Friday, October 28, 2016

Escaping the Pull of Depression

I love how my daughter uses her creativity to deal with depression. I was listening to her song the other night and was struck by these lyrics:

What's this weight on your chest?
Why is it hard to get dressed?
Fighting chemicals inside your head.
Always up till midnight
All you got is moonlight
Makes you wish you had the sun instead

I am deeply saddened that my daughter has to struggle with the pull of depression like I do. When I think of all the genes I wanted to pass along to her, I wish this particular one had missed its trajectory. Yet we can't do much about the hand that life deals us. How I wish I could just hit “reset” and get a new deck dealt to me and my children, as if life could be managed like a Solitaire game that is going badly. At a dead end and don't know where to turn? Start over. So easy.

Instead, we need to rise above our circumstances, even if only by a fraction. I have known the darkest, most oppressive waves of depression. I have opened my eyes in the morning and wondered what the point of living was. Getting out of bed became a monumental task that seemed at first to have no discernible reward. Only after I fought against the gravity of depression did I find myself in a better head space. It seems that the battle itself armed my mind with the weapons it needed to fight that pernicious pull. I know this has been true for me, as well as other people.

Take pride in the small steps. Claim victory over the most insignificant of moments. Every centimeter that you move forward improves your life. You may not have results at first. Depression will affect your outlook and cause you to think poorly of your progress. You'll also have to revisit this battle day by day, which can be discouraging, but with enough effort, you can leave depression's orbit each time.

If you fight chemicals inside your head, you might like my book. It's chemical free.