“I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.” ~ Emily Dickinson
We know depression through metaphors and art.
Emily Dickinson wrote that poem so beautifully back in 1861.
It was thought that Dickinson was comparing her mental health to a funeral procession treading across her mind—pretty powerful stuff.
We go through life feeling that it’s a series of challenges that knock us further and further down. It seems like an impossible climb—where there was once light now seems like an eternal darkness. All the negative feelings, events, pressures, and life itself grab at us from every direction. It feels like our mind is being ripped to shreds. The slow destruction of each ray of light fades away into the shadows.
It’s easy to get lost when we can’t see; it’s like every single aspect of our life becomes a chore. To eat would involve serious effort—cutting the food, piercing it with our fork, lifting it to our mouth, chewing, swallowing. So much effort when all we want to really do is sit in a dark room surrounded by candles. (Full-on goth mode activated.) Our phone vibrates a hundred times, friends and family try to catch our attention, but we don’t want to see our aunt in Hawaii on Facebook—f*ck that.
The thing is, depression is f*cking ridiculous, and we know it is when we’re suffering and fully aware of our condition. It annoys us that other people are out there doing everyday things, meeting up, having drinks, living their life. We think, “Why am I the ridiculous one, sitting in my bed, alone with my tainted thoughts?” It’s a process, and we can’t figure out a way around the situation. So we end up spiralling out of control.
“Depression is a slower way of being dead.” ~ Andrew Solomon
Depression is like slipping on a wet leaf in the autumn, but instead of falling for a split second, we fall, well, for as long as it takes to hit rock bottom—and while we are falling, we see depression’s closest friends smiling at us. Anxiety and fear join us as we fall deeper and deeper, each second lasting a week as we invert our entire being inside ourselves over and over in an endless loop. We are afraid, but we have no idea what the hell we are afraid of. Is it because anxiety is a total b*tch? It comes out of nowhere and hits us like a ton of bricks.
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ~ Laurell K. Hamilton
So why is it called the healing power of depression? With depression, we analyse every aspect of our life, we look so deeply into the “whats” and “whys,” and take it all apart methodically piece by piece—then we start repairing the aspects one by one.
This starts a process, usually via professional help or medications, that ultimately pushes us to resolve every internal battle that has caused us to slip down this rabbit hole—to repair all the cracks that have appeared silently through a lifetime of experiences and moments of hurt that were masked by the lie of happiness. But, of course, it goes without saying that this takes time, patience, and strength.
Once we realise exactly what is going on with our minds and can put a label on it, we begin opening up to our friends and family about how we are feeling. Opening up to our family especially can also heal rifts that have occurred through many years of pointless arguments—again, it’s a healing process that can strengthen bonds we previously thought were broken forever. The message is really simple: never be too proud to reach out and ask for a hand. It could change your life.
The best thing about healing from depression is that we get to understand the reason for living. Through healing all of life’s beautiful aspects, our spirit leaves our body and we can see everything with fresh eyes. It’s like an awakening, a new lease of life for all our senses. We can finally breathe for the first real time in what seems like forever.
Welcome to your new life through the healing power of depression.