Depression VS Exercise ( Spoiler alert: Exercise wins)
I hesitate to post this, the picture on the left is embarrassing, but if it helps someone, then it will have been worth it.
Exactly 1 year ago today I went to the gym for the first time in over 4 years.I was in the worst shape of my life. Physically and mentally, I felt like death. The perfect storm of a crazy workload, almost no sleep, and a few other things had put me in a terrible mental state. I dreaded every day. I wanted to give up.
I don’t think this makes me special,interesting or different. So many people live with depression...which I suppose is why I’m writing this.
Like many people, depression has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, years ago, my therapist gave me a choice between medication and exercise.
Without hesitation I asked for meds.
He told me that committing to exercise 3 times a week would produce many of the same results as antidepressants. He also warned me that meds could change my personality, and as my personality is what pays the bills, I accepted his challenge….and it WORKED. More or less overnight, my state of my mind changed.
Then...life changed, I picked up more stress and responsibility at work, slept less, and somehow I forgot the lesson I learned. Over the course of 4 years, I slowly slid back into a deep depression, until it was worse than I could ever remember.
Out of sheer desperation, I went back to the gym.
I wish I hadn't waited. The physical differences take time, but again, the mental change happened almost over night.
Last year had even more of the factors that can jump start my depression… but I emerged from it feeling SO much better than I had before. I am kinder to myself and the people around me.
Lots of people are hurting this time of year, and lots of people are looking for change. 1 year in I can tell you it’s possible. Stick with it. You’ve got this.
To clarify, I’m not knocking medication. I’ve seen it produce amazing results in people, but if you are struggling, if you are depressed, please give exercise a try. It’s changed my life twice. Exercise brought me back from a very unhappy place, and I think it might do the same for you.
Exactly 1 year year ago.