My life has been a journey. Much of it spent in wonderful places, with awesome people I deeply love, and transcendent experiences. I’ve also had my share of the topsy-turvy curveballs of life’s tribulations that happen to everyone: loved ones dying, friendships fizzling, and adult children leaving home.
But depression doesn’t happen to everyone.
I’m in a dream of driving my car through a countryside landscape. My window’s open and the fresh air is blowing in. It’s sunny, and the road is sharply winding. I arrive at a border crossing and drive from the land of a healthy life into one of darkness that is depression. The air is stale and lifeless, hanging down like a musty drape. I close my car window. Looking through my windshield, I see only murky clouds. The landscape is barren and absent of people. I turn to make a U-turn to make it back across the border, but something blocks my path. I’m lost in this place. I don’t have a map. All signs and traffic signals make no sense. It’s hard to think straight. I drive around for hours, maybe days, and eventually make cross back into this sweet land of the living where I hope, live, and love.
Learning to Navigate
Recovering from depression is learning to navigate its torpid terrain so that we can get back to a sunnier slice of life as quickly as we can.
Therapy and good coping skills can teach and empower us to see exits in this dark land we didn’t see before. We can learn to take those exits back home. Or, better yet, not to cross the border in the first place.
Once we gain some insight, we have choices about which countries we visit in our lives; which borders we cross. Feeling better is about spending less and less time in the nether regions and more in the land where things grow, change, laughter lives, and we experience the full range of emotions that bring all of us to life.
By Daniel T. Lukasik, Esq.