i was beginning to feel hopeless about my situation until i read a book that really changed my perspective on depression.
the book contained a series of activities – listing your resources, talking about certain moments in your life, etc. it viewed depression as a gift.
i know, right? a gift?
it sounds ridiculous but i promise you it’s not. the idea behind this novel is that depression is not necessarily a negative thing. sure, there are horrible side effects, but there’s a meaning behind the pain.
depression is a signal from your unconscious telling you that something you’re doing is wrong.
take my situation, for example. i was at gonzaga, working my ass off in school, no friends, declaring a major i didn’t care about but would make me rich, hours away from the people i loved.
do you see what my subconscious was telling me?
nothing about my situation at gonzaga was right. i was pretending to be a person i didn’t want to be. i was in a place i shouldn’t have been. i wasn’t happy.
so my subconscious did me the favor of sounding the alarms for me. in the form of depression.
if you’re depressed, evaluate where you are in life. what you’re doing/studying, where you’re working, who you hangout with. are you balanced? are you enjoying yourself? are you being true to yourself?
this is a huge issue for people. for some reason, young adults feel the need to make themselves exceedingly unhappy because we have the misconception that the unhappier you are, the more successful you’ll be. with think its okay to push ourselves to the point of exhaustion in school because that means we’ll be rich someday.
what these young adults fail to realize is that your job is not your identity. if your life is so shallow that you let your work define you, you won’t make room for the important things. hobbies, a social life, relaxation. these are all just as important, if not more, than relentless study habits.
think of it this way: who is going to perform better on a test? student 1 that studied over the course of the week and got a good amount of sleep before test day. or student 2 that stayed up till 4 am studying. obvious, right? apparently not. our generation is so focused on honing in on one aspect of life that we forget about the others.
i’m not saying we should all loaf around all the time. it is important to balance work/school, family, friends, our hobbies, our sports, etc. without balance we become a wreck. a depressed, exhausted wreck.
this is hard for a lot of people to swallow. try telling an overachiever that it’s okay if he takes a quarter off of school to figure out what makes him happy. it won’t go well. he’ll come up with a million reasons why he needs to keep grinding.
that’s where self-acceptance comes in.
we need to accept that we cannot always be perfect. we need to accept that in the long run, your f on a chem test will not matter. we need to accept that there is more to life than just your degree and job. it is so much more important to be happy and balanced than it is to burn yourself out.
so take a break. enroll in a fun elective class. choose your mental health over a test grade because honestly, it’s not worth it. speaking from experience.