You may have heard the phrase "Fake it 'til you make it." before. Often people use it in reference to a subject matter they're supposed to know about, or as a show of confidence when they feel they don't have any.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I use it in another way though. I use it when I'm struggling with depression.
I've had some wobbles again over the past week, mostly because I've pushed myself too hard and not got enough sleep. I know that when I get really busy with work and my social life, that I don't sleep enough, and then I tend to fall over in a bit of a heap. It used to be really hard to deal with, but these days I treat it the same as I would getting physically run down - I take some time to rest and relax, and take care of myself with eating well, drinking lots of water and getting some fresh air.
There is one other thing I know helps. Faking it until I make it. Instead of spending my down times shut up avoiding the world, I try to connect with it instead. Even though I don't feel like it, I know in the long run, it helps me shake off the black dog.
Whether that is virtually or in reality, it doesn't matter. Spending time online immersed in upbeat, fun stuff (whether it's conversations on Twitter, watching videos on YouTube, surfing around Tumblr, etc) really helps, especially if you're like me and have run yourself into the ground physically, and need to chill a wee bit. But if you're physically ok, getting out is good too. Whether it be with friends or family, or even on your own. I will carry myself off to a movie if I want to get out and about but can't catch up with people.
I know that quite often when depression hits, you just don't feel like getting out. It's hard enough to get out of bed, let alone out of the house. But it is something that will make you feel so much better, if you get yourself doing something that makes you feel good. And if you don't know what that is, try some new things, you might surprise yourself.
All in all, remember the phrase "Fake it 'til you make it." and try it when you find yourself dogged by the depression fairy. I know it works for me.