Depression is described in the dictionary as being ‘low in spirit; downcast’. What it actually feels like is a cloud of lead particles which settle on the soul.
It is the heaviest weight we are ever going to feel. It is also the most stubborn of feelings which can drive us to insanity. It sears the very essence of us and dirties our vision. It has the lightness of a gas cloud but the weight of a concrete overcoat. It seeps into every crevice of our being.
When we are depressed we can't be bothered with our own potential.
We can't lift our heads enough to see that we have true value in the world. We can't give ourselves in close relationships because we become absent in the company of those we love.
We care less about how we look or we overdo it when we go out to act as a mask to the world. We stumble through our day trying to find some meaning to the feelings that ravage us. We lose our motivation to pursue our true vocation and in doing so, compromise our soul on the way.
We feel like victims – buffeted by the rough winds of life. We cannot grasp onto anything that is solid in order to pull ourselves out of the storm. Either we see nothing but unfairness or we stoop to martyrdom and believe we deserve nothing better. We have lost our sense of reason and we are unable to take an objective view on our circumstances and address what is fact and what is fiction.
And, don’t be fooled by those of people who are deemed a ‘success’. Many ‘successful’ people are on the run – running away from their own depression and trying to escape the darkness by making enough money or becoming well known so that the trappings will cushion them from their distress.
But, the pain pursues them with inches to spare. The faster they run, the faster it runs. There is the old adage ‘When I get there, then I will be happy’ but, we never arrive. This thinking is a one way track to disaster.
The problem with depression is that it does not allow us to stand still. We either get worse or we get better. We are never static unless we are medicating our feelings.
One common symptom of depression is mood swings. We can go from feeling ecstatic to feeling suicidal in minutes. We are used to the highs and lows. We thrive on them to give meaning to the day. But, this thinking exasperates the depression by keeping us in a high state of anxiety. When the process of recovery from depression begins, it can seem as though nothing is happening and it may be because we have stopped the backward drag.
The fastest route to recovery is the hardest route. It involves dedication and exertion without props. It involves giving up and letting it go. It requires us to acknowledge we have hit rock bottom.
There are many ways to tackle depression and to help us move forward but the most powerful approach is to turn around and face it head on.
This will be the beginning of a change that will resonate for the rest of your life. You will look back and be excited about hitting this point.
I look back and see that I would never have reached this point of restoration, excitement, hope, strength and joy
had I not hit that point of no return.
Restoration is available to anyone who embarks upon recovery from depression with a sense of determination and the best place to set that determination alight is when we have hit the lowest point- our ‘rock bottom’.
It would be a missed opportunity for us not to hit our rock bottom; when we have been there, we know we can face anything as hitting our the rock bottom dispels our fears that we shall never survive because we already did.