My depression enhanced in me a fascination with graveyards. I guess I identified more with being dead than being alive. I had always been fascinated with cemeteries, but I became obsessed with thinking about them and reading about them. When I began sharing about this one night with our friends Jerry and Mary Jo, the morbid nature of my thinking became apparent to my wife (who had already gone to bed, but was listening to our conversation).
That night, Jerry and Mary Jo were so kind to me. Instead of being put off by my obsession with death, they were compassionate. And the next day my wife was attentive to me as well. I had not wanted to burden friends with my fatalistic views because I “knew” nothing could be done; there was no remedy for me. All that would happen if I shared my suicidal feelings with others is this: they would tell me things to “do” and “not do” to solve my situation.
And I had no emotional strength to “do” or “not do” anything at all. So, what was the point? It would just be another burden for me to carry. I was weary. I was beyond exhausted. All I wanted was peace, the lack of conflict, release from the heavy burden I was carrying.
It was as if the sky was no longer blue for me each day; rather, brown, or some such color. Existence was not only dismal, it was excruciatingly unbearable. And it made no sense to continue it. I was the opposite of King Midas: everything I touched seemed to turn to dust.
But compassion . . . expressed to me with genuineness by my wife, my friends, my family; my brother identifying with my pain and even openly sharing some of his own pain (while putting a literal and emotional arm around me one night) – these, and I’m sure many other factors, began to breathe life . . . or at least the hope of life back into me.
Nine months later, the gestation period for my release from depression coming full term, I awoke one January morning . . . and the sky was blue again.
There was no more pit. No more sensation of falling.
Finally . . . there was an UP in my world again.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drv3BP0Fdi8 (Stephen Ilardi, Depression is a Disease of Civilization, Video, TedXEmory)
- http://www.amazon.com/Hyperbole-Half-Unfortunate-Situations-Mechanisms/dp/1451666179/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409316491&sr=1-1&keywords=Allie+Brosh (Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half, 2013) [Although I do not endorse everything in this book, some of the insights regarding depression are unparalleled (in my estimation), and so I offer it to you]