Stop Believing the Lies...
Depression is epidemic, and it's also one of the most misunderstood and poorly addressed disorders. That’s why, for many sufferers, it metastasizes into a fatal disorder of mind, body and spirit.
But it need not be so. Depression can be “beat”, and pushed into a practically permanent remission -- effectively “cured” or at least reduced to a manageable episodic "inconvenience", like the head cold that you “catch” but can work thru… really.
I say that not as a physician, a shrink, or with any pretense of clinical credentials. I say it as a survivor… I say that because of my experience, strength and hope… the reward of living through more than 40 years of (clinically-diagnosed) depression.
I lived a good part of my life contemplating suicide … studying the abutments and shoulders of the highway overpasses, the trees and other things on my routes to and from my workplaces trying to plot a single-vehicle “accident” that wouldn’t prevent a life-insurance payout to my survivors, and fantasizing about other methods or events that might let me make an exit from the world of pain, isolation and negativity that I lived in without being an obvious suicide.
with alcohol and other drugs until I added addiction to my list of woes, which, of course, only served to add to my depressive disorder.
But, I’m still here, and I no longer struggle in any significant way with either prolonged episodes of depression or any kind of suicidal thinking.
If you’re atheistic or agnostic please don’t let this next statement stop you from “hearing me out” – please – for what I have to tell can save you or someone you love from depression; I survived by the grace of God, who planted somewhere in the depths of my being the certainty that “this too, will pass”, and then gently led me to a place where a more abundant spiritual life made simply surviving a thing of the past.
My childhood, in a violent and abusive circumstances, had taught me that I could survive, sometimes by just by quietly enduring and just “keepin’ on keepin’ on”. That’s what’s behind one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill, who also endured a life-long struggle with depression:
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
The first step in recovery from chronic or episodic depression is: Become humble; accept that YOUR understanding and opinions of and about your situation and circumstances AREN’T definitive or even accurate – bluntly, the underlying root of depression is a pathological egotism.
I know is doesn’t seem that way, that you may feel like you’re the “lowest of the low” but consider: MY evaluation of myself, my situation, my inadequacies, my failures and my potential for recovery from them was more credible than anyone else’s, to me. If you can’t understand why anyone would love you, and think that your feelings of unloveliness and isolation are more true than anyone’s statements to the contrary, aren’t you in that same kind of place?
So, I couldn’t begin to get better until I could at least consider alternative viewpoints as perhaps more accurate than mine, and you probably can’t either.
“Does the fish know it’s wet?”; whether or not it does, it does not change the water or the fish’s true condition. Do not insist on your own version of reality; we can find a better one, where you don’t have to die.
When you feel so alone, so lost in the dark that you would rather die than continue to endure that feeling any longer, it’s because you believe lies about yourself and the world around you.
In truth, none of us is ever alone, but, we can be deceived into thinking that and into believing that our feelings are facts. Let’s start with some basic and most self-evident falsehoods that kill depressives:
“Nobody understands…” – false; I do, and so do lots of other survivors. Yes, you are unique in all of the cosmos (just like everybody else) but your problems and challenges are not… and your uniqueness is a blessing, not a terminal curse.
“Nobody cares…” – false; I do, but anybody that both understands and cares also knows that you must take the first step on your own. Because we will not persist in arguing with you when you’re too irrational to listen to anything but the voices in your head telling you that we DON’T understand or care only means we humbly recognize that it’s going to take a power greater than ourselves to “break down” the ego-wall you’ve built. We care, but we understand our limitations.
“I can’t stand this pain…”
This is THE KILLING LIE;
You can only find out how much you can endure by looking back on it.
Those of us who have learned about Joy and the fundamental truths of creation can endure a great deal of pain, both physical and psychological, and that’s repeatedly demonstrated in the world around you.
Pain isn't optional for the living – but misery is. The lies that you believe about yourself and the world around you are the source of your misery, and they sap your endurance and will; but they can be disproved, if you don’t quit, and listen too and trust someone other than yourself or that age-old liar, even just a little.
“Lift your face up to the light, even though, for the moment, you do not see.”
Reach out, and I’ll lend a hand to help lift you up, and will happily introduce you to one who will never let you fall.