It isn’t just a little sadness that comes and goes. It’s more like a black hole that sucks out the life inside you. Your personality, your ambition, your mind-body, and soul feel entirely useless and defeated. It’s not easy to explain to others what’s going on when you don’t even understand all of it yourself, right?
If you suffer from depression, I get you. I’ve been there, I am there. I know how alone you can feel at times. I know how hard it is to search for strength in the depths of your soul some days just to get to work, socialize and put on that fake smile you hate seeing yourself wear. I know what it’s like to look at people who are genuinely happy and envy that feeling because you want nothing more than to feel that happiness too.
We’re incredibly strong and resilient to battle such a strong illness, day in and day out. There are so many benefits to living with Depression. But we will hardly ever recognize these strengths of ours or the benefits we can gain during periods of depression. Instead, we feel a strong sense of hopelessness and loneliness and eventually, we get comfortable with self-sabotaging habits. Habits like isolating ourselves because we fear that nobody will understand. We stop doing things we love and pursuing our interests because we’ve lost our motivation.
But through my own experience of walking in the valley of darkness for many years, eventually, I know that the feeling of Depression always lifts. It might not be overnight, or even for a few months. It will lift, though. And you know what makes Depression easier?
When we realize not to personally identify ourselves with Depression. Depression isn’t you. It’s normal, it’s an emotion and experience that you are going through, but it’s not what makes you unique. It’s not your personality nor the characteristics you carry. It’s an experience that will eventually expire and one that is essential in life.
Just like night time turns into day and just like winter turns into spring and then summer again; depression will lift. It’s temporary. We have to have faith that on the other side of that pain is something so very, very good.
Depression is essential because every time we have a bout with depression, we come out a different person. We have different ways of looking at things, we are doing different things. We become aware. We want to see the opportunities that identify with us instead of falling into a downward spiral and dealing with what’s happening to us.
Depression is a feeling we just want to escape when it’s present, it’s a hole we just want to step out of. But Depression, pain, fear, disillusion– they’re a part of life and a part of life that builds a stronger, better version of you!
The thing that keeps us living is a sense of future and the next time Depression tries telling you the future isn’t there– Let’s show up, get up, gear up. Let’s confront and fight those feelings. Because it’s possible to put yourself together after you’ve been broken down, we do it with the courage inside of us every time we’re battling depressive episodes. It’s not easy, it’s going to be hard. It always is hard. But that’s what life is; hard.
And you know what? You’re strong. You have a purpose, this depression is a stop in your journey; remember that it’s not your final destination. Instead, it’s here to elevate you, to bring you adversities that will transform you and challenge you to believe in yourself more than you ever have before. Why? Because once you prioritize yourself, the rest will fall into place.
No, happiness doesn’t pay the bills. But happiness brings more energy and that energy can be used to change the world, to do great things you never would’ve done before if you hadn’t had experience that taught you the way. That’s the bright side of Depression.
All those times I thought people were insensitive when they’d tell me to go for a walk, think more positive, “it’s all in your mind”— I’d want to roll my eyes and whisper to myself you don’t understand. But once I stripped away my ego and negative thoughts– I saw that they were just simply stating that they still believed in me.
People still believe in YOU. They need you. Remember, Life needs you. Depression can become your greatest teacher if you learn to look for the lessons it’s bringing.
Until next time,