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Home / Articles / Features / Feature Articles /  A Confession in honor of Depression Awareness Month
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Friday, October 4,2013

A Confession in honor of Depression Awareness Month

By Darah Zeledon  

 

They say my presentations are empowering and my story, inspirational. Many people send me private messages telling me I’ve given them hope and ask me how I kept myself together when the pressure was crushing. Right out of the gate, let me confess that I don’t take any anti-depressant medications, and I’m not a disciplined yogi or martial arts grand master. I am an ordinary wannabe athletic mom of five who does the best she can with the resources she has.

 

And I’ll tell you and only you a secret: to get through, I’ve got a couple of tricks that enable me to deal with my chronic anxiety. What? Chronic anxiety? Yep, you heard right. Miss Motivational Speaker battles a low-grade, always-lurking anxiety and depression almost daily. Does that make me a hypocrite or a fraud because my seminars and writings are so uplifting? Naaah. It just makes me a real person like you.

Over time, I have observed and analyzed my own (peculiar) patterns of behavior and discovered one resounding truth: the importance of granting myself a period to indulge. This enables me to keep moving forward.

Please let me explain. When I say indulge, I mean “controlled indulging” if that makes any sense and isn’t too much of a contradiction. For example, when adversity strikes, I grant myself a stipulated period of time to cry, whine, moan, fuss— whatever you call it—eat ice cream and read trashy pop culture mags. Literally, I tell myself for example: Okay, you have three hours to dwell in the misery of having just dented your car. Go!

But hear me out because this is key: these “passes” have very strict time constraints attached and once the grieving/bitching period is over, the deal is: put on the blinders and earplugs, chin up and look ahead. Kind of like allowing a raging storm to do its thing then blow over. It’s validating and cathartic as the intense emotions are given stage and full range to perform their hearts out till the scene is over and it’s time to move on.

Does this work for everybody? Is it mentally sound or even realistic to vent like a raging lunatic (oftentimes and advisably while exercising) and then chill out? For me it is and always has been, and for many others I’ve heard from as well. I do believe with a little—okay, a lot—of self-control and self-awareness it can be achievable for many other people, too.

Look, for years, I’ve been able to stay (relatively) balanced and manage bouts of depression and anxiety using this and many other unconventional tactics and techniques that work and don’t burden or harm others. But to learn about those, you’ll just have to read the book.

 

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