Probably one of the biggest struggles I have faced when dealing with depression, particularly after my sister's incident, is the motivation to get out and do things.
I go to work just fine, but making plans? Forget it. I can come up with every reason imaginable to cancel. Not because I don't WANT to do things, but more because the idea of following through is exhausting to me, for whatever reason.
It is very easy to retreat into my shell. Stay in my protective bubble otherwise known as my house. But lately, I have made the effort to break through the anxiety it causes, and really DO something. Sure, it's a challenge, but I am finding the rewards are great.
For instance, Jay and I started playing on our church softball team. First off, I don't play softball. I don't play ANYTHING (and no, this is not depression related. I am not an athlete AT ALL) so signing up to do this was WAYYYYYY out of my safety net. You know what, though? We have a blast! Our team, to put it nicely, sucks, but I bet we have more fun out there than any other team. The people on the team are so encouraging, and we laugh SO much. I've also met some new friends through this adventure as well. Sure, every practice and every game, I have to literally FORCE myself to get ready and go. But once I am there, all my worries go away. It's wonderful.
Another great example is we have met some friends from church. They have kids that are older than our kids, but we have such a good time with them. They are very laid back, like we are, and between the four of us, we have stories galore. Their teen daughter dotes on Allison, and Allison equally adores her. Normally Allison won't go with anyone other than her parents, or her grandparents. When she sees Amanda, though? "Where's 'Manda? Can I go with 'Manda?" We never leave Amanda without her first french braiding Allison's hair. It is so cute, and really warms my heart.
Our new friends have a son who is quite severely autistic. He is the sweetest child, and full of happiness. This is one of the first times my kids have really been around someone with a developmental challenge, so it does confuse them sometimes, but they listen so well when we explain things to him, and I truly believe they don't see him as being different or strange. They see him as the boy who loves to play in the water and dance around (especially if the dancing involves spinning in circles). They ask me questions, but they are GREAT questions, and it really opens up the door for talk about loving everyone, regardless.
Overcoming depression is like trying to tear down a brick wall with no tools. But the satisfaction that comes with it when you DO make the steps to regain control are so worth it,