Some of you know that depression kicked my ass about 8 weeks ago. I just woke up one day and couldn’t get out of bed. If it wasn’t for my wife, I would definitely be giving Brian Wilson a run for his money. (For you youngsters, Brian stayed in bed for a full year). Also, I just felt like I wanted to die. Not kill myself, just allow myself to succumb to a massive coronary or something.
I ended up in a outpaitient program for 6 weeks. (initially, they told me it would be 3. Hence, I was twice as crazy as they thought I was). Anyway, it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. What I thought would be a daily episode of Springer with crazy people beating the crap out of each other was just the opposite.
To my amazement, all of these people in tremendous pain, were so kind and generous it was overwhelming at first. They could so easily see others pain but could not tap into their own for some reason. This really resonated with me. However, as they shared their stories, I could see my own issues coming into much clearer view. I certainly was ashamed and embarrassed to be there, at first, but it may have been one of the best things to ever happen to me.
So, TL, does this story have a happy ending? Kind of. I have a great cast of loving and supportive friends and family. However, I do suffer from chronic depression and I don’t think it is something that is really “cured”. It’s a constant work in progress. My hope is, before I fall of a cliff again, is that I see the behaviors that led me to such a dark place. I can live with that. The common theme in therapy was, “If this is as good as life gets, I just don’t want to be here anymore”. I am hopeful it will get better but I also appreciate that a lot of work goes into that.
We just need 3 things to have a great life. Love ourselves, love others, and allow ourselves to be loved… all unconditionally. Pretty simple, eh? Of course the devil is in the details. I can tell you this. Beating on yourself relentlessly is exhausting. In a group setting, you can see the fatigue on all of our faces. Depression is a grind, it’s hard. It’s also real. As real as a broken arm. My hope is that, if you are depressed, you seek help. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. You deserve to be whole. We all do. TL