A New Look at Depression

I would not have expected that being depressed off and on for years would be a gift.  In my early thirties, when my doctor asked me if I had thoughts of hurting myself the dam broke. I had indeed thought of suicide. Yet there was a tiny something deep down that squeaked out, "Just keep going."  

After understanding that this perceived weakness was a chemical imbalance, I stopped feeling guilty for being depressed. When I would occasionally hit the bottom of the emotional roller coaster, that tiny voice began to offer alternatives: "Just go for a walk." or "Just write down what you want from today." "Just talk to someone honestly." "This won't last forever."

I tried medications until I found some that helped. I started sifting through all the parts of my life, eliminating unnecessary stress and making bold decisions. It felt like leaping off the high dive without knowing how much water was in the pool.

It turns out that I was already in the water and just didn't know it.

The tiny voice that once whispered encouragement has become much more present. It still doesn't bluster or shout, but it speaks thunderous truths nonetheless.

I still haven't magically cured the misfiring neurons in my brain either, but I have a long list of dependable solutions that the real me offers at the most desperate moments.  

The real me - the compassionate, intense, inquisitive, wild, wolf-like woman - knows she is worthy of joy and must use that thought as the driving force behind her actions.

People close to me have begun to ask if I'm okay. I love them for being vigilant and for speaking up.

My response has surprised people:

Yes, I have been depressed, but I am sitting with it and learning from it. I know it won't last forever. I have tools and protocols that I lean on when the lights dim and the chilly, bleak cloak of sadness curls itself around my shoulders.

it creeps in around you

it steals a little of your air

before you realize what's happening, you have been suffering for days

it can make you physically ill

you're exhausted, but can't necessarily sleep

Carbon monoxide is not the only "silent killer".  

About 98% of the time, I am something other than depressed, but when it happens, it can consume everything.

These are the things I say to myself when I'm in too deep:
  • You are Enough.
  • Joy will be here waiting on the other side of this obstacle.
  • You are deeply Loved.
  • Release the image of what you thought this was supposed to look like, because this is what it actually looks like.
  • Are you breathing?
  • Read a book.
  • Sit with yourself and do a body check. Are you holding stress anywhere?
  • Get outside.
  • Clean something.
  • Do something nice for someone else.
  • Write something.
  • Eat some greens.
  • Remember that you will pull out of this. It won't last forever.


I would love to hear what you think!