How I Overcame Losing My Job, My Home, And My Husband All In One Year

You already have the cure to overcome; you just need to dive inward to find it.

Depressed woman laying in bed blocking out the light and sound around her Daniel Martinez | Unsplash, Tatiana Terekhina, Todd Niemann, wutzkoh | Canva 

Sometimes life throws us a curveball that we do not see coming, and without a safe place to land, we can find ourselves spiraling into a dark hole of depression. We have no idea what to do or where to turn, especially when what we are feeling is unfamiliar.

The end of a relationship, job loss, moving house, sudden illness, or the death of a loved one can all trigger an episode of depression in an otherwise mentally well person.


Feeling inconsolable grief over a loss that has thrown your life into disarray is part of being human and when you accept your pain as a normal reaction, rather than something to escape, you can start seeing that glimmer of light ahead.

RELATED: A Therapist Shares 10 Things To Do At The First Twinge Of Depression

Last year, life threw me a comet.

I had a breakdown due to three major life events hitting me at once: I lost my job, I lost my husband, and I lost my home.

I felt like I had been sucked out of the vortex of my perfect life and tossed into a world that was cold and bereft of comfort.

Worst yet, I felt like a stranger in my skin. I had become this lost, broken version of myself who could not go back to the life I knew, but could not see the path forward either — forward where forever with my husband was supposed to exist, where now all I could see was an abyss of loneliness waiting for me.


My initial impulse was to numb my pain with anti-depressants, but I knew from previous experience that this was just a band-aid that hindered my emotional resilience and personal growth.

I knew that if I didn’t address the grief or circumstances leading to these traumatic events immediately, I would find myself repeating the same toxic situations again and again, and remaining dependent on medication that would prevent me from living the healthy, courageous life that I deserved.

After all, I was not chronically depressed. My depression was the aftermath of a barrage of stressful events that demanded I pay attention to my discomfort and learn how to be better equipped to cope with loss in the future.

So, where to from here, when your heart is broken, your future unclear and the person staring back at you in the mirror is a stranger?


RELATED: How To Get Through Grief When You're Feeling Hopeless After Losing Someone You Loved

Here are 6 ways to overcome depression after a devastating loss:

1. Do nothing but breathe

Seriously. Do nothing.

I know your anxiety is rampant and you think you need to “do” something to retrieve what you have lost, but the only thing you need to do is heal. Trying to “fix” the situation will only heighten your suffering and cause your self-esteem to plummet even further. Just let it go and breathe.

Observe your thoughts without judgment, cry if you need to, then return your focus to the rhythm of your breath and the sensations in your body that correlate with your inhale and exhale.


This will help you realize that what happened to you is not a confirmation of failure, but rather an affirmation of being human.   

2. Ground yourself

Too often when we suffer a cataclysmic blow, we forget just how resilient we are. The following exercise can help you tap into your innate strength and remind you of your power: Imagine roots growing out of the soles of your feet and deep into the earth. From those roots stands a strong bamboo tree, bending with the wind but unbreakable. You are that tree, being pulled this way and stretched another, but your roots are deep, and you will not be moved. After a few seconds the wind subsides, and you remain standing: strong and unbroken.

3. Engage in self-soothing touch

When a relationship ends, we crave that oxytocin boost that comes with daily hugs from our beloved, and when that physical affection is gone depression will soon make an unwelcome appearance.

Giving yourself a tight hug, rubbing your thighs, walking barefoot on grass, sitting in the warm sun, or stroking an animal’s fur, will not only replicate that affection through the release of oxytocin but will reduce stress and build your emotional resilience as well.




4. Take a cold shower

If you’re like me and do a lot of your thinking (or ruminating) in the shower, then you have likely found yourself suddenly crying as painful memories resurfaced with the flow of the water.

In those moments, I would gently decrease the temperature to cold for one minute. Yes, at first this is uncomfortable, but you find your tears have ceased and you are focused on your breath and the sensation of the cold on your skin, rather than replaying memories better left in the past.

It is also a great way to ignite energy that has been depleted! Remember the joy of being a kid dipping your toes in the cold ocean and running away with a squeal? I do that… in a cold shower!


RELATED: People With Depression Are Sharing Videos Of What It Can Look Like To Outsiders & It Is Not What Most Would Expect

5. Discover new music

My Moroccan ex introduced me to a variety of world music that I fell in love with (naturally, because I loved him). When our relationship ended, I could no longer hear that music because it would transport me back to a romantic night we shared in Agadir, or the chaos of our wedding day.

I had no choice but to discover new music for two purposes: to express my grief for the life left behind, and to find the soundtrack for a new, joyful life.



Music can express emotions that you are too shattered to put into words, becoming a comforting friend that moves you to unapologetic tears with its melody of solidarity.


And those chills you get when you hear a certain tone and suddenly feel too good to sit still? That’s vibrational sound waves triggering the release of dopamine through your bloodstream.

Music became my therapist. When I was too angry to speak, the chaotic sounds of Kim Dracula empowered me, and when I felt good, the smooth voice of Marc Anthony uplifted me.

6. Change your brain

Whatever information you ingest, your brain will change based on the new knowledge. So, wouldn’t it be better to feed your brain information that empowers you, rather than negative self-talk that twists painful memories into a biased view that you deserved what happened to you? If you choose gratitude and self-love as your base, the opportunities for abundance will come.


Daily affirmations and a gratitude journal can help with this. But also, consciously choosing to learn something new daily will bring back a sense of childlike wonder to your life, as well as lead you to new friendships or a whole new career!

If you practice mindfulness and focus on the present, your depression will dissipate. I am not saying you will not have sad days — you are human so of course you will — however, depression will no longer dictate your life and you will find a well of happiness within you instead of seeking outside validation. And all it takes is this first step: let go and breathe.

RELATED: There Are 2 Different Types Of Depression — How Each Sneaks Up On You

Ruth Boukhari is a freelance writer and poet with a Master of Creative Writing Degree from the University of Sydney. Her work has appeared on Tiny Buddha and Inside the Bell Jar’s Mental Health Anthology, We Run Through the Dark Together.