When my friends see I'm unusually chipper after being depressed for so long

I found my cure by pure luck. My dad invited me to bicycle across the country with him over the last summer. Despite not being athletic by any stretch I agreed, still not really sure why I did, but it changed everything. It forced me to eat healthy, follow a strict schedule, and exercise a ton every single day for three months. I noticed near the end of the trip that I hadn't even thought about suicide the whole time - not that I ever considered it seriously, more along the lines of "I wouldn't really care if I keeled over tomorrow". When I got back home things started to fall apart again. So I started looking to see which elements of the summer were having this effect on me.

The answer of course was the diet, exercise, and schedule. I still eat tons of unhealthy stuff, but now I also make sure to eat some veggies too. I go to the gym 2-3 times a week, which isn't a lot but I found it's all I need. And I started going to bed a 9 on weekdays and waking up at 6, I break that rule every friday night, but force myself to start again on Sunday night.

I've come to like certain parts of it -coffee and book in the morning before work, improvement in the gym, and okay nothing about the diet. I generally still don't want to do any of these things but I make myself now, and have been -well not happy, but definitely not depressed.

It's the advice everyone gives, and always feels like bullshit, especially because you have to do it for months before seeing the payoff. And even once you get the payoff it can take a while before you notice. I remember the day I realised that I was completely over it more vividly that almost anything. I hadn't even known I was depressed until that moment, but I have controll over my life again, and all I had to do was give up the few things I thought I could controll.

If anybody who reads this is going through depression right now or just feels like they don't have any control over their life please consider doing these three things. I can't promise that it will help, but I hope it will. Do it for three months, force yourself every day, give up parts of your social life, only decaf coffee after 2 pm so you can get to sleep by 9, no parties on weeknights, find a time to go to the gym on tuesdays and thursdays, and spend an hour or more there, eat a fucking salad twice a week. It can have chicken and bacon and be drenched in ranch, you're not trying to lose weight, just make sure you get the nutrients in. Do all of this for three months and put something on your calendar to remind you to think about if it has made a difference, because if you're anything like me you will probably have forgotten how much it sucks to be depressed and fall back into the same situation.

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