I know for myself, the pain and sadness and despair I can go through can be excruciating, worse than any physical pain, and at the time I am going through it, it blocks out everything else. But afterward, when I can step outside myself and see the whole of me, I realise that when I am happy (and I don't mean manic, just 'normally' happy) and well, I notice, feel and enjoy things most other people aren't even aware are there, and I feel so lucky.
Although when in the depths of a depressive episode you may feel you just want it all to end - to die even - when you even think you feel dead, please try to remember – and look for signs – that you are in fact, more alive than most people, even though that seems an awful paradox. Please don't ever regret your sensitivity, your tendency to pain and sadness that gives the illusion of being disabling, please don't see it as a weakness: it is in fact your greatest strength, it is part of your unique beauty. OUR greatest strength. OUR unique beauty in this world. And part of the gift you have - I have, WE have – to give to the world... to help it soften, to teach it compassion and tenderness.
Do you realise how brave you are to feel the pain of depression? Most people will do almost anything to escape pain – and generally succeed in doing so. OK – we haven't chosen to be this way, but the fact that you are still alive means you have that great courage, because you have felt that pain, and you're still here to tell the tale. You know what that is? That is HEROIC. Do you know what the definition of a Champion is? A Champion is someone who gets up even when he can't. How many times have you already done that in your life, as a person who suffers depression?
You probably don't feel it at the moment, but I am telling you, you are a Hero, a Champion, and one of an elite group of the population who has been chosen to be an example to the rest, and you are therefore a gift to the world.
I leave you with these verses:
“The deeper sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,
The very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart
and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow
that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again into your heart,
And you shall see that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.”
“Sorrow prepares you for joy.
It violently sweeps everything out of your house,
So that new joy can find space to enter.
It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart,
So that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.
It pulls up the rotten roots,
So that new roots hidden beneath jave room to grow.
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart,
Far better things will take their place.”
The sun WILL come out again.