Depression holds people under water just long enough to make their lungs sparkle with water, but not long enough that they disappear. I believe that’s the aspect of it that makes it so painful. Suffering for long periods of time gasping for air, but unable to articulate your needs.
There is a bittersweet emotional tension between depression and the desire to be immersed in efforts of self-help.
Can I cure my depression by eating a vegan diet?
Maybe I can go through years of intensive therapy and learn to fix myself.
I’m not trying hard enough.
The meds aren’t working and I’m more tired than I’ve ever been.
Maybe more podcasts, encouraging books, exercise, time with friends, and sleep will help me to get my head above water.
All of those things are wonderful, but when you overload yourself with the best of intentions when you’re in survival mode you will fall.
Maybe you cycle through self blame, self help, and self sabotage. The truth is that depression isn’t a destiny at all. It’s a journey. It may not be one that you set out for, but you are on the road with a painful yet magnificent teaching tool.
The truth is that the best effort you can put forth in dark times of depression is the effort of not giving up on yourself.
Focus on the fact that your lungs are filled with air. It doesn’t make the pain evaporate, but it will be enough to get you through one day at a time.
You aren’t failing. As a matter of fact, you can and will thrive.