One type appears to render the victim utterly powerless. This is a depression I’ve never fully understood or experienced. But apparently it cannot be escaped.
I’ll be honest: it makes no sense to me. I am only trying to take people’s word for it when they say that their depression is inescapable…
…after all, it doesn’t really matter what’s “true” or not. What really matters is what the person believes to be true…because it is from this space that they act.
People create their realities based on what they believe.
I believe that I have truly felt depression before, at many points throughout my life. But I’ve never been so incapacitated by it that it has rendered me powerless for more than a few weeks at a time.
I am very familiar with the lack of energy that comes with depression. I am also familiar with the feeling that there’s nothing that can be done about it.
But in my experience, there is always something that can be done. Sure, I might not feel like I have the energy. But it’s in there…and I can pull it out of myself if I need to.
Usually I don’t. Usually I fully step into the experience and allow myself to be depressed. I don’t cut myself down, I simply accept it as a part of (my) life.
In other words, I don’t have a whole lot of negative judgment around being depressed. I look at it as another facet of the human experience.
However, there comes a time when enough is enough and it’s starting to have a major effect on my life and my family. It’s usually at this point when I decide that it’s time to move through the depression.
I find that the longer I allow myself to wallow in depression, the harder it can be to get out. That’s why I’ve gotten very good at identifying when I’m starting to feel depressed…that way I can do something about it before my energy levels begin to diminish.
In fact, very recently I felt a massive wave of depression come on.
My zest for life began to tank and my existence just started feeling…pointless.
“Daddy, daddy,” my daughter said. “Let’s go outside and explore!”
This seemed to depress me even more.
Now I can’t even be there for my daughter. I’ve just been sitting here in this chair all day, basically unable to move.
“She doesn’t deserve this,” I thought, as my guilt levels began to rise.
Nothing sounded good to me. Nothing.
And then I asked myself an interesting question: “If nothing sounds good…what about doing nothing?”
Not even doing nothing sounded good. All of a sudden I felt trapped either way.
If it didn’t even sound good to sit here and do nothing, then I might as well just reluctantly get up and go outside. It sure didn’t feel like I had the energy to get up…but I knew it was in there.
And, now…before I continue with the story, there’s just one thing I don’t understand when people talk about not having the energy to do anything about their state of being…
I imagine myself sitting here in the chair feeling too depressed to even get up. And then all of a sudden my daughter slips and falls and busts her face open and there’s blood pouring out of her mouth…
…am I going to look at her and just “not have the energy” to help her?
Could I possibly just stare at my bleeding daughter while I sit here lazily not doing anything about it?
The answer is fuck no.
I don’t have to be in this situation to know that something within me is going to naturally rise up and take action.
My body is absolutely not going to let me be depressed in a situation like this.
And that’s why it makes sense to me when people say depression is “in your head.”
But it’s not only in your head…it’s also in your body.
That’s why people suffering from depression can’t simply *think* their way into happiness.
Sometimes you have to do something physical first, before you can have a mental shift occur.
The remainder of my story illustrates this perfectly.
So I pushed myself out of the chair, opened the door, and walked outside with my daughter.
I kept thinking to myself how depressing it was…how much I *didn’t* want to be out there.
But I just followed her into the woods to begin our adventure.
We are lucky enough to live on a 14-acre parcel of forested land. And as I walked with her through the trees, something magical began to happen.
I began to feel uplifted.
After just five minutes of walking through the forest, my mindset started moving from depression to peace. Something big must have shifted in me, as I took charge and began to lead the adventure.
As we approached the stream, she said it was time to head back. But I shockingly heard myself say, “No! We must keep going. We have to cross the scary, dangerous, treacherous stream!”
I saw her eyes fill with magic as her imagination began to take over.
We climbed up several steep hills and my heart filled with love as I helped my little girl scale what seemed like mountains to her.
We continued walking along the stream, looking for a place to cross. Until finally we came upon a narrow spot that daddy was able to step over. But she was doubtful that she would be able to jump across.
So in a feat of magnificent prowess, I stretched myself across the stream, picked her up, and brought her safely to the other side.
“Wow!” she said. “Strong daddy!”
In short, we had an amazing time. And my heart was filled with joy.
And I learned a valuable lesson in curing depression: sometimes you just have to get back to your nature.
We spend so much time in artificial settings, occupying our minds with artificial things, spending time with artificial people…
Sometimes you have to take a few moments to literally get out in nature…to do something engaging that requires you to be present…to allow yourself to be “in flow” with life.
Meanwhile, you’re moving your body and getting exercise. You’re taking deeper breaths. You’re stimulating your body and your mind.
And because I was with someone I loved, the effect was magnified in a big way.
Trees, space, beauty, nature, love…
…could escaping depression be this simple?
Some people will think not.
But I know what I felt that day.
And I know what cured it.