First off, I’d like to start off by defining what Depression is:
According to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia it is defined as –
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
While I do not disagree with this, I think it left out a few other words as well as overstated clinical depression. Depression can be caused by many things but most often tends to be from the overall state of confusion and the belief that because you’re not “Happy” that you MUST be depressed. As far as clinical depression, for most, any sort of sudden jolt of negative emotion causes interference with our every day life for weeks or longer. I will explain my beliefs as well as my personal experience with battling this relatively common affliction.
The war of balance is one that is the most important when we approach the rather sensitive subject of sadness and depression. As I had stated previously, I believe that many of the issues that we experience when down are caused from an overall confusion of how it fits into what’s happening in our lives. Significant other has left, I was having a great day and suddenly it seemingly went to the toilet, the job search is never ending no matter how hard I try. The key part to focus in on there is “no matter how hard I try”. Often whenever I hear those words I automatically ask the question, “How hard did you try?”. Now, this isn’t meant to be a smart ass question nor my questioning of the said effort being given, it’s to cause reflection of the situation. What else is going on in your life, did anything else take your attention away or could it just simply be the result of random outcomes? Within these questions I also refer to the Chinese belief in Yin and Yang, the balance of nature. Light and Dark, Water and Fire, Starsky and Hutch…opposites that work as a balancing effect within everything around us. It is this balance that allows for a terrible thing to happen while a great thing is happening. It’s what keeps us grounded, or to look at it another way, we start out in a hole and although we can’t go straight up, we can go as time does, linear, and it will eventually lead us to the surface. It is by all means not easier but as the saying goes, anything of true worth is worth working for. It’s never fun going 2 steps back to take 1 step forward and yet it’s something we do often without thinking about it. Funny.
Balance, whether we see it or not, is the driving force behind most of the things in our life. Balance, unlike Karma, relies more on reactionary basis and definitely requires effort and an open mind. Doing good will not necessarily come back to me, it’s more of a scientific approach. When it rains, it pours right? Wrong, let’s put a point value to each. Seeing as though it’s the good that gets us through the bad we’ll say the ratio is 2 to 1. For every good thing we receive, one should be prepared or at least understand that 2 smaller things may occur. I got a new job but on the way back I got into a car accident and I may be found at fault (regardless if I am or not). Balance. I met a new person, we really click, but my grandfather is having health issues and I’m getting behind on my school work. Balance. All of these things are seemingly not connected but yet they are, they are because we are what connects these circumstances.
So how do I deal with it? Well, although it’s not recommended for most, I internalize a lot of everything but I do it in a way that I find peace and contentment. The important thing is that I find a place to go to where I can just be alone, a quiet getaway that I have no matter where I am. I think about it all, I try to view it from not only my own perspective but others as well. I become my own Observer. How would I approach this had it happened under different circumstances, how I’d approach it if it were a friend or family member. The importance of having an open mind is crucial. I use the getaway as a way to calm myself down so that I am capable of thinking without bias or heavy emotion. When I lived in San Diego I went to Coronado and sat at the beach, in LA I went away from the city into the hills where I could see the stars, Sacramento I’d go to the river and so on. I make it a point to know and have a place no matter where I am for the simple fact that life happens at any time so I must be prepared. I can never avoid getting overwhelmed but I do ensure that in the case I am, that I have what is basically an escape plan.
Once I have calmed down and thoroughly thought it out, then I communicate it with my confidants. The people I trust the most to not only listen but don’t have to make an effort to cheer me up. This last part is critical for the simple fact that people like this are rare but we all have that person or two. I talk it out until I feel better, which usually doesn’t take long, but I believe this to be the act that does the most help. Knowing that there is someone else, that I’m not alone, that someone else has either been through what I have or at least shows genuine care and understanding allows me to feel better quickly. Knowing that I have a strong support group, even when not fully available, is what brings me out of the sadness and confusion.
1. Have an open mind, know that balance is key and that no matter what, there is still good in every situation even if we don’t see it immediately.
2. Communication is key and at times we must force ourselves to talk about it regardless of how much we don’t want to.
3. There is always someone who has either been through it or understands. You are never alone in this War of Balance.
4. Referring to #1 & #2, having an open mind and willingness to communicate means reaching out to someone you may not normally reach out to. A counselor or an acquaintance, a friend or family member, sometimes the person who understands the most is the one you’ve never tried before.
5. I am always available, I make it a point to be so. As I stated before, life happens at any moment so I do my absolute best to always be there to help. I realize the importance of that and so I live it.
Part 2 will be coming sometime this week, it’s been a relatively busy month and it takes me awhile to figure out how to arrange the words into something meaningful. So, until next post, think of your getaway and make it happen. Find that person who knows you better than you’d ever imagined and reach out.