The state of depression is spiritual flux caused by a variety of things. In no particular order – frustration, fear, resistance to change, grief, exhaustion, atrophy, entropy, excitement, deflation, past experience. All kinds of stimuli can put us in that dark space we loathe and fear. How many times have you felt the encroaching shadows of that old familiar despair and wished you could be someone else or somewhere else for a day?
For those of us who know the triggers, depression is hard to avoid. Mine are seeing yet another rejection in my inbox, cement walls, too much prolonged grey or being stuck emotionally, physically or psychologically in a set of circumstances that play out the same way every day. Most recently I had the misfortune of flatting with a narcissist whose constant demands on my time and attention finally drove me into one of the worst and most prolonged depressions I’ve ever experienced. Years ago an ex-boyfriend’s drug and alcohol dependence had a similar effect but that was a walk in the park compared with the bleak mental cage this woman’s neediness locked me into. All my tricks and safety devices – walking, writing, ferry rides, gardening, cake! – failed. Because her demands were so frequent I had little or no down-time to regroup. Leaving that house was the only way I could deal with it in the end.
Having said all that depression is for me, a loss of hope.
HOPE is that pinpoint of light upon which I can fix my compass and navigate my way out of the well. HOPE goes hand-in-hand with FAITH. Faith in self and faith in whatever higher power makes sense to you. I have come to believe over the years that we all co-create our lives with a higher power. Too many coincidences partnered with too many serendipitous encounters are proof against will power alone being the mapmaker.
DEPRESSION and UNCERTAINTY. There is a way through. First identify your passion and make it your path. Then stick to it and watch the coincidences start to occur. This alone is not a cure for depression but it does build a strong foundation for the kind of faith that breaks the fall. I am a believer in spirit. I also believe we are eternal and this life is just one experiment in BEING. Based on that I think we are at an interesting, if challenging, place in our spiritual journeys. I think we are transitioning out of being herd creatures i.e. believing in the safety of numbers into creatures who think alone and risk autonomy over our paths and experiences. We are learning to fly and in flight there must be room for wingspan and the energy it takes to remain aloft. Thinking for yourself and really embracing the gift/curse of freewill is scary and at times, dangerous, but it’s where we’re at, I think.
Hypothesis I know, but go with me for a minute. If I’m right and we are transitioning into what can only be described as angels then some of us are embodying a whole lot more energy than others. By that I mean we are accepting the energy that comes with autonomy. More energy means faster decision-making, swifter and more certain calls to action and impatience with those who follow old maps and familiar paths rather than trusting their intuition and THEMSELVES and embracing the unknown. These people will hold us back, slow us down and fail to catch the excitement bubbling up within us at the prospect of a brand new experience. These people may well be in positions of power over our creative project’s fruition or failure. I have experienced this so often. Publishers and theatre makers afraid of the unknown and clinging to the familiar because they are scared of making a mistake with Jo Public and losing their well-paid jobs! They don’t “get” ideas that are unfamiliar and paths that are not on their old maps. And so they block us or worse, force us to change direction and follow the old familiar paths that offer no resistance and no surprises. Don’t do it. Trust yourself and wait for a braver mentor or boss.
DEPRESSION = A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY AND SUPPORT
DEPRESSION = BEING STUCK
I’m not saying it’s always someone else’s fault. Obviously we must look for other ways and other partners and that requires even more FAITH. If your depression is the result of being blocked or misunderstood or undervalued then I advise pulling back into your own space and changing partners – in business, life and friendships. Cut and don’t look back. If your depression is fuelled by the loss of someone you loved then you are the bravest person I know and all I can do is listen and hold your hand until you are ready to let go.
A final word. An angel once told me “Goodbye is just an illusion.”