I’m Still Standing

Tonight I had to write down a brief account of the last ten years of my life.  I cannot publish what I wrote at this time.  It is truly tragic.  In order to not sink into the depths of despair I must remember that there were some really good and really special times that have occurred during this period as well.  They length of these good times may pale in comparison to the length of the bad ones, but the good is always greater than the bad.

At times like this when I feel so sad and so sorry for myself I must force myself to think about the good times, or at least distract myself from my current thoughts and current mood.  One would think it would be easy to do so, after all, who wants to emerse themselves in sad thoughts except for masochists?  But ruminating about sad thoughts is exactly what people with Depression do when they are depressed.  To make matters worse, when I am deeply depressed I lose access to those happy times.  Some events I cannot remember at all.  Many other times I can remember the physical details of the memory but I have no access to the positive feelings that are supposed to accompany the memory.  The memory is like a silent movie.

This is the time for self direction.  This is the time for self distraction.  Because that cognitive behavior is going to be the one thing that separates grief and profound sadness from the abyss of depression.

Depression is not only sadness, grief, and despair; it is also the absence of the ability to access positive feelings of any kind. Depression is always full on access to all negative emotions and most negative memories, with little to no access to positive feelings and positive memories.

At times like these, when I am not depressed but still overwhelmed with profound sadness, that I must be diligent in what I choose to think about if I am to stop myself falling back into the pit.  It is at times like these when it gets a little harder to feel the pleasantness of past memories that I remember the lyrics of Dave Matthews that say: "The space between the tears we cry is the laughter keeps us coming back for more".

Although I may not be able to revel in those happy memories at the moment, I force myself to remember that they do exist and that I will be able to remember and feel them again, and that there will be more happy times ahead.

I am still standing.