The eagerly anticipated episode by Honest Tea Talk – Surviving Depression Part II dropped this week and conversations flowed. It’s pretty hard to find someone who hasn’t been affected by depression and many come to it through their own experiences of tragedy and trauma. One thing is for sure, our journey through it looks and feels different to everyone.

Last week I found myself having a lot of conversations about our experiences, some on the phone, face to face, and on the HTT Facebook page. I felt it triggered some pretty dormant memories and a trip down these memory lanes I can happily say didn’t bring with it the dread and despair it once did.

8 year old nilly at the start of her journey with depression – in a safe house somewhere in SE London in 1992

an interrupted conversation with my older brother, in the summer of 1999 – after a major traumatic event earlier that year

18 year old nilly – homeless and trying hard to hold it together

What intrigued me the most was the reference of one of the HTT ladies referring to a depressed state as being a self inflicted one. I got what she meant immediately but some struggled to and that was interesting to see.

Watch the latest episode:

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Call It

When we have many labels for the struggles we deal with it’s easy to get caught up by the letter of it and can easily find ourselves backed into a corner. Trying to then communicate our struggles and pains can sometimes take on ugly forms, though this is not what we actually mean to cause.

However, for those who are doing the work to understand and overcome depression it’s a welcome change to shift mental gears and observe from another perspective. Can it be debilitating though? Yes and that’s why I felt it was important to reach out and talk about it openly rather than contend with it on my own.

© honest tea talk

You Are Not Alone

One of the most tragic effects of depression is how it can make us feel isolated and hopeless. For whatever reason we attach that to in all its guises. I love how this episode laid out frankly and honestly the impact depression has and the sisters’ advice on what we can do to help ourselves.

Journaling was mentioned and this is a particular favourite of mine. Though not everyone likes to write about their mental state which can be quite scary, I’ve often found this exercise to be pleasantly cathartic.

Telling it like it is since 1942

Give Yourself Grace & Space

It gives us an opportunity to tell our story, face our fears, and make amends with ourselves. The tactileness of writing allows for deliberate self reflection to that part of ourselves that is starved of attention and validation. The right to feel our pain and deal with it is a practice we tend to avoid but can easily remedy if we just write about it. When we do this we can face our difficulties in a safe space and hear ourselves without outsider judgement and interference.

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In saying that, if we’re not careful we can allow our inner meanness to take over and that probably is what prevents us from beginning in the first place. But if you can push that aside, grab your favourite stationery items and sit down in calmness and quiet, you can discover amazing things in the comfort of your own home. Try it and let me know how it goes.

Awareness Leads To Clarity & Action

The HTT sisters also mentioned self awareness and release. This was big for me, these two key practices if done with kindness toward ourselves has the power to release the pain that’s been so integral to our lives for so long. It can bring about the sincerest of tears and healing beyond what is intended which in turn brings so much relief; finding ourselves repeating it over and over again in coming days is so, so worth it.

© honest tea talk

We may not have any control over what happened to cause our depression, but we can learn quickly that we have full say in how it manifests in our lives. We must be positively active to meet ourselves on a level and say with confidence – though not necessarily without fear – that we can and will make better choices that lead to better outcomes In Shaa Allah. This is how we survive depression, this is how we allow it to deepen our empathy and grow stronger from it bi’idhnillah.

Be sure to leave a comment, I’d love to continue this conversation.

Tomorrow HTT’s video will be about SELF LOVE and I am ALL FOR IT!!

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Until then, my friends!