How I Overcome Depression

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I just came out of a three day fog; one that felt like a heavy veil obscuring every ounce of my joy.  These temporary depressions do not come often, but when they do, it feels like cobwebs take over my mind and emotional body. Negative thoughts overwhelm me.  I become so numb and uncomfortable, that I want to jump out of my skin.  The old addict voice whispers things to me like, “please just get me a drink this time.  No one has to know.  Maybe smoke some pot, or find another drug to take me out of this misery.”  I’m so familiar with the voice that I immediately tell it to shut up.  I don’t entertain the thought of getting drunk or high.  I know the depression is super temporary because I’ve sat with it before.  I’ve even welcomed it and told it to hang out as long as it needs to, but I remind it that it is only a guest (in the words of Rumi), and that it is not allowed to overstay it’s welcome.  Depression discovers boredom inside the house of acceptance.  It cannot sustain a presence in a place where one is not resisting.  I wrote a poem the last time I felt depression overcome me, which reminds me that these experiences are only temporary.  All things pass.  Here is the poem:

UPON DESPAIR ARISING

Dance with discord

Instead of shunning the imposter

We must be aware of its dark presence

Give it space to breathe and dissipate in its own casual time

Waltz within the cavern walls of depression

Mindfully recalling the light, even in faint memory

Interact with the intimidating beast as if it were a comrade

Place your hands gently into its claws

Willfully make its gluttonous acquaintance

Cease all judgment and plot of resolution

Summon the impending anguish without distain

Therein exists artistic expression

Twarted by your harmony, gloom will swiftly make its exit

Keep on dancing, no matter the tune

This sinister song is not eternal

 

This sinister song is not eternal.  We are so used to fighting in our addiction, that learning to sit with emotions and discomfort takes a lot of practice and diligence.  I am so glad I didn’t listen to the addict voice this weekend, because as I look out my window today and feel the fog has lifted, I’m elated.  I feel better than I have in a while.  I think sometimes I go through these depressions when I am shifting into a better place.  Shedding old skin can be so uncomfortable, but it is extremely temporary.  So is getting high and drunk.  All things pass, so it’s better to accept life as it comes than to resist the moment as it is.

Today, I have two and a half years sober.  Maybe my addict was acting up because it doesn’t like the scent of defeat.

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