The thing about depression is that it’s like a bottomless pit. The worse you feel, the worse you feel. And as we get older we become more aware of the passage of time and all the things in our life that have gone wrong. The loss of loved ones, past hurts and mistakes and roads not taken cause us to feel the deepest of regrets. Dealing with grief, resentment and life’s curve balls can knock the wind out of you. Before you know it, you’re depressed. You get upset easily, don’t want to socialize and just want to numb your pain. I get it.

I’ve been through depression. I know that for me, the single most prevalent thought I had was that nobody loved me and why care about myself if nobody cared about me? I know in the light of day that seems like crazed thinking but it’s pretty much what people who are depressed feel; helpless, sad, hurt and pathetic.

When I was depressed all I wanted to do was eat mountains of ice cream and cry. I never really thought about or considered the possibility that the gallons of sugar I was consuming may have contributed to my negative emotions. I was more concerned with feeling ashamed of the weight gain and was mortified carrying around an extra 35 pounds.

As I’ve mentioned in the past broadcasts, I now see my depression as the gift it was. After pulling myself out of the hole using all the tools I knew, I was able to see life in a totally different way. No more poor, poor me, Victim Andrea. But I had to realize that I needed to make changes to get healthier, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m doing healthy my way.

Now self-care and taking time for myself is at the very top of my list, because I’ve learned that the best way to avoid depression is to take steps to prevent it.

I snapped a photo of my stuffed artichokes cooking to show you that you’re worth taking the time to do for yourself whatever will make you feel better in the long run. Perhaps, you too can relate to looking for quick fixes and hoping that there’s a magic pill out there somewhere. But you are your own rescuer. It’s up to you to pull yourself up and out of the tough times. Say it with me. “I’m worth it.”

I often say “I’m worth it” to myself to get grounded in the awareness that this is my truth. I’m worth taking the time every day to meditate. I’m worth making the choice to say what I want. I’m worth asking for more and better of myself. And you are too.

Changing my eating has become a tremendous piece of the equation that keeps me feeling healthier and happier. That’s why I took several days to slowly prepare the stuffing for these artichokes. On Monday I went shopping and bought all the fresh ingredients: the picture-perfect spinach, fragrant oregano, aromatic parsley, lemons, capers and, garlic.

When I got home, I cleaned all the veggies and started chopping and dicing the garlic and herbs as I steamed my spinach. Then I added the cooked spinach and the rest of the ingredients to a bowlful of fresh bread crumbs, sprinkling liberal amounts of olive oil and squeezing the zesty lemon juice.

Because I was too tired to deal with the artichokes, I perfected the seasoning for the stuffing and did a test batch on some fresh peppers. They were heavenly! Today I had more time so I cleaned and prepped the artichoke, cutting across each of the prickly leaves to remove the sticky tips. When that was done, I painstakingly stuffed each of the leaves. Now they’re steaming gently on low. I’ve been babysitting those artichokes for over 2 hours. Every 10 minutes or so I check on them making sure that all is well. Altogether I’d say that my decision to make artichokes for myself has been an investment of time in the amount of about 6 hours.

During my depression I felt sad and anxious most of the time. When I was still for any length of time, I was consumed with a littany of negative thoughts, so I spent as much time as I could sleeping. I just wanted relief from hurting so much. Ice cream was my drug of choice. My point is.. depression sucks.

The takeaway here in my message is that You Are Worth It! But if you’ve been depressed, depression will cloud your thinking and fool you into believing that you’re not. I want to help you so that you’ll do whatever you can to enrich and enjoy your life so you can make your big comeback. Why Because …You’re worth it!

If you or a loved one struggles with depression and anxiety, and it affects you, please take a few minutes to fill out my latest survey. Check it out below: