“Although being in a state of depression may seem a very unhealthy place to be – it can be just what the doctor ordered IF you come to recognize the reason for it…” — Rick Cox
Throughout my life, I have had bouts or periods of depression with some of these episodes being deeper than others. As a matter of fact, I have been in such a level of depression my life had only darkness as there seemed to be no hope or enthusiasm for life. It was so bad; all I wanted to do was sleep the entire day. To try and do anything at all was an effort, an immense effort. As a matter of fact, I would just as soon have lain in bed all day feeling depressed and sorry for myself and my situation.
Although I did find myself in this severely negative state of mind and heart for a while I forced myself to get up. I forced myself to move forward and be productive even though the productivity was not what it could or should have been. I must tell you words fail me for how difficult of a process this was to me. It was beyond hard to do anything – anything at all.
For the vast majority, life starts out happy and carefree; but as we grow older it is quite common to find ourselves on the railway of depression or the highway of hopelessness. It is true this depression could be of our own making however; many times I believe these bouts come on us as a part of our necessary growth process. Either way, if we brought it on our self or it was allowed by God, our response will determine the outcome, bad or good. What we have before us can either be a crisis or an opportunity therefore; to react poorly is to allow depression. By allowing depression this keeps us fearful of moving forward, fearful of trying and fearful of making a decision. On the other hand we can respond properly and grow into becoming what it takes to attract what we want.
At the ripe old age of thirty, I am now sixty one, I happened to read a book called, “The Road Less Traveled,” by M. Scott Peck MD. When reading a book it is customary for me to make notes on the side or in the margins as well as underline and highlight lines and paragraphs. It is common, if I don’t agree with what I am reading, to comment about it or write what I believe in the margins. This book was no exception as there were many places where I, someone who had never gone to formal college, disagreed with a Harvard educated Medical Doctor calling this person an idiot on the side margins for what he had written.
One of the subjects with which I disagreed vehemently was regarding DEPRESSION. He actually wrote how HEALTHY depression could be. He stated that depression was and could be healthy because it was a sign to tell us something was wrong with where we were and what we were doing; it was telling us there needed to a change. He further stated when the right change was made and embraced the depression would go away. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I couldn’t believe anyone would say depression was healthy.
The problem was I was focused on the depression not the change. My lack of experience clouded my ability to see that depression was simply being used to tell me something was wrong. What little I knew of depression, at the time, told me it was unhealthy; it was to be avoided, it couldn’t possibly be healthy. Because of my lack of understanding, I wrote in the margin he was an over educated idiot. Ah, but not long thereafter, I was to find out how wrong I was and along with finding out I was wrong I got a hard wake up slap across the face.
Although, I do not agree with everything to which Dr. Peck ascribes, I do believe he was right on the target with his assessment of depression. In just the few short years that followed, I not only received a rude awakening, I received “an education” I would forever remember. After the “educational incident” I reread the book altering some of my notes on the side margin. Now my notes said I was the clueless one as I did not previously have enough experience to speak with authority on depression. I was however, based on what had and was continuing to happen in my life, quickly coming up to speed.
What was happening is I had come to the end of “a chapter in my life.” It all began several months earlier when things didn’t “feel right” in my heart leading to eventual depression. I couldn’t figure out why. I kept on pushing through, but one morning I woke up and knew what I had to do. My wife and I prayed about it then we cried for hours. We knew in our hearts what we were doing had run its course and was therefore the reason for our depression. It was time we moved on to something else, but letting go was so hard.
After confiding in a few close friends we found them to concur and thus decided it was time for a change. Following our mutual decision it was apparent my wife handled it much better than me as she moved on while I remained depressed. I did nothing for months. The reason for this is I had not let go; I had not moved on therefore, the depression remained. As a matter of fact the depression stayed with me until I finally accepted the fact I needed to change course. I needed to change direction and start moving into the new. In order to move into the new that is into the future, it would require that I let go of the past, something I was not originally inclined to do.
I have now learned and truly know that depression can in fact be healthy. It is simply a way for your subconscious mind to let you know something in your life is not right and needs to be changed. It is telling you change is required to get you out of this situation. It is as if depression is saying, “Hey, you need to chart a new direction;” OR, “You need to seek a new job or career;” OR, “You need to set a new goal.” The bottom line is something new needs to be done in order for you to get out of the depression.
This “something new” will require you to “let something go” in order to move forward. Letting go is usually tough for all of us. For in letting go we are often letting go of what makes us feel comfortable; or we may find the need to alter our paradigm in order to get outside “the box.” Human beings are not given to change, which makes moving into the new and unknown, difficult. So, in this light, there is reason to believe depression can be viewed as something healthy because when responded to properly, the end result is for the betterment; not only for us personally, but for those around us as well.
The good news is what seemed destined for our doom was actually something trying to lead us into a better place for our lives. It is all about our view of what is going on. Remember, the choice is yours to make.
Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…