At some point in the past year or so, I shared the above quotation on my Facebook page. At the time I posted it, I completely believed it to be true. You see, I had this gratitude thing down pat. If I just focused on all the things in my life I have to be thankful for, it didn’t leave space or energy to be bothered by the negative. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When depression hits it is relentless. It doesn’t care about the rose-colored glasses you have on. It completely ignores the shift in mindset that you worked so hard to create. It couldn’t care less about the cute lists you made of all the things you are thankful for. It comes in like a monster from a dark sci-fi novel and with one fell swoop, knocks you to the bottom of a deep, dark, rocky cavern. It laughs at you as you attempt to climb towards the light, only to be smacked down again. You learn that it’s just easier to exist in the darkness and so that’s what you do.
If you are one of the lucky ones, you go about your daily life like nothing is wrong. Somehow you manage to get out of bed every morning and fool everyone into believing that you are okay. Life goes on around you but you are stuck in a repetitive rut and no matter how hard you try, you can’t climb out of that dark cavern. Sadly, no one around you can tell that there is something wrong.
If you aren’t so lucky, you become paralyzed down in that cavern. Life goes on around you and no one can figure out why you are standing still. Maybe the whispers are true; you’re just lazy or scared or weak. Maybe you’ve just given up. It certainly feels that way, so maybe it’s true.
Clinical depression is completely different from the feeling of depression you had when you were 16 and the love of your life cheats on you. Clinical depression is an illness that can’t be cured simply by focusing on positive things. If anything in the post sounds familiar to you, if you or someone you know is in the bottom of that deep, dark, rocky cavern, it’s time to get help. It’s time to find the light.
This was written in response to today’s blog prompt, “Hopeful”.