Step Three

When you are under the oppressive weight of depression, write about it. Writing down the way you feel and what you think is comforting and will give you a sense of someone listening to you. Write the words as they flow from your heart to your fingers and allow them to spill out onto the page. This small achievement is enough to make a difference. It will help you to feel a little comfort when all else seems lost.

Having a beautiful journal to hand in which you can write helps you feel special because your words are being cherished. Writing when you need to can sometimes lead you to the reasons you feel depressed. As you write, let the words drop out of you as they come. Don’t alter them to make more sense or to try to make them say what you think they should say. Simply let them be, with no judgement. Then re-read them and notice the feelings that appear in you. Don’t judge the feelings but simply allow them to pass.

 

You can also make an recording. Set up a machine or phone into which you can talk. Speak as if you are talking to someone you can trust with all your secrets. As you talk, get to the bottom of how you are feeling. Allow yourself as much time as you need. Any machine that will play back what you have said is good enough. Once you have said all you want to say, play it back to yourself. You will be surprised at the results.

While you are doing this, begin to identify what makes you feel ‘guilt’ and what makes you feel ‘shame’. These are two common themes we encompass if we are depressed.

Guilt is when we feel bad about ‘what we have done’. Guilt lets us know there is something we need to address. It indicates that there is something about the way we have behaved that has had a negative effect on others. Staying stuck in the guilt keeps us from our sadness and we feel apart from others. Know that there is something we can ‘do’ to address our guilt.

Shame is when we feel bad about ‘who we are’. We feel the core of us is bad but we cannot put our finger on why we feel like this. We feel shame for not being good enough, for letting others down, for needing others, for not taking care of our responsibilities. At its worst, shame tells us that we don’t deserve to be alive.

When you have said everything you want to say at that moment, you will most likely realise that it wasn’t as much as you thought it was going to be. The central point of your depression can often be summarised in a paragraph. It is surprising how simple the problem seems when you play it back. In listening to yourself, solutions will come to you. You will gain a sense of being heard, and this will help relieve the immensity of the despair for a little while.

Write About Your Depression,

or Record It