The Third Great Revelation
Okay, he ain’t goin’ away, and he made you what you are. What’s next?
The third great revelation of depression grows out of the first two. Because he’s not going away, and because he made you what you are, you need to make peace with him. Okay, not with him, but with his existence. As I said last time:
Don’t run from depression, lean into it.
Now by lean into it, I certainly don’t mean you should dive into your depression and wallow in it. That way leads to despair. I’ve been in despair, and believe you me, despair is a place you don’t want to go.
No, what I mean by lean into it is
- Accept that you struggle with depression
- Learn coping mechanisms
- Take energy from it
Take energy from it? But Andrew, my depressions are the most exhausting thing in my life.
Yeah, I know. Mine too.
And, while I’m new at this whole leaning into it thing, I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time on introspection. I’m learning more about my triggers and paying more attention to my path into, through and out of depressive episodes.
At first I was just surviving, and learning coping strategies. Later I began to see ways not only to combat the monster, but to draw energy from him and apply that energy to something constructive.
Somewhere along the way I’ve probably mentioned I’m a long time martial arts practitioner. One common thread among several of the arts I’ve studied is to take your opponent’s energy, harness it and redirect it back at him.
Do that with the monster.
Take what he throws at you and harness it. Take that energy and make it your own. Redirect it into your own life, your own goals, your own dreams. This is what I have been training myself to do.
More on that later, but meantime, believe this; if I can do it you can too.