Thoughts On Depression

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

What’s the fucking point?

Of my blog, of any blog? Of any endeavor? Of reaching, caring, searching? Of money? Of working towards a goal, any goal? Of trying to help, trying to create? Of emails, plans, learning, growing, living, being vulnerable, connecting, working, being true, being honest, being? What is the fucking point?

I woke in a safe place, to sunshine filtering though the blinds, with the knowledge that I have people in my life who love me, and here again, lurked that dark muck beneath my breastbone. “What is the fucking point of all this?”

 

Why does this dark shadow visit me randomly? Even on perfect sunny mornings when there couldn’t possibly be a logical reason? I don’t know. But what I have learned is I can NOT ask “why?” any more, lest I risk being sucked into its pointless vortex.

Santa Cruz, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Santa Cruz, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

 

Not long ago, my dear friend, B., offered me some advice – advice I’m using at this very moment. I want to share it because it’s really good advice from someone who knows what depression and anxiety is like.

 

She said (paraphrased): “There is nothing for you down there. You have done all the questioning and searching and digging you can do. You have all the answers you can have. This feeling is not fixable. You can’t analyze it away. You have to learn how to accept it. Let it roll through you without resisting it – resisting only makes it last longer and pulls you down deeper.”

“There’s no trap door at the bottom of your depression through which you can escape, so stop going down there to look for it.. There’s no magical cure you will find with more questioning and analyzing. At this point, all you can do is accept that you can not fix it. You can only do the next thing on your list and continue living your life. Don’t let it derail your day. Feel it, accept it, and continue to live by doing the next thing on your list. If you don’t have a list, make one.”

Livingston, Guatemala

Livingston, Guatemala

I made a list:

  • Get out of bed
  • Sit in the sun
  • Meditate
  • Read a chapter of a feel-good book
  • Made a green smoothie
  • Do the dishes
  • Put on clothes
  • Get out of the house
  • Call a friend
  • Write

 

Receiving her advice, I felt release rush through my body, a kind of rapturous relief. I felt lighter. It was permission to move the fuck on! It gave me the permission to stop trying to FIX this non-fixable thing, to stop trying to answer this unanswerable question, to live!

Of course, there are varying degrees and symptoms of depression. Sometimes there are reasons you’re experiencing depression and YES! Ask yourself why? Where is this coming from? And, how can I alleviate my suffering? But sometimes, you’ve spent enough time asking these questions, and it’s time to get back to living your life.

 

Cemetery in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

Cemetery in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

When it hits, when I’m in it, I don’t feel it’s true that it will end and normal life will continue on the other side. But I decide again and again to trust that it will and do the next thing on the list, whether or not it feels good in the moment. Just do the next thing on the list.

 

While meditating, the word ‘love’ kept coming to mind. That’s the answer I’m choosing to go with for now. Love is the fucking point.

Photo on 1-13-14 at 8.39 AM

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