I think Karen has already given you some good advice & it was really nice for Gizzy to post how she could relate (btw, Welcome, Gizzy to Healing Well!).
I would add that, at least in my experience, that it is always a fight to keep those negative thoughts from taking over my mind. With practice, it has gotten easier to fight them, but it still requires effort. I think of it like participating in a sport. Let's say you play tennis. It is really hard when you first start to learn. You are tired & sore after every practice. Maybe you want to give up sometimes b/c it is so hard & exhausting, but you can choose to push on -- to grow stronger & to learn more plays that will help you become more successful. As you get better, it does get easier to do certain moves & many days you might not be as sore as you were when you first began, but there are still bad days. There are days when you are fighting sickness or injury & you need to back off, but if you stop practicing altogether, you will get weaker & it will be harder to play. There are days when you compete against a really strong, skilled opponent & you lose a match. But by not giving up & keeping to a practice schedule, you are bound to start winning more matches.
Fighting depression is a lot like that. When I first decided to start fighting the negative, depressing, harmful thoughts going through my head, it was really hard. I wanted to give up. Sometimes I would give up. But ultimately, I decided to keep practicing thinking positive thoughts -- saying to myself that I wanted to live, that it was worthwhile to fight, that things would get better. As I practiced saying those things in my head (& sometimes when I was alone, out loud), it got easier & easier to change my thoughts into positive ones. There were days where I was fighting physical sickness or dealing with a lot of bad circumstances, and I would stop fighting. I would give up for a while, and when I decided I wanted to go back to thinking positive thoughts again, it was harder to do so for a while. But I know I don't want to give in to the depression. My life was much worse off when I wasn't even trying. So, I choose to keep fighting those thoughts, even when it is hard. It's easier now than when I first started, but I still have a lot to learn. There are more "exercises" that I want to learn -- visualization (picturing happy memories or good future events in my mind) or positive "self-talk" (telling myself that things will work out, that I am strong, that I can do just about anything) or organizing my life more with good routines (getting up at the same time every day, accomplishing certain tasks, fitting in prayer & meditation, taking time to set goals & reflect on how I am starting to accomplish them, and going to bed at a regular time). And as I learn more of those, I know that I will get stronger & better at beating this depression.
I hope that helps some. We all wish that it was easier to beat depression, but with practice it does get less hard. Hang in there & keep posting here. I & other members will help as much as we can.
Moderator -- Depression Forum