Depression is a disorder that is evidenced by excessive sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable things, and low motivation. It can get overwhelming to handle, especially in an environment where the condition is frowned upon. However, there are a range of ways that one can deal with depression. While they may not instantly elevate one’s mental health, they will definitely be stepping stones to recovery.
Faith, a florist from BloomBack, a Singapore-based social enterprise, was once diagnosed with depression, which she describes as one of the darkest times of her life. In an attempt to elevate Faith’s mood and cheer her up, her sister decided to surprise her with flowers from her friend’s wedding one day. Together, they repackaged the flowers into little bouquets and gave them away to elderly.
This small act of kindness eventually evolved into a social movement to repurpose flowers and have them distributed to various beneficiaries. Faith gained happiness and hope through this, which made a positive impact on her mental health. She now humbly shares with us her take on depression and how she overcame it with 5 tips.
There are many things in life that cause stress, worry, and unhappiness such as relationships, career and health. Due to her disabilities and a subsequent failed marriage, Faith tended to be hostile and held grudges easily, which took a toll on her mental health.
However, as Faith continued participating in volunteering activities at BloomBack, she realised that she could make someone’s day with the power of flowers. Such activities distracted her from her otherwise gloomy life and allowed her to see things from a different perspective. She found happiness in simple acts of giving back to the community.
People battling depression often feel like they are unworthy, unloved, and consider themselves to be a burden to those around them, and Faith was no exception. When these thoughts overwhelmed her, she felt broken and refused to confide in anyone.
Faith was arranging roses one day when it occurred to her that despite having thorns, roses are very much loved by people from all walks of life. This proved to her that there will always be people who will look past her flaws and accept her as someone with a bright personality.
Learning to accept her shortcomings and embracing herself was crucial in her recovery. Understanding that she was precious, valuable, and unique helped her to gain more confidence and strive to become a better version of herself.
Guard Your Heart
Faith used to be easily affected by her surroundings and would hurt herself if she felt that she was unable to defend herself. Upon coming across the quote, “do something today that your future self will thank you for”, she knew she had to make a decision then to have a better future.
She decided to stay away from things that she knew would leave her heartbroken and kept her distance from toxic people who were unable to bring out the best in her. She took a break from social media for some time and also rejected things that affected her emotions. “Making this decision was not easy for me. But I knew that these small steps will eventually lead me to the right path to guard my heart”.
Everyone has challenges of different sorts that will test our emotional mettle. Instead of turning away from challenges, Faith decided to face them no matter how physically, mentally and emotionally draining they were.
“Challenges were present in almost every aspect of my life due to my visual impairment coupled with depression. But I embraced each one of them as they allowed me to gain more knowledge and enhance my skill set. I grew stronger and was ready for all the opportunities life was offering me”.
For someone like Faith who had been withdrawn from society for years, she was struggling to get things done and fulfil the so-called “normal” expectations set for her. As a result, minor issues could upset her easily.
Once, while arranging a bouquet of 99 roses, thorns pricked her hand over and over again. She ended up crying and felt like giving up. But her inner voice told her, “what are you going to do if you give up? Back to your old life? Never again. I want to see a new me”. Faith didn’t know what was in store for her but she realised that she can do her best and wait patiently. She knew that there will definitely be light at the end of the tunnel. She kept her faith alive, even if it was as small as a mustard seed.
During her journey to recovery, there were numerous trials and errors. The emotional roller coaster ride shaped her to become who she is today. She says, “looking back, I would have never imagined that I could overcome my challenges and be a strong and confident individual. I have transformed beautifully”.