So, kind of off/on topic tonight. Off because I hadn’t planned to write about this subject and on because it’s a theme I’ve talked about a lot. Depression.
Earlier today I saw a Facebook post from a friend who struggles with major depression’s ugliness. It’s a struggle I’m very familiar with as you know. His intellect is big and his story different, however. The mere fact that he’s a he separates us from aspects of coping with the issue. What is the same, I learned today, is how we react to broad sweeping platitudes about our handling of the disease. We lean toward anger when served generalizations from perhaps well-intentioned but radically misinformed people. So please do not take offense at the following brief tutorial.
Sadness is NOT depression. I’ve written this before. Sadness, feelings of lethargy and even propensities to morbidity might well lead into an episode, but believe me when I tell you, depression is not grief, or a few weepy days. It is much more.
Thankfully, talking about it is happening. We have some decent and effective treatments available, too. Thing is, some of the archaic thinking hangs on. These behaviours we now call illnesses have been viewed as embarrassing and self-contrived for generations with many holding to the belief that a snap of a finger or a walk in the sunshine will eradicate depression. Not so, say I. Furthermore, advising simple fixes denigrates the sufferer enforcing self-inflicted guilt. Yes, depressed people carry tons of guilt, and shame, and misery when they are actually feeling things, that is.
For years I went through the motions of feelings. Except for the stuff I listed above I knew few others. Not really. I know now what good feelings are like and I have to tell you, I’m stupefied by the realization that I wandered around like a robot for a healthy part of six decades. I’m very grateful I did because it’s eye-opening. I’m more grateful still that I can function a bit more ‘normally’ now. But what am I getting at? This: a depression, the serious kind, can take you so far from yourself, so far into another realm of despair that feeling anything is preferred to the numbness. You see, there’s little to nothing there. Just the throbbing persistent gloom.
But hey, there’s hope nowadays. There are great meds and some ever greater doctors around helping people hang on until tomorrow. And that’s all that matters. One day becomes two and so on.
So, I can almost hear a few of you gasping about the meds comment. Well, you know how I wrote above about guilt? This subject of medication is frustrating for a lot of peeps struggling with some form or other of mental disease and making anyone feel guilty for taking anti-psychotic or mood stabilizing medication is wrong. Very wrong.
I believe without doubt in the power of the mind to heal. I also believe that I chose my depression and attracted everything in my life right up to this second. That I was not completely aware of those facts years ago is true. That I was so deeply buried in the disease that I would be dead now had I not sought help and faithfully taken my medication is also true. But I’ve told you all this. Why am I repeating myself? As a gentle reminder.
We are all beings connected to the same source. We are spirits in these bodies constructing our reality. Each of us is living his or her own individual perfect journey. We are learning and growing, expanding our awareness with each breath. We are doing what we need to do – for our individual perfect life to unfold. Are we done? Of course not. We’ve a ways to go. It’s pretty clear we’ve work to do. Just look around. But it’s like when we fall down, we stand up, yeah? If we’ve scraped our knee, we might need a bandage because although we are energy and pretty capable, we’re not quite evolved enough to heal instantaneously. Not yet. So we need to keep trying to heal ourselves in whatever way is offered until the day comes when we know how automatically.
So my wish tonight is for us to better understand that things are not always as they seem. I certainly like to think my way is the only one, but I’d be wrong. You know that. When I catch myself in that somewhat arrogant frame of mind, I try to remember that I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m then reminded there are often times lots of solutions to the same problem. We humans are diverse. And we are all trying our best. We just need to remember that.