I've struggled with varying degrees of depression and anxiety/stress for about 10 years, including a chronic battle with self-injury. I've been to 3 counselors, over time, the longest for about 6 months.
When I'm feeling badly, I do have to fight with myself to get through a day and pretend to be happy at work, and with my family. It can be difficult. I have not self-injured in several months, but like I said, it is a constant battle to resist such a long depended-upon coping mechanism, and at times I only succeed by telling myself that I would be hurting my husband by hurting myself; I don't even have the strength to resist for my own sake. I don't mean to dwell on this, I only want to illustrate my empathy.
To bring myself out of a really bad funk, I rely on my routine to a degree; keep myself eating healthy (no fast food, that just makes me feel worse physically and emotionally), keep active and exercising (being stagnant reduces my self-esteem and contributes to physical discomfort for me), and to rely on my family for support (asking my husband for a massage, going for a drink with my friends even if I don't want to go). And, of course, meditation, ritual practice, and continuation of my Bardic gwersi help me also. I cannot expect to only experience my spirituality with a happy mind; like my family, it is there to support me through good times and bad.
Journaling helps me somewhat, but I've always been horrible about keeping a journal no matter the topic. If I can remember that it will pass eventually, that I will be ok at a later point, then I can usually get through the period it lasts. This sounds a little defeatist, as though I am resigned to the fact that I am going to feel depressed and there is nothing that I can do about it, but I find being realistic with myself to help. If I entertain dreams of grandeur, imagine that I will one day be entirely free, I will crash harder the next time I wind up feeling bad. Instead, I treat it as anyone with a disease or disorder treats their condition; as a day-to-day part of my life that I have to cope with and treat through pro-active means, to prevent "flare ups," and to acknowledge and responsibly deal with them when they occur, whether that is by home-remedy, therapy, or medication (I have yet to be prescribed medication, happily. I self-manage reasonably well, it seems, and seek out therapists who are loath to dole out pills).
I didn't intend to impart a big sunny rosy picture of "LOLZ YAY YOU CAN DO IT JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
:D:D" because quite frankly, when you're in the middle of it, that sort of stuff is discouraging. To me, at least, because its one more ideal I can't live up to.
That being said, if I am strong enough, then you must be too. You are strong enough to learn how to bring yourself up out of a funk, and when you are not strong enough for that, then you are strong enough to learn how to cope with it and come out a little battered, but intact, on the other side.
If my note has a depressed tone to it, its because I'm going through a rough couple of days at the moment. But I did everything I suggested to you; I did yoga this morning with my husband, I had vegetables and hummus, and homemade tacos with fresh veggies to eat today (admittedly, i'm eating lighter than i should today), I admitted to my hubby and roommate that I'm feeling down, and tonight I'm following through with going out with some workmates to play pool. Despite how I feel right now, I know I will feel better soon, and I just have to tough it out. I'm proud of how I'm handling myself with this bout, to be honest, and that lifts me up even faster!
PM me if you ever need support. I won't lie to you; it is tough. It is tough, but you can do it.