To a brilliant, bummed out friend in college.

I’ve been depressed all week, really bad. I could barely finish my stuff before deadline. So yeah, I’m feeling you. The act of being depressed just makes you more depressed, because you can see where you need to go, just not how to get there, and you feel worse for not being able to make the jump.

College also — here we go with the lecture — is always depressing when it’s cold outside, by the way, because everybody’s routine is thrown off and you don’t “run into people” to have dinner with or whatever, so you think that everybody’s off having fun without you. It’s weird how suicidal that can make you. I still remember it, like it was yesterday, and it still hurts, like it’s happening. But the truth is that they’re not off without you — they’re depressed and suicidal and feeling left out too, somewhere. Once I figured that out, it wasn’t half so bad. We even talked about it and everybody felt better.

The only thing I’ve noticed that helps is by doing something to shock yourself out of the thinking-thinking-thinking cycle. For me it’s people — overcoming my “natural” need to be alone with my pain like some kind of wounded animal and FORCING myself to hang out somewhere away from home. Hopefully there’s coffee and chocolate involved. Barring that, I watch awesome movies that cheer me up: Mean Girls, Bring It On, and Cruel Intentions are the main ones.

First, though, you have to do a little spell, to break out: you have to go. Just go somewhere, anywhere. Down to the little store to buy some chips. No matter how shitty it is outside, you have to go outside and do one thing. It doesn’t matter what that thing is. You do all kinds of cute things all the time, you can’t help it. Do one now. Make a snow angel, or go buy instant cake mix and bring it back and make cake for everybody.

Just go, and when you come back, turn on every light in the place and some music. You don’t feel like dancing? Sit on the floor with all the lights on and the music playing. Light a fragrant candle. Anything to upset the balance and make it different. Your senses have equated your bedroom with the horrible feeling, so you can’t get away from that without changing the scenario.

Listen to your body: are you tired? Hungry? So much of depression is your body making you feel like a jerk, and that’s easy to deal with. Just go down the list and check things off, and then remedy the situation as far as you can. It’ll get you so much closer to the jump.

Also, it’s the only time I get around reading my friend Sars’ daily advice column, The Vine. Check it out — it’s like a cold glass of water. It takes the edge off and reminds you of what’s really important.

Anyway, you’re darling, and I care deeply for you. You know that but it’s worth mentioning.

I’m putting this in my journal so I can remember it easier when I need to. Maybe my blog too.

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