Turning depression around

The power struggle

on 28/10/2013

A common misunderstanding about depression surrounds the nature of its healing.  Recovery takes longer for some than it does for others, but unlike a broken bone, in most most cases healing is not absolute.  It isn’t a fracture that, after a few weeks in plaster, has knitted itself back together, as strong and as resilient as before.  Yes, the healing still happens unseen and internally, but there’s no risk of it breaking again from one day, from one hour, from one minute to the next if the balance shifts even imperceptibly.

Living with depression is a daily fight.  Some days, we win the tug of war easily with little effort; others we can literally be knocked down by a feather.  The fight can be a minor tiff or a full-scale nuclear war, and our chances of victory depend largely on how well we’re feeling.  There’s no way of predicting how devastating the assault will be or how well-stocked our supplies are to oppose it.

Our track record of victories provides no comfort or encouragement, because it feels like the slate is wiped clean from one day to the next.  The knowledge that we’ve faced worst and come out on top bears no significance when we’re faced with the challenge of a new day.  By the same token, there is little immediate satisfaction in the realisation that we have survived another attack.

And the reality is that every day that we see through to its end is a victory.  It may not feel like it at the time, but when we reach the end of the day, we have come out on top.  We haven’t succumbed, haven’t given in, haven’t given up.  If it’s taken help from others to get us there, we’ve found the strength to ask someone to stand beside us and face it.  We don’t have to go it alone; we just have to keep on going.


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