Yesterday was what is now referred to as Blue Monday, supposedly the day of the year that is the most depressing or that most people are depressed. I suspect it is not the same in the Southern Hemisphere as here. Their’s might show up on the third Monday of July but whenever it is and where ever you are you may have some idea about the truth of the day if you live with any sort of depression at all.
Explaining it to people who don’t have it is very difficult but Andrew Solomon has a very insightful talk about it on TED Talks and another based on the book “Day of the Black Dog” explains in simple cartoon what it’s like. Brene Brown also has a good cartoon about supporting people in dark places. There is also a book, called the Black Dog which is an excellent resource for understanding.
Depression is a place I don’t go quite so often any more and I have learned some better coping skills over the past few years but it is still a place I visit from time to time. There are times when it is provoked by circumstances and health issues but often it is not simple to pin down the cause. Last week I was there and wrote this.
Have you ever felt…
…So alone that you were sure only God could help but you couldn’t even bring yourself to ask God to be with you.
…on the edge of an abyss you could not name, afraid to fall in because it had no returning but afraid to return from the edge because there was nowhere else to go.
So tired that you could not sleep and then when you do sleep afraid to wake up again. The dreams are dreadful but the reality is worse.
So lost in your thoughts that your stomach churns from the swirling but you are unable to grab on to one thought long enough to figure out if it makes sense.
With only enough strength to face the task directly before you, just that one step you have to take before you take the next.
Reaching for answers from some distant land where answers can be found when there are really no questions.
Afraid to be where you are because it is so lonely but afraid to leave because you will feel even more alone if you leave the place where you are.
Wishing you knew how to stop the anguish in your heart but having no idea what could possibly make it leave.
Feeling stupid because you know the things troubling you are trivial to the rest of the world, they are not earth shaking tragedies, they won’t cause your death.
Or will they?
and the cycle begins again, the despair, the loneliness, the fear, the wishing you could just vanish for a while and look at things from a different place
or that someone would take your hand and say it’s OK to feel this way, hold you in their arms and say they understand even if they don’t, caress your head like some distant memory of love from childhood that makes you feel valued and cared for.
If you are in this place or know someone who is having a Blue Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… please find some help, don’t be alone, and hold on to the truth that it will pass even if you don’t believe it will.