Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Window on Depression

I don't write extensively on here about depression. It's something I deal with and occasionally overcome, but it doesn't define my existence. And it certainly isn't my intention to be some self appointed poster child for a disease I'm constantly trying to unravel.

But, lately I've had some great, although heart wrenching, back channel conversations with people. It's complicated and I'm not pretending I know what everyone goes through, but these are the things I find helpful to remember.

1. It's harder than it looks to act happy. A lot of the time - much harder.

2. No matter how much support you have, you always feel somewhat alone.

3. It's exhausting chasing the light.

4. Tidal waves can't always be predicted.

5. Any chronic disease is discouraging a lot of the time.

6. If you do, great, but you probably don't have the solution.

7. God IS the answer. Not necessarily helpful when people mention it as a cure.

8. Depression is NOT a sin. It's a symptom.

9. There are absolutely things people can do/not do to help with depression. And there's a lot to it that feels like being blindsided. Balancing both realistically is important.

10. The opposite of depression is not constant joy. Sometimes it's just being okay. And that's okay.

And not just regarding depression:

Be willing to give grace to those in your life who may be dealing with more than you realize. Sometimes actions and reactions surface from a place of just trying to survive. The greatest gift you can give someone else is to be there unconditionally. Hope is always there. It's just sometimes hard to find.


Sue said...

Wise and compassionate as always, Brenda.... Thank you for sharing this here. As we go into fall, sometimes moods fall with the season!

Brenda said...

Thanks, Sue. Appreciate you!

Melinda Lancaster said...

There is a lot of wisdom nestled within this short post.

This, in particular, stood out to me: "The opposite of depression is not constant joy. Sometimes it's just being okay. And that's okay."

That statement was very freeing to hear/read. Thanks.

Brenda said...

Thanks Melinda. xo

Rob said...

Amen! Thank you for the points in this post. I remember telling someone a while ago (I probably said it to more than one person, actually)that I would settle for just being at neutral, and work from there.

And #2 is so true; that's when you KNOW you are feeling it!

A wise man once said to a companion living with depression, "I know I cannot 'fix' you, but I am here if you need me." That's kinda like unconditional love, isn't it?


P.S. Thanks to God, Friends, Music, Coffee & Chemicals (not necessarily always in that order), I am spending much more time above "neutral" these days.