When tough times or depression come around, many people turn to substances to cope and heal. In reality, this only makes the problems worse. I like to use the analogy that turning to substances to heal issues is like putting a transparent screen in between you and your problems. You can still see your problems, but not fully because the screen is there. When the feeling from the substance go away, your problems are back in front of you.
The best way to resolve depression is through facing it head on. As hard as it can be, this is the only solution. We must face our demons and not let them defeat us. A great way to do this is by seeking counseling or therapy. These are people who will sit and listen to you and try their best to understand you. They will also help guide you to different ways of solving whatever issue you are going through. The best thing about counseling/therapy is that everything that is discussed must be kept confidential, so you don’t have worry about being deceived by anyone.
Another great way to face depression head on is to build a small support group. This could be a group of friends or family members that will listen to you vent and provide emotional support to you. You want to have at least five people in this support group so that you have a different perspective on things, as well as different options in case one person isn’t available.
The worst thing you can do to yourself is isolation. When you isolate yourself from people, you tend to turn to substances. This happens because isolation can force you to think about your issues and make you want to pick up a bottle or blunt. If you plan to stay away from people to fix your issues, I recommend finding a hobby outside of your home that you actually enjoy doing. In-home hobbies can be helpful as well, just make sure there aren’t any temptations around you.
When faced with depression, it is best to stay busy as much as you can while making small steps to fixing your issues as time go by. Set realistic goals. Don’t tell yourself, “I’m going to quit drinking for good”, after you’ve been drinking every day for the past 3 years. Instead, say something such as, “I‘m going to cut back on drinking day by day until I no longer feel the need to.” This is a realistic goal.
If you or someone you know are going through depression, IT WILL SUBSIDE. Just take it one day at a time, find new hobbies, build a support group, and set small attainable and realistic goals. It is not an overnight process, and it will be hard, but with dedication and perseverance, YOU CAN DO IT!