Much respect to you for talking about this subject. It’s a very important step - letting it all build up inside is not right. You’re doing the right thing by talking, and it takes a strong person. So, be proud of yourself!
As someone who has had his own share of, well, life basically :) The best advice I can give you is to keep reminding yourself that the dark clouds will pass. It’s just a matter of waiting it out until the storm subsides… depression is not necessarily something you have to manage. Sometimes just acknowledging (which you did) and giving it the space it needs can be enough.
When I get depressed I radically postpone two things: 1 making important decisions, and 2 drawing conclusions about basically anything and everything. Because, in my case, I just came to the realization that, when my thought process becomes cloudy, it will cause my judgement to become really poor. It’s what people mean when they talk about clouded judgement, right? So I just tell people something like: “I’m not able to decide on things right now, but I know that I will be in the future. Please just bear with me.”
And when they ask for how long, I tell them that I don’t know. Because I don’t. So it’ll just have to suffice.
I just want you to know that it is totally okay to ask for space, time, and to let others know that you need some time to let a few things settle down. Even if it’s hard to put to words what those things are. We’re emotional creatures. And sometimes life can become so crammed up that it will make you feel like you’re running a marathon. But, for whom are we running if not for ourselves? So, take the time and the space you deserve. Those who matter won’t mind, and those who do mind don’t actually matter.
Take a few steps back, give yourself a break, let go of goals just for a while and you’ll automatically pick up again when you feel like it. The less you force yourself, the smoother things will go. And from my own experience - the things you will eventually pick up from where you left off will be like smooth sailing compared to before.
My inner voice keeps reminding me of one thing. It keeps telling me to “follow my highest joy.” It’s not always easy to figure out what that highest joy is. And it’s not always easy to accept the answer once I have figured it out. For example. Sometimes that highest joy can be to take a break. It can be difficult to actually accept this as a personal fact. I don’t always want to take a break! I want to master Japanese! Or just tidy up the house. There’s so much I want… it’s never-ending. But I also know now that I had some really useful and restful breaks. We all need 'em. And we all deserve 'em, too. So actually it’s no problemo.
And then I go *sigh*… okay fine. I’ll take that break!
Of course this is all just how I deal with stuff, but I hope that some of what I say can be useful to you as well. Good luck on your journey. And thank you for creating an opportunity for us to share. Hope it doesn’t sound like mumbo jumbo or anything. I’ve learned most of this the hard way. And don’t we all, at some point.