I Still Suffer Through Horrible Days, but Now I Know What Causes Them

To say my battle with depression is behind me would be anything but truthful. I still have bad days, but now I have a much better sense of what causes them….for the most part. You don’t just walk away from depression and slam the door on its clutches. Depression isn’t like that. It’s part psychology, part chemical, part physical and part emotional. For all these elements to be firing in harmony all the time is unrealistic. It’s like waking up one morning and saying to yourself, “I’m not going to have any more bad days, ever”. That’s just not realistic, nor should you have that expectation. It should be, “how do I do a better job of managing the bad days that I have?”.

When I first started suffering from symptoms of depression, I let depression control me and not try to take control of my depression. My behaviour created an environment for depression to thrive. I likely did not feel like exercising. Therefore I wouldn’t. Perhaps, I was more content with binge-watching Netflix than going out for a walk. There were days that I’d eat crappy processed foods, loads of sugar, carbs and gluten. I’d hang out in bed or on the couch all day. I would break my regular regiment of good habits and behaviours for those that didn’t necessarily serve me well. And I have news for you, and bad habits are a lot easier to adapt than good, healthy ones.

What’s a Bad Day Feel Like?

Some people admittedly don’t understand what it feels like to have feelings of being depressed. Covid has given many of those people a truer sense of what it’s like, but many people are experiencing situational depressive symptoms.

Many people who have never suffered from depression can get easily frustrated with people like me. I don’t intentionally set out to be lethargic, sad or unable to get my usual workload accomplished is what those individuals don’t understand. In fact, I probably try not to let on that I have a bad day to try and compensate for it.

A bad day for me feels like looking to take any shortcut I can take. It feels like I have a weight tethered to my neck. As a result, I lack motivation, usually battle lethargy and fall victim to procrastination. It means allowing my “Labrador” brain to take over for my Human brain. Our Labrador brain is a fight or flight response to things going on in our lives. It can mean giving into cravings, making poor decisions and feeling like you don’t possess any willpower.

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Chris Coulter

Chris Coulter

Entrepreneur. Mental health advocate. Survivor. CEO of The Finish Line Group. Executive Director of How Are You Feeling.org