A week ago, I was in the depths, but when I was confronted by another even further down than I, I was struck with a sudden clarity that pulled me out of it. My complete empathy with this woman I only knew through social media thoroughly turned me over. Seeing her words in front of me saddened me and I had to speak out for her and to her. So I did and in that moment, my own depression snuck out without a word and so far hasn't been back. So far. It will, of course. It always comes back. That is what depression is and it will most likely remain so unchangeable until it is no longer treated like something to be ashamed of. In my experience, there are a handful of people that take another's depression seriously as well as realizing that is a lifelong affliction, not something that is conquered forever. It is a transient. Though there is no doubt in my mind that others love me just as much as those that fully understand, it is always painful to meet with the callousness of willful misunderstanding. For now, I will let that matter go and focus on the afflicted. If there is a wider audience that might be touched into feeling just a bit better by the words I shared on Instagram, I would write these to them. My hopes are always with you.
It is too much to see the thoughts in my own head written out as the thoughts of another. To see my own pain in another. It gives me sudden vision and desperation to say to you and myself that this sinking heart that aches and spikes can do wondrous things as well. It can bathe in delight even if it can never stay there. Happiness is not a lasting experience but something to be felt again and again, over and over, as if it were merely a reminder of the beauty. Each changing moment so different and new that it both hurts and delights--that is life, not a lasting happiness or a lasting sorrow, but everlasting change. I have stopped looking to be continuously happy. Now I yearn to feel those quick moments as often as I am able. I trick my mind into seeing beauty. Photography helps me to do that: to see the beauty even when it is not in my heart. When my mind is heavy and weighs me down the whole world still, frustratingly, looks exactly the same. It's unwillingness to morph to fit me angers me and soothes me. I remind myself that my mind is never in full control of my life. It should hold no more power than anything else. I look at the children and husband I thought would heal me and though my mind is drowning, to imagine them drowning in the sorrow of losing me is the true pain. I must be here if I can control it. So must you. Your mind is not the only part of you. It doesn't make the rules and it shouldn't be your puppeteer. Let the sorrow be. Feel it. Then feel something else until its inevitable return. Then feel something else again. Know you are not the only one with this ailment and that there is strength in a depressed mind. I hope we can both feel healed and feel all that life has to offer and then give love to those around us. My love to you. You can conquer your mind.