By Barbara Gabogrecan
It is difficult enough to accept that you have a serious illness, like cancer, stroke or a brain tumour; but when you have to face setbacks, overcoming depression can be your real challenge. The good news is that this type of depression is more likely to be a ‘feeling’ rather than a chemical problem. If it continues and you can’t talk yourself out of it, seek medical assistance.
I find that when the feeling of depression begins to overwhelm you, it is important to be active. Doing something constructive with your body and your mind, can certainly provide a strong solution.
Simply doing the dishes or sweeping the floor is not likely to make you feel better. But if you have an absorbing hobby you can throw yourself into, that might just work.
I know a young lady that has cancer of the stomach. She is seriously ill and may not recover. She admits to feeling angry and frustrated because she simply wants to feel ‘normal’ again. She is in a lot of pain and is nauseous all the time. There is no doubt, that if she simply curled up in bed and let her feelings of misery take over, she would become severely depressed.
She is a dog groomer and works at a dog grooming salon every day that she can. Working with gorgeous, gentle, loving animals can certainly make you ‘feel good’ even if you are not seriously ill. By setting herself a goal to get to the saloon and to make each of her four legged friends look great, in turn makes her feel better. The owners of the dogs were always delighted with the results and their praise in turn gives her something positive to focus on.
This is what you need to do when trying to cope with setbacks. I paint on silk and I am sure that I would have used my illness as a reason not to get back to my painting. However, while in hospital I was receiving orders from my website and even though my husband told them that I had a stroke and a brain tumour and offered to return their money, they all said they would wait until I was feeling better.
Knowing that I had a responsibility to look after my customers made me determined to get back to my painting as soon as possible. Because I had been left unable to read I could not recognise my coloured dyes by their labels and you cannot see the colours clearly until they are actually on the silk. My husband had to help me put them in an order for me to remember and paint small samples on the silk so that I could see what colour was in what bottle.
The painting created serious shoulder pain that would often have me in tears; but I was not going to give up. I would paint for around an hour, then have a rest for an hour or change completely what I was doing so that I could rest the shoulder. I was certainly slower than normal, but I was being productive and achieving something I could be proud of and feel good about. It definitely took my mind away from my problems and helped me avoid becoming depressed.
There can be many setbacks to your recovery. Don’t let them depress you. Don’t question why it is that you are suffering; keep in mind that many others are suffering even more than you are. Keep looking for that silver lining, and stay positive. Everything improves over time, so give yourself time to heal and to get over any setbacks that you might experience. Overcoming depression is so important for your wellbeing that you must work very hard at avoiding it.
Hints and Tips
Learn to recognise when the Feeling of depression is approaching. Try hard to concentrate on doing something productive. When you experience a setback, immediately call someone and organise that you both do something together. There are some states of depression that need medication and cannot be overcome simply by being active. But if your depressions is more about feeling ‘down’ or ‘low’ at any particular time, then try taking action.