I’m not saying you drop everything and show up, but a few responses and texts here and there. A few encouraging words every other time.

Be conscious. You can’t say that you never knew someone was going through before it got too serious. You have to be conscious of the signs. The sudden mood shifts. Be aware of the random times when someone seems to be acting a bit different to the norm. You could spot a few posts on social media, you can spot it when someone who’s hell bent on having a good time, suddenly not wanting to be part of things. Does their smile reach their eyes? Do their words seem detached? It’s not always in the physical signs like maybe you noticed that they suddenly wear a tonne of bracelets and have a tendency to keep touching their wrists. Nope. The psychological hints are the hardest to spot but they can be traced no less.

smile change the world

Smile. Refer to Behind the Smile (4) to see what is so great about a smile. See the human body is set up so interestingly. It copies what it sees, pretty much subconsciously. See a frown, and your face automatically starts frowning. See someone laugh genuinely and you’ll be trying to fight back your own laugh. See someone crying and your eyes will start to water. See a smile, and regardless of the thoughts racing through your mind, your mouth curves upwards into a smile.

imagessmile

Don’t talk about yourself. It’s not about you. I know we’re plagued with the “Even Me” syndrome where we must relate everything someone said in order to understand a situation. You can’t pull that stunt when someone finally opens up to you about their state of mental disarray. To them it simply sounds like you’re not interested; even when you are. Maybe we can tone down the even me.s in such situations.

Listen. This should have been first/ second to being conscious I suppose. Most times, someone who’s depressed just wants somebody else to listen for a change instead of constantly hearing their own thoughts. So listen. Be the open ears they seek. By the time someone gets the courage to speak to you, it’s been such an arduous hurdle to overcome so please listen.

>I need to talk to you. I have something to finally say. I’ve been meaning to say this once I figured it out <<

Have-to-Listen-2-2.jpg

Save your advice. I keep reiterating that they just want to share. They don’t need your advice especially when you have not a clue about what thoughts plague their mind. The advice is similar to talking about yourself; so unless you’re professionally trained, have none of that “When I feel low, I do such and such”. It’s hard not to give advice but you must resist the urge.

Build rather than destroy. Many depressed people, in my experience and in my interaction, feel the need to cut food out of their routine or overdo it. Find ways to get them to eat. Don’t offer criticism; they have enough of their own self-blame so this would only make it worse. Also, don’t downplay their condition. “Why do the small things get to you?” “It’s just a phase” “Get yourself together, that’s not how you were raised” “People out there have bigger problems Such questions nullify their disorder and completely try to gloss over their current state of mind.

He used to have recurrent episodes and would shut himself away and not answer the door or the telephone, but if I wrote him a note, and managed to push it under the door, he would tell me later how much it meant to him. Sometimes it was enough to coax him out.

Bring them outside. When you notice they hole themselves up in seclusion, offer them a polite walk, a quiet music listening session on the grass, a random drive even if it’s for grocery shopping….Let them reconnect with nature or something that’s moving and if possible, living and breathing. Just like a wound needs air to finally scab over, so does the mind when it’s thoughts become stagnant.

If you ever find yourself empty from something you cannot know or name, find a stretch of ocean, a field, or a mountainside, or even clouds or trees. Because there are 1000 simple ways to fill your tired soul so you can remember how to be, how to see, and most importantly, how to breath.

~Victoria Erickson

Share positivity. The universe has a way of cancelling out the negative energy, especially when it’s in excess. So, share positivity. If someone asks you to tell them something you like about them, do it now and ask questions later. If someone wants you to say something encouraging, just do it. You might never find out exactly what went on in their mind, but you brought some light into the madness that came with the darkness. Take up yoga with them, dance with them, breath life into them through the things that you do.

Patience. Being depressed, someone is more irritable, prone to quickly misunderstand others. So you need patience to deal with this.

Learn their triggers. More so if they’re episodes are recurrent. Let them know when a symptom pops up and point it out. It helps with the “drowning”.

Encourage. Encourage Encourage.

Suggest to them to seek professional help. And be supportive when they do. Don’t steer clear of them; You can offer to accompany them to their appointments without pressuring them to accept your offer.

Love. All we need is love.

Feels like i’m asking you guys to turn into angels ay?

 

That’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

…. part five …. Behind the Smile(5)

Jessie J-Flashlight

‘Cause you light the way
I got all I need when I got you and I
I look around me, and see a sweet life
I’m stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight
You’re getting me, getting me, through the night
Kick start my heart when you shine it in my eyes
Can’t lie, it’s a sweet life
Stuck in the dark but you’re my flashlight
You’re getting me, getting me, through the night

 

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)

Behind The Smile(4)


Back at it again.

Hey there beautiful souls. Are we doing alright? I hope so.

Are we still following the series? I hope so. Never know when this information comes in handy.

.Depression.

This post is about How to deal.

.How to deal.(for the person going through depression)

Smile. I found this quote on the glorious internet about how a smile eases any situation; but smiling to yourself, in the mirror, goes a long way. It’s like a reset button for your brain…much like crying. Release the endorphins. Feel your own glow.

stop and smile

Redirect your thoughts. Recall a few happy moments in your life. Take yourself back to that time, put yourself in your own shoes, why were you laughing? why were you so happy? why that memory in particular? Replay it through and through. Was it a person who made you feel that way? Was it an object? Recall those feelings and that setting in its entirety, recall and relive the moment. People tell you to stop living in the past, but sometimes you realize that the past is exactly what you need to get you through the present.

Distract yourself. I know what you’re thinking. Distractions = Drugs or something that will cause you harm in the future. BUT no. A distraction is another way to redirect your thoughts. Keep a music playlist handy for such down moments you know those songs that keep your blood pumping or make you feel relaxed? The jams that make you question the lyrics? Keep a playlist of songs filled with these. Read a book; see your mindset will switch from the present to the life you’re following in the novel, to the characters in the book. Watch a movie. Shift your mindset.

Take a walk…or sit outside where the air flows freely. The universe has a way of gifting those who seek its rewards. Breath. Breath. Just breath. Take in the environment outside. Look at the leaves. Stare at the sky. Find your calm and throw yourself into it. Get out of bed, find natural light outside and simply glow.

Find an outlet. So, all these sound familiar, non? They’re really not the same. I promise. Find an outlet. Journal. I’ve learnt that writing down the thoughts that run wild in your mind dispels them from that space. You write down everything; you can do it physically or online on a private/anonymous blog or something. Just write. They don’t have to be well put together paragraphs or sound like magnificent poetry but write anyway. Let it all out. It’s the release that you’re looking for. When you focus your thoughts on words flowing through your fingers, it’s therapeutic. Cook up a storm, bake until your kitchen can put the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel to shame.

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Talk to someone. This is different from reaching out though. This simply involves talking to someone who lifts up your mood. They really don’t need to know exactly what you’re going through but sometimes, you need a good laugh. I have a bunch of people who I call or text once in a while, and we can laugh for hours on the phone. It’s “meaningless” not necessarily “important” banter but it releases the good feels. Tell someone to shower you with compliments; ask someone to tell you a good memory they have of you; seek for the good vibes and they will seek to be found by you. It calms the thoughts. It restores the clarity that you’re unable to navigate through on your own.

It heals.

Reach out. Talk to someone who won’t provide judgement. Someone who will simply listen. Sometimes, you really just want another living breathing human being to listen to what’s going on in your mind. It’s hard at first to say even one word, but when it gets down to it, the banks break and the words literally flow out. Take the rope that’s offered to you whilst you drown. Take it.

Professional help. As I mentioned in Behind the Smile(1), depression is an illness and like many illnesses, someone who is attuned to dealing with it needs to help you through the hurdles. They know how to speak to you and through the fog that’s clouding your mind. They can filter their way through your thoughts, and although they may not understand exactly what you’re going through, the therapy works. The medication prescribed helps.

You’re looking to feel numb and that’s the one thing you need to avoid. Feeling numb. You seek to be an impenetrable object, but no. That’s not going to help you, it just traps the negativity inside you. It magnifies the feelings in your mind, they only intensify and that’s the last thing you need.

Don’t suffer in silence. Surround yourself with life. It could be people, a pet, flowers…anything that has life breathed into it. The energy you get from live things cannot be replicated by anything else. So get out there, feed off of the good vibes.

Man walking at sunset

Man walking down road at sunset

Be conscious of your triggers. A trigger is simply what causes your mind to shift into overdrive. It could be a situation, stress, someone, the weather; Just figure out what your trigger is and be ready for it. Arm yourself with positive vibes, when you’re unable to keep the feels at bay, then at least you’ll be able to handle it better. Understand yourself. Know how you feel during your highs (happy/ “normal”/ positive moments) and during your lows too (when you’re depressed). Listen to your body, and be in sync with your emotions and reactions every second of the day.

Be conscious of yourself.

Acknowledge that you are allowed to feel this way. Acknowledge that you are going through this depression. Hold fast to believing that you can overcome it; you’re a work of art, you are golden. Pressure your mind to understand and remember that you are not alone. You are not alone. You are never alone.

That’s the thing about emotional pain. You can’t say that it hurts here, get some medicine and you’re cured.

It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that. It’s deeper than that.

You’re only human.

Remember that.

 

…. part four …. Behind the Smile(4)

Jessie J – Who You Are

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
“Why am I doing this to myself?”
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.

Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!

 

From a cool corner of Nairobi,

With love and love and positive vibes as always,

.theafricangirl.

*Mapenzi.Love*:)