“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Unknown
For a very long time, feels like a lifetime, I stood at the bottom of a huge staircase, with no idea how to navigate myself to the top. I couldn’t see the top though the thick fog and the darkness that descended upon my life. The step before me was such a huge step up that physically my legs could not traverse the climb, and without a rail I was scared of falling over the edge.
Earlier on I had no faith nor any hope, my courage to fight and my endurance to survive had left me a long time ago. There was no path through the fog to my staircase of recovery, the Black Dog was leading me deeper into the fog and the darkness, he was aggressive if I tried to break away and find peace, and the chance to get better. It was believing after treading water all your life, you had reached the shore only to find that before you lay a vast ocean where you would never touch the bottom.
Like a long road, a staircase represents the steps to your recovery. Awareness of what your own symptoms are, having an action plan in response to these symptoms, regular visits to your GP, taking your medications at the same times every day, having a combination of vitamin tablets to reduce stress, anxiety, and that help with overall health and wellbeing, sessions with a counsellor or psychiatrists that you feel comfortable with, attend group therapy sessions, and excersise a couple of times a week. These are the steps up your staircase, the different elements of your recovery process. It is a steep climb, with each step forward there are steps backwards, with each milestone there are hurdles. Each step is one closer to recovery, and hope of a happy future. The stairs will always be there, just like depression and the Black Dog will be an unwelcomed presence in our lives.
Bringing all these elements together into a routine will assist in maintaining your health and well being. In the coming weeks I will explore each of these elements and how they are a step forward in recovery from depression. I am not saying that these will be miracles for you, because there is no miracle, there is no cure, we just need to find the right combinations that assist us with feeling better.