Monday, May 9, 2016
The Depression Pit And The Road To Recovery: Part 1
Depression is a relentless creature that either creeps up on us or suddenly knocks us to the floor depending upon what precipitates it in the first place. It can hurt from the top of our head down to our toes, and we feel helpless to its strangling hold. We all experience it to some degree in our lifetime.
Eric Berne, in his book, "Games People Play", explains his Transactional Analysis Theory. He says there are 3 parts to the mind developed in childhood; your internal Parent, Child, and Adult. The Parent is the voice of authority, the Child is internal reactions and feelings, and the Adult helps keep Parent and Child under control. The Parent and Child function with positive and negative expression, but the Adult draws on both Parent and Child, as it attempts to maintain a balanced approach to life. So it's your inner child who cries and feels the pain of depression.
There are several types of depression. They manifest at different ages with short or long durations, depending upon variables involved in the precipitating factor. And you may not even know where the depression is coming from. Has it been there forever, and just now reared its ugly head when you could no longer handle even one more disturbing, painful experience? Perhaps an external situation triggered a depression response, or an internal belief invaded your conscious mind, and your inner child attached feelings to the belief, or as George Santayana says, "Depression is rage spread thin." You may even feel depressed for no apparent reason. It's a complicated phenomenon with many variables.
Everyone goes through episodes of depression, but most are situational and less severe with successful outcomes. They may be short lived as with a temporary painful situation that's remedied with a change in your life and support to get you there...or a loss of something in your life that, over time, is replaced...or a health challenge that draws on your emotional strength as you move through it. Any number of our human experiences can precipitate a period of depression.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
But some people experience severe depression down to a desperate place of soul suffering where it takes their breath away with hopeless fear. They try to hide it, and scream inside where no one can hear. Then tears dry on their face as they become an empty vessel, and their forsaken heart beats empty rhythm to no one inside. Their pain is unbearable. And their mind becomes a dark pit from which there is no escape. They die inside.
There was a time in my life when I was caught in a toxic situation, and nothing I did to stop the madness brought any positive change. I felt helpless, trapped in devastation. And I fell deep into that depression pit with its fear and despair. Finally I lost all hope and attempted suicide...but then grateful when a friend saved me to spend 2 1/2 years in therapy and turn my life around. It's in my book, "Silent Echoes." By the way, at age 47 I went back to school, and while in school I volunteered on the suicide hotline. I had first hand experience to help someone else. Life has many mysteries.
Once you choose hope, anything is possible. Christopher Reeve
As long as we're in the human condition, we're exposed to painful experiences--some on the outside, some on the inside, and some in both. But there is hope for those who know the prison in the pit of depression. In spite of our pain, there is in each of us a will to life. It's our greatest gift--a key to freedom. We can use it if we search and find it. One step is one step closer to abundant life, and the first step could be intention.
"A good intention clothes itself in power." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Next week I'll talk about some steps to crawl out of the dark depression pit. There is a way out, even if it can't be seen from the bottom of the pit. The light is there. And you can find it.
Peace be with you 'til we meet again