Depression does not have to be the story that is told about your life

by Thando Mgobhozi

One of the greatest tragedies to ever exist in this lifetime is depression. This is to be convinced that the world would be a better place without you in it and that you have nothing left to give to anyone or any situation. Every single one of us is here in this world to fulfil a purpose that is unknown. It does not matter how long it takes, but the purpose will eventually get fulfilled so no one is here to help others glide through this life. We all have our own missions.

The passing of the talented musician Nichume hit me really hard. Her passing affirmed to everyone that depression really does hit anyone and everyone. It exists. I am no expert when it comes to mental illnesses but I myself can testify that I have felt pain, been through a lot of hardships and there have been days when I just wanted to give up. There are issues that I am still dealing with even today and I am taking it one day at a time. You need to know and understand that you are not alone in all of this and allow people to help you.

Below I have outlined some tips that I apply to have a meaningful life and not let depression get the better of me,

1. Be around people and things that keep you smiling
Find that one thing that makes you happy to be alive each and every single day. It could be your family/friends, your career or simply life’s blessings. There is always something to be grateful for even if it does not seem like it at the time. Partake in activities that make you happy. One thing that truly changes my mood is listening to music. Every time I listen to music my mood changes instantly and it’s as if I was never going through a mental breakdown just a second ago. It honestly makes me believe that life is not that bad and it’s truly my happy place. What is that thing for you?

2. Better days are coming
We experience four different seasons throughout the year namely summer, autumn, winter and spring. Life has those seasons too. Seasons of adventure, sadness, love and more. You may feel like life is not working out for you currently, but tell you what, it is just a season, just like winter. It gets better.

3. Yesterday has passed, focus on today
Each day comes with an opportunity to do things differently from the previous day. All we can do with the past is to accept it and learn from it. There are just as many days to look forward to in the future and nobody knows when the world is gonna come to an end anyway.

4. No overthinking
Overthinking does not change the situation that you are in instead it dampens your mood. It’s okay not to have everything all figured out at once. Life is a journey and on this journey, you have the opportunity to keep creating yourself every day. Try to fill your mind with positive rather than negative thoughts. Instead of worrying about your future, focus on the present and everything that it has to give you.

5. Enjoy living
In knowing that better days are coming it is important to understand that once in a while it will rain again. Life works like a roller coaster but you should not be discouraged at all. It won’t always be smooth sailing, things will get tough. Accept that and embrace it. Do not dwell on things that you cannot change. Tough times help reveal your strength. You never know how strong you are until you experience hardships and pain. This life is for you just as it is for everybody else and I think you owe it to yourself to give yourself a chance and see where it leads to. Live a happy life.

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