I have been in and out of depression many times and it almost led me to end my life. More than once. Now, when I see signs of slipping back into it, I take charge. The benefit of being so familiar with depression is this: I know when it starts cycling. I know what it looks like and where it leads. It’s not a good place. When I recognize it, I get to work before it does its work on me.
Essentially, it is the disease of the mind. Depression can be clinical and it is also a part of the grieving process, which needs to be honored. This post is for those who are depression-prone. It is meant to remind you of your power to fight it.
Depression is a yarn full of lies that we get caught up in. We let our false stories run amok and believe in the lies about ourselves and the world that the mind spits out like a tennis ball machine. Then we know that our mind is infected. When we catch a virus (the flu), we take antibiotics, cough syrup, Echinacea, etc., we eat chicken soup and rest as part of the recovery process. We take action towards our desired goal: to be infection-free. We don’t just sit there and take it. We fight the virus. When the mind is infected, we feel like we have no control over it. But we do. Especially if we catch it early enough.
The solution I found for depression is meeting my depressive thoughts with truth.
We don’t usually pay attention to what we tell ourselves. Every thought we have is a lie or a truth. Freedom from depression is about being able to tell the difference. Have you ever written down your thoughts when you’re depressed and read them when you are not depressed? I have. I could then see the lies glaring at me. I could see evil at its best and how well it had camouflaged its iron fist in a velvet glove.
The truth is: life supports us. All of us. We get depressed when we don’t participate in that support. We cut our own connection by thinking, “I can’t do this”, I am no good”, “My thighs are too fat for anyone to love me”, “I will never get out of this pattern”, etc… We wait for someone else to come in and rescue us from its grip. We forget that we are in charge. If you can’t catch it early enough, it will be like cancer. It will kill your joy. It will steal the glow in your aura and tuck it in its back pocket. You will watch it walk away with it with that malicious smirk on its face.
Depression feels snuggly. It feels like protection from the pain of the world. From failure. From disappointment. It envelopes you like it is your best friend. It feels like it’s holding your hand while dragging you to the sewer where the evil clown lives. Maybe Steven King wrote about depression when he penned “It”. He wrote about how it throws our weaknesses in our face to hypnotize us and makes us believe that we can never overcome them. Depression is a liar. It is a professional liar. The only way to beat it is with the truth.
Last time I saw it circling around me like a shark when my defenses of joy were down, I literally stood up and said out loud, “You will not get me this time. I don’t believe you. You pretended to be my friend but you weren’t. I am on to you, little booger. You can’t fool me. Not anymore”. My Inner Warrior pulled out her sword faster than I have ever seen her do. This time it was me with an evil smirk on my face.
I met all the lies it was telling me with TRUTH.
“You will struggle again and probably will end up homeless”
“No, I won’t. I will get a job if I have to. I have skills, as you already know. So, shut up about it”
“You won’t find a man who doesn’t trigger your deepest wounds”