Depression is a curious thing. On the one hand, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. On the other hand, it’s been kind of a blessing.
Depression has made me stronger, more self aware and more capable of empathy than I ever would have otherwise been.
If I could turn back the clocks now and go back and never have depression, would I? Probably not.
So in honour of that, here are six really positive things that have come out of having depression.
It’s Made Me a Stronger Person
It may not always feel like it, but depression has made me a much stronger person that I was before. Anyone with depression will know that at times, each day feels like one long battle with your own mind. And yet, many of us continue to go about our daily lives. In my case, I am doing well at work, growing this blog in my spare time, exercising and travelling, even whilst going through some really dark and difficult times. I’m a fucking warrior!
It has also given me the strength to say no to things that I don’t want to do. To break ties with people who are toxic to my mental health and to be strong enough to write my own story on here. I wouldn’t give that up for the World.
I Have Discovered the Real Issues behind Everything
For years, I struggled with a feeling of discontent. I was trying to change myself, my life and everything in it. I harboured such intense self loathing for myself and thought that everyone else thought the same things about me too. I also thought that was a completely normal way of thinking.
Turns out it isn’t. Depression forced me to address the underlying issues that were underpinning everything. I realised that my issues with body image and eating weren’t normal at all. That they were, in fact, causing a lot of my mental health problems. And now I am able to work on resolving those specific things.
Had I not developed depression, I may never have known how much those things were impacting my mental health and I may have continued down that very unhappy, unhealthy path for many years to come.
I Have a Greater Understanding of What Makes Me Happy
This leads on from my point above – the feeling of discontent that I was on the run from for much of my life. Moving cities, changing jobs, going travelling, moving countries, drinking too much alcohol. I thought that my situation was the problem that needed fixing, not me.
I’m still working on this one, but I’m slowly starting to figure out what it is that REALLY makes me happy. I am much more able to take joy in the small, simple things in life and be content with where I am in the present moment without constantly striving for something more.
You might also like – How My Idea of Happiness Has Changed over Time
I Have Much More Empathy for People
I think I’ve always been a pretty compassionate person. I can get a bit fiery sometimes but really, I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings and I feel deeply for someone when they feel bad.
My own struggles with depression have only served to emphasise that. I understand a bit more deeply that everyone is fighting their own personal battles, albeit some bigger than others, and that helps me be kinder to others.
I Exercise for a Reason Other Than Weight Loss
It took me years but I have finally discovered the joy in exercising. For as long as I can remember, I engaged in punishing exercise regimes in order to keep my weight under control and that just made me hate exercise with every fibre of my being.
But now, exercise is something that I have to do in order to maintain good mental health. I no longer do it to burn as many calories as possible and as a result, I’ve actually started enjoying it! I enjoy how much happier I feel after a run or how calm I feel during yoga and don’t feel pressured to go over the top.
You might also like – How I Plan to Be Kind to My Body This Summer
This isn’t a new blog. It actually started life as a travel blog when I was living in New Zealand years ago. But as I got busier with our web design business and depression began to creep in I kind of left it behind. Three years later and in the process of recovering from depression, I have relaunched with a renewed focus on mental health. I’ve only been posting for a few months but it is already clear that this new blog is resonating with people much more than my travel blog ever did.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and the ways in which depression has had a positive impact on your life. Just drop me a comment below 🙂