Believe it or not, many people around the world will not be thinking on Christmas.
Someone in my support group has just lost a friend to depression. I empathise. Truly I do, because not too long ago depression had strapped me to a hospital bed, warring with me to strip my consciousness apart. The war is not over.
And in my most vulnerable state, I learnt such a harsh lesson. Friends are few. Very few. And sometimes where you least expect. Sometimes we love people, but they don’t love us back.
In this deep gutter, I realise it takes very very extraordinary people to stay. To stay and love us. To stay and see us for ALL that we are, despite whatever shadows of darkness threaten to overtake us. A man is not the sum total of his faults. It takes people who truly love us to confront that darkness in us. Why’d anyone want to do that?
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that – Martin Luther King Jr.
LOVE is part of that light that drive out darkness.
Everyone has problems they say. But some of our Goliaths are bigger than others.
Facing the darkness
It is not easy to confront darkness. It is a scary place. And most people will simply tell you, don’t think about it and be positive. But to rise out the depths, we must confront our behemoths.
This is no easy task as depression weakens our resolve and steals our courage and faith. Some of us are too scarred. Healing is a work in progress. Hence, in our fragile states we cannot face darkness alone. So we need friends to hold our hands. Or someone to carry us. But get this:
When you are weak and needing arms to hold you up, you will find that many, most people will run far away. They will deny, ignore, pretend. You will hear about self help books, CBT, positive thinking, ‘shake it off’…. and then miraculously you’re expected to be better.
It doesn’t work this way for many people. Not with clinical depression.
I’m not saying they don’t help, but many of you will testify to having tried them all. If these were working, we wouldn’t have so many private support groups of people seeking others who can relate to what they are going through.
Sharing with others who empathise or understand
Research has shown that people who will with chronic illness like fibromyalgia are more prone to developing depression. Depression can be hereditary or triggered by many things like bereavement, divorce, loneliness, stressful life events.
It’s easy for others to talk about what they do not live. When they are not the ones tired of warring, searching, hoping for wings to lift them to a place of peace.
I’ve just met some others who know exactly what I mean. And it is important I think to share with eachother what keeps us going. But sometimes we don’t always know especially when our fight becomes harder.
Everyone’s battle is different. Illness. Pain. Families who disbelieve us. Loneliness. Ended marriages. Loved ones who walk away with our hearts in their hands.
The hollowness is hard but you must have faith. Faith is believing in something without proof. So believe that you will rise above the waters even if like me, you cannot swim.
How to Overcome
Go, go, go, is what I say.
My heart aches for love that walked away, for the trials, for the loneliness and instability that threaten my chance at happiness. But my plan is:
- To continue sharing with others suffering; volunteering, giving to make a difference
- Taking notice of the little things, like the fallen golden leaves in the park
- Listening to the music that inspires me: Hillsong for instance.
- Doing whatever I can to help myself: making others happy
- Praying and having faith that He will raise me up
- Do nice things for yourself including keeping yourself looking well (believe me I know it’s hard when you have no motivation to comb the hair or shower or go out but you have to try hard!)
Keep fighting and sharing and one day we will reach home to happiness.
Gentle hugs, love and be brave:)