Light Into the Darkness


I thought depression had mostly been put behind me. Things were looking up. Reclaiming my life for my complete own was arriving. I was happier than I have been in a long time ever. Having reduced my stress load and been true to my hopes it seemed I had outrun depression. But the little monster was always running behind waiting for me to stop looking over my shoulder so it could sneak up on me.

The brand of depression I wrestle with is far from the worst kind. Mine cycles in and out coming for a few days now and again. Once again I have been reminded there is no cure. All I can do rely on the methods that work to fight it off making its duration as short as possible and its intensity no more than it has to be.

How do I fight depression? Being with people I care about. Reading. Making myself get up and do things. Listening to music. Watching a movie. Taking naps. Spending time outside. Going for a walk. Writing down what I feel. The most important thing is to do something and not just sit and lay around!

Most of the time being depressed sneaks up on me. Something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote describes how my depression comes: “When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”

The greatest weapon I have against being depressed is remembering it only lasts for a little while and passes. If I pay good attention each bout almost always teaches me something.

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better. Ranier Maria Rilke

It feels almost unnatural to attempt to find gratefulness for the depression that is upon me, but in my effort the shadow is already growing lighter just with this writing. I refuse to suffer in secret anymore. As the veil lifts over the next day or two as it always does, I will hold on tightly with gratitude to the knowing that it has been such times that hallowed me to be able to contain the depth of feeling I am capable of.

Don’t think about all those things you fear,
Just be glad to be here.
From the song “Hayling”
by FC Kahuna