on Depression

My firstborn suffered from depression, I suspect she still does. It has taken me many years to realize its most likely origin is not her mother, but me.

~ Depression ~
My eyes I dry, I must not weep,
and thus I send my soul to sleep.
In my broken heart, a jagged hole
from which seeps my unsoothed soul.
The woods are lonely dark and deep
they are not a good place for souls to sleep.
Anguish, from the twilight shadows seep.
Night sees our inner demons upon us creep.
Is there escape on these crippled feet?
Or is the hill from Anguish’s vale too steep?
To return to Joy, which on yon hill awaits?
Or to stay and with our Despair,
our inner demons’ hunger sate?
Choose Joy, and bid the dark woods goodbye.
Choose Love, and return to happiness on high.
Choose to Live, or choose, to die.

Why does anguish have such a powerful hold over us? Perhaps to someone who has never been in a terrible depression it is patently obvious that simply smiling helps alleviates the mood.  Which means the decision to smile is a no brainer.

They aren’t wrong.  However someone suffering from depression understands the metaphors used to describe the emotional state are frighteningly real.  Indeed the very word “depression” indicates something lower, but that isn’t the only metaphor used to describe this condition.  We literally tumble down into depression.  It isn’t a gradual decline, it is a precipitous fall.  Once we’re depressed we’re gripped by chains that literally bind us in place.  We find ourselves in a dark foreboding forest in which every innocent tree appears as a predator out to consume us.  To escape means we must climb out of the emotional hole depression is.  The problem is that we have enormous difficulty even getting back on our feet, let alone finding the emotional strength to climb a hill.  No matter how insignificant the climb out of depression appears to others, when we’re depressed the only word that comes close to describing how difficult it is, is impossible.

Earlier I said the decision to smile is a no brainer.  I used those words the same way I use all words, for a reason.  You see depression isn’t a thinking state, it is a feeling state, and while there is little brain in depression there is a great deal of heart.  So if we can’t think our way out of this miserable condition, then what are we to do?  I wish I knew the answer, if I did I would freely share it with the world.  Unfortunately I don’t, and I don’t believe drugs are an appropriate solution.

Sitting here, writing this post, it seems so obvious all I need do is smile, walk up a little hill, and I’ll be free of this wretched feeling.  But I can’t.  I can’t think my way out of a feeling state.  Even a single step back toward joy is quite literally beyond my capabilities.  I wonder why that is?  Perhaps because our soul seeks balance, and what balances ecstasy best is misery?

I don’t think I believe that, it is just a thought.  But since I’m depressed right now, perhaps it’s more a feeling than a thought.

The universe works in cycles.  I know this for my soul tells me it is so.  Depression, for those afflicted as I am, is cyclic.  It will pass when it passes, all I have to do is survive until it does.  So if you’re like me, please try to survive until the time for joy comes around again…

{P.S. Allow me to stress that this post, along with all my posts on this blog and indeed everywhere, are strictly my personal beliefs. Yours will certainly differ. What works for me may well be the breaking of you, so for that reason I strongly encourage you to question always. Question everything, and one day may you be fortunate enough to find the answers you seek.}

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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7 Responses to on Depression

  1. Nerene Scholfield says:

    Perhaps you have to know the darkness
    Before you can fully appreciate the Light
    Madeline L’Engel

    The song by Simon and Garfunkel
    ‘Hello Darkness my old friend’
    Simon whould retreat into his bathroom, turn off the lights and turn on the faucet, he said the sound of the echo and the running water, was soothing for him. Garfunkel once summed up the song’s meaning as the inability of people to communicate with others on an emotional level, whatever it is sometimes it is in the retreating that we find a place of familiar sanctury. I wrote about this on Twitter once called My World. A cavern of shadows yet my world, were I could retreat without fear of judgement, failure but still felt lonely. It is amazing how many suffer from depression. You are not alone in your battle. I believe there is hope.

    Take care..

  2. Nerene Scholfield says:

    Sorry the typos..

  3. Lydia Schoch says:

    I’ve dealt with depression myself. I know where you and your daughter are coming from, and you have my sympathy and support.

    If there’s ever anything I can do to help you persevere, please let me know!

  4. “I don’t believe drugs are an appropriate solution”…people who deal with CHRONIC depression need medication. If you have the “blues” I get where you’re coming from. Clearly you need to do more research on the topic before throwing that out there. Sorry to attack you on this particular topic but I’ve been dealing with chronic depression for 7 years and without medication, I’d be dead. Research and understanding are key. You’re free to have your own opinions but darling, you’re a contributor to the stigma of mental illness if you truly believe drugs aren’t the answer or an option. Maybe not for you but for most, it’s a much needed vice.

    • C.G.Ayling says:

      I do not need to do more research on how I personally feel and what I personally believe. Those feelings and beliefs are mine, and I make no attempt whatsoever to impose them on anyone else – not even my own children. If medication works for you, all well and good. However I will not change the way my heart, soul, and mind work through the use of drugs that modify behavior.
      To term me a contributor to the stigma of mental illness for sharing what is in my heart… well I am inclined to not respond to that with more than this sentence.
      Thank you for contributing your comment, I am sure many will gain value by visiting your website. It certainly has some interesting personal writing.

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