For people who are struggling with depression, it often becomes difficult to know what is ‘normal’.  When we are working with people who have been dealing with depression for a long time, they can suddenly start to feel ‘good’ again and even start to experience longer moments of feeling happy.  Then they wake up one morning and feel ‘down’ again.  And this can be alarming because they can feel like all their progress has come undone and they are back to where they were.  What helps is re-learning what is ‘normal’ for us as human beings (which someone who has been depressed for a long time has forgotten).  Even the most happiest among us are going to have moments, hours, or even days, or longer periods of time when life can seem difficult to cope with, overwhelming, and we can feel negative about that.

Because life is a series of moments experienced, influenced by many external factors as well as internal ones, it is normal to have periods of time when we feel ‘up’, feel ‘good’ and ‘happy’, but this means that the reverse is also going to be true – life being the roller coaster that it is (of experiences as well as emotions) we are going to have times when we feel ‘down, feel ‘bad’ and ‘unhappy’.

We help our clients to manage the ups and downs of what is normal life, by teaching them tools that can help them to ride out those unhappy ‘down’ times.  When we talk with our clients about this, we say that we cannot promise that they are never going to feel down again (and this is not realistic anyway), however, what we can work on is being ‘ok’ most of the time, regardless of those external and internal influences.  Being ok most of the time is a realistic endeavour which actually really helps those that have not felt even ‘just ok’ for a very long time, to accept the ups and downs of life.