Saturday, November 28, 2009
Dare the Dragon of Depression
How do we face the dragon of depression? How do we battle back from doom-filled thoughts that discourage and disturb us?
While seemingly trite, my overarching battle plan is to 'take each day as it comes', which, as those who have tried know, is much more difficult than it seems. When dealing with despair I seek to avoid the anger and frustration that follows the thoughts of how I got here. Why me? Why now? Who did this to me? What could I have done to stop it? In the darkness a rearview mirror is helpless, and lends itself to paranoid reflections. I cannot fight the battle today by focusing on the ones that could have, or should have, been fought yesterday. Likewise, tomorrow has not yet rallied its enemy forces against me. Fear of a difficult future does nothing but sap the energy I need for today's contest. I must face only the fight before me! I believe I have what it takes for that.
My strategy is simple: learn to not fear the darkness, take solace in its silence, embrace it as a friend who can teach wisdom about who I am and how to meet the challenges, present and future. Running from or in the dark is dangerous, and panic leads us nowhere. It is not the night that need be feared. It is the fear itself that leaps inside of us, our breath quickening as we drop our guard and run headlong to escape something we carry with us. The preferable path to take is to wait, accustom our eyes to the darkness, and move deliberately through it, observing the directions that are best to take. It need not be a journey taken alone. Friends, be they professional or personal, are often necessary companions. We will find our way out.