For those of you who suffer right here and now
Today I woke up and got out of the bed with the wrong leg. I am blue, with feelings of sadness and melancholy circulating through my being. The range of emotions touches on the outskirts of depression, without crossing the line.
And I am thinking… this is nothing. Nothing compared to how things were when I was ill about 20 years ago. Nothing compared to the storm of emotions I felt at the time, or the intense numbness of nothing, just a big empty hole. A black hole where my heart should be. Which sucked all joy, all light and all hope out of my existence.
And I think, right now, there are about 15 million people in the US alone that are in a similar place. People who experience everything as painful, who most of all want to crouch into a fetal position, crawl under the duvet and lie there forever.
I am thinking of you who are in that situation right now. You, who think that everything is hopeless and that everything will always be this painful.
But that is not true!
Despite the painful feelings right now, your body and mind are continuously changing. You are constantly on a journey of changing conditions, emotionally and mentally. No matter what you do.
You can push this change a little bit, this change which will happen anyway. Look at it like pushing at the helm of an oil tanker—a tiny bit. In the morning you can push some more. And a little more the day after.
Because that is what I believe when it comes to getting rid of depression. There is no magic key that will open the door to a happier life—but there is a process that will little by little take you where you want to be. To a condition where you can be happy again—more and more often. Until you suddenly discover that it has been days, weeks, maybe even months since you have been really down in the dumps. And the depth of your decline becomes smaller day after day.
You can straighten your back a little and look the world in the eyes. Think about how painful things are as they are right now, but at the same time also think that it is not permanent. That you are going to change anyway, and that by pushing the helm a little every day you can turn that oil tanker in the complete opposite direction, if you want to. And all you need in order to achieve this is time. And a little effort every day.
And it all starts today. You can brew a cup of coffee, or tea, and put on your favorite music. And make a deliberate plan to do something nice today, or something that lifts you up; even though only a tiny bit. Maybe you should call someone you like to be with, suggest you go for a walk or meet in a café or watch a movie together.
We humans are constantly changing anyhow. You have a lot more power over that change than you think—as long as you are willing to let time work for you by pushing on that helm – just a tiny bit every day!