The last blog post 'Understanding depression: From The Beginning,' was dedicated to discuss the origins of depression and to a certain extent how to deal with it by allowing it, rather than try to resist it. To understand something we have to explore it until it makes sense. Trying to ignore depression equals to pretending that our bills don't have to be paid if we ignore the letters we receive. It does not make sense.
Years ago I was involved in a car accident resulting in a fractured leg. However traumatic and painful the experience was at the time, it was a fracture easy to heal in theory, although medical negligence made me live with a fractured leg for three years. Two weeks after the accident I decided to stop taking pain killers, as the medication was taking the life out of me. Instead I dedicated my time to write and finish the academic year in university.
The pin inserted in my leg didn't allow the bones to come together and join, hence the healing process did not begin until 3 years after. During the first 6 months I didn't sleep more than two hours per night. As a norm I only sleep four hours and at least one night per week I don't sleep at all, but reducing the hours of rest to half finally took a toll on me and had a breakdown. The next five days were spent in a clinic where they were supposed to help me recover. I cannot say that I was exactly the happiest man to be around before the breakdown, but I was functioning very well. Five days at the clinic at 20 pills a day took my will to live away. Seeing the effect that the medication was having on me, I released myself from the clinic.
At the time I was sharing a house with friends. It was only when I saw their faces the moment the looked at me that I realised in what shape I was. The next day I went to university as usual. I am not someone easy to stop when I'm determined to do something. My lecturer and tutor had a different opinion and sent me home. He wouldn't allow me in. For two months I lay in bed doing nothing. I remember the excruciating pain that I went through the first few weeks. Every minute of the day I wanted the feeling to stop. Being awake twenty hours a day didn't make it easier.
I was not so concerned with my state of mind, but with the fact that my health condition was so debilitating that I couldn't do all the activities I was used to. I enjoyed going to university, writing and meeting with friends. I also had a job. The only reason I wanted to come out of it was not happiness per se, but to be able to continue with my life as it was. At that stage I was refusing to stop and this was a mistake. Depression wouldn't allow me to do anything. In my mind I was still the same person and capable of doing everything and more with ease. My body told differently.
It took a few weeks before I surrendered to reality. I do remember that moment as if I was there now. I was lying down in bed smoking, staring at the sealing. And my thought was, oh well! I give in. If I have to stay in this bed for the rest of my life, so be it. I don't care. I don't have the energy to fight it. And this moment was what made the difference to what happened next.
The essential element which influenced change and helped to restore my health was feeling. I felt the emotions that came along with the thought. By allowing feeling to go through my body I somehow gave a new direction to my life. Writing, university or work were of no importance. For the next few weeks I continued lying in bed, smoking and staring at the sealing, but I no longer felt inclined to push the minutes forward against a future that never seemed to come. I was comfortable in my situation, as I accepted that that was my reality and resigned myself to perhaps being in the state for the rest of my life.
Two months after, I woke up one morning and depression was gone. I was in bliss; feeling the happiest man alive. The other element which helped me to deal with this episode I just described, as well as with everything else in life was shamelessness. I am neither afraid, nor ashamed of who I am. As a norm, people want to feel good about themselves. In order to achieve such feeling and to make it permanent, we always look for the positives about to ourselves. Nothing wrong with this, but by doing so we neglect to connect with an integral part of ourselves.
To achieve a sense of wholeness and to feel the essence of what and who we really are, we must also integrate all those parts we try to avoid. There is no light without darkness. If depression is in this case what afflicts us at the moment, we must accept and embrace this it and do it shamelessly. There is nothing we have to be ashamed of. If you think that depression is something that affects you only, you can think again. Depression affects almost everyone at some point in their lives.
We cannot understand what we don't allow. Trying to resist depression is no different from trying to resist happiness. Only that of course no one wants to resists happiness. Embrace who you are, every part of you regardless of how dark it seems to you. By resisting parts of who we are, we are only making it stronger and lasting. Shame makes us even more depressed and I do understand that when one is suffering from depression it is very difficult to feel proud about anything. There is no need to broadcast our depression to world, but let's integrate this part in who we are. Depression is not what you really are, although to realise who you are, first you have to go through what you're not.
If you are currently suffering from depression, surrender to it and see what happens next. To surrender does not mean that you are only depression, it means that this is where you are right now. The key to a happy life is to accept what we have now. It is the moment we stop fighting that we can win. And sometimes the best thing to do to find a solution, as it was my case, is to do nothing at all.
If you missed yesterday's blog post on depression this is the link .... 'Understanding Depression: From The Beginning.'
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