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How I Exorcised the Depression Monster in 2020

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.

PraDepression. A word that is being used loosely to describe lockdown blues or even WFH. But for those who really go through depression, the word means- Living Hell. I am sharing How I Exorcised the Depression Monster in 2020. It is my 20 pointer to fighting my demons and snuffing them out. It wasn’t an overnight miracle. It has taken me years but now I can say that I have a hold on it and I am in control.

My Story

Suffering from chronic clinical depression which started off as Postpartum depression, for the past 36 years has been an arduous battle. The last 16 years, more so after my husband’s demise and the kids flew the nest. I keep getting anxiety attacks on and off. In December 2019, I had a severe anxiety attack which shook me to the core. It was unexpected and dreadful. And on January 1st, 2020, I decided that enough is enough and I have to exorcise the monster before it devours me.

I gave out the war cry by donning the mantle of Self-love. Listed out a dozen things I want to accomplish and worked towards that goal. I pasted the list in my dressing room where I could see it every day. I have been on continuous medication for 25 years. A psychologist on Twitter became a counsellor and confidant. I had a few call sessions with her. She convinced me to gradually wean out my medication.

Bye-bye to Medication

I went into despair; just the thought of it gave me the heebie-jeebies. However, I pumped myself and consulted my psychiatrist. January 2020 to Feb 2020, except for one capsule that I still take, I weaned off all the rest. Believe me, it wasn’t easy. The dependency on drugs I have been taking for a quarter-century was massive. I suffered from severe withdrawal symptoms but I ground my teeth and kept going. You have to have the will to get better. Build up a strong mindset first. Never give up and keep trying is my mantra.

The Universe Responds

Paulo Coelho rightly said “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ” I really wished that my family was around. And, out of the blue, my son and family decided to come home in February. This was the straw that I clung onto and went into full prep mode for their visit. We travelled together to Amritsar, Delhi and Jaipur before coming home. My grandsons are my panacea and I felt warm even through the cold turkey.

We, as a family, played Holi for the first time. And the colours of joy washed away the years of struggle and despair. They were to leave on March 18th but my grandson had a fever and by then the Covid rules were in place. They could not travel and three days later it was lockdown. I was euphoric when the whole world went into mass depression. I got to spend almost five months with my grandsons. It was as if my stars were resetting themselves.

How I Exorcised the Depression Monster in 2020

April, the month of madness with the #Blogchatter A2Z Challenge.  I had a genuine reason to give it a miss. But then, I am always game for challenges. Trust me, it wasn’t easy juggling my attention with two energetic kids and daily blogging for a month. I sailed through it all with ease. I don’t know where I got the vivacity and the spirit to do so many tasks simultaneously. My grandsons and I cooked, played, gardened together and I blogged through the night while they slept soundly in my bed.

And then they left on July 8th. I was devastated. Distraught after dropping them off at the airport, I drove, wailing all the way home.

Living alone and being a chronically depressed person, I would have been an archetypal research case of a mental illness patient. However, for the first time in 16 years, I feel restored and revitalised. I worked towards accepting and overcoming my depressive episodes.

My Achievements

This year, I put my heart and soul into my blog and it was ranked 14th in Lifestyle Blogs. My second e-book was at number 6 on Amazon kindle. I became an influencer, I started Kaur’s Kitchen which took off like a rocket. Depression- where art thou??

I am sharing How I Exorcised the Depression Monster in 2020. And also giving a shout out to all those who are suffering from depression. Do not give up. Talk to me anytime if you feel you want to. I am available anytime and I can try tohelp you tide over your worst times.

 How I Exorcised the Depression Monster in 2020

Wellness yoga

  1. Acceptance

Firstly, you have to accept that you are depressed. I have to accept it as part of my life. Don’t pretend to be okay.

  1. This too shall pass

The anxiety or panic attack has a time frame. It is not permanent. There is no magic cure, but try to calm down. The more you fight it the more anxious you will be. Accept it and calm down.

  1. Wellness Yoga

 Every morning for one hour, I practice Om chanting for 5 minutes, simple warmups,  eye exercises, yoga asanas and finally Pranayama and meditation. I will share a detailed post on this in my next blog. Mind you this is not for losing weight but it is the wellness of your mind.

  1. Prayer of Gratitude

When I wake up, first thing in the morning and before going to bed, I say a small prayer of gratitude.

Gratitude reduces a lot of toxic emotions. It enhances empathy and reduces anger. Identifying all you have to be thankful for – even during the most horrible times of your life – nurtures resilience.

 Simply take a few seconds to focus on all that you have – rather than grumble about all the things you think you are worthy of.  Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the modest ways to improve your gratification with life.

  1. Listen to music or start a garden

Choose any kind of music at different times of the day. From spiritual, to melodious or jazz or pop, lose yourself in it and even sway to the music if you can. Connect with nature. Grow plants, even if it is a few pots in the balcony its fine

  1. Set a Routine

When you are depressed even a simple task like brushing your teeth seems like a mammoth one. Put up your daily routine so that you can follow it every day.

  1. Paste a list of positives on your washroom mirror

List out positives and your goals; even if it is something silly like going for a walk every day. Set small goals and tick them off when you achieve them.

  1. Practice positive self-talk

Pep yourself up with positive affirmations- I have the power to change my mind.

I’m beautiful. I can do it and so on.

  1. Laughter is the best medicine

Watch humorous shows, seek humour in little things or laugh at life in general. Nobody likes to be around morose or grumpy people. It is difficult but try to look cheerful or at least smile more.

  1. Follow a healthy diet

Be mindful of what you eat. Avoid junk food totally. Eat happy foods like banana or chocolate

  1. Stay away from toxic people

Shun people who are toxic or who do not understand your depression. Seek and befriend people who are positive (even if it on social media) and understand you.

  1. Talk about your “Depression” openly.

Do not hide or feel embarrassed to talk about your depression. The more you talk about it the more you feel liberated.

  1. Take medication

If you have a serious anxiety or panic attack, take medication if you have to. Try out alternate therapy or counselling. Follow anything and everything that works for you.

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep will evade you but try to get as much sleep as possible. Try warm milk, read, or Yoga Nidra.

  1. Find your IKIGAI

Do what you really love to do. Combine work and passion to keep your spirits high. Develop a skill if you don’t have one. Join a class and better your skills.

  1. Practice self-love

Self-love means loving yourself totally-body, mind, heart and soul. You have to love yourself first if you expect others to love you.

  1. Seek help

If you think you cannot cope, do reach out to an empathetic friend. Talk to a trusted loved one. Cultivate a 2 am friend. Be it via Social media, mobile or Zoom, talk to people close to you.

  1. . Keep yourself busy

The archaic saying “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” still holds good. Discover your Passion. It will fill your life with purpose and a goal. It gives you a really worthy reason to get out of bed every morning. When you have a purpose or a passion, your life is more fulfilled. Write a blog or a journal Pen down your thoughts, your emotions and purge yourself. Try creative pursuits like painting, colouring or leaning music

  1. Maintain a healthy gut

The gut-brain connection is not a yarn; anxiety and stomach problems are linked. The brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are closely connected. Stomach or intestinal pain can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression

A healthy gut leads to a healthy mind. I used to suffer from IBS and would never understand why. But now I know it is connected to my stress. I now keep my gut happy and in turn, my mind is in a happy place.

  1. Help others

Give an ear to those who are going through the same experience as you. Listen to them and share your methods. When you heal others you heal yourself. I am gratified to share that during this past year itself, I have helped more than 10 people during their depressive episodes.

‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter’ 




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