If you scroll through Instagram or Facebook on a regular basis, it’s inevitable that you are going to run into well-intentioned advice on how to escape depression or how to lift yourself up out of a bad mood or how to set aside time for ‘self-care’ in order to keep yourself happy and healthy.
The thing that nobody talks about, however, is that once you are truly in a depressed state of mind, the last thing you want to do is lift yourself out of it. It seems like there is something inside of us (or perhaps it is just me, I don’t know) that, once we have fallen, takes delight in staying and wallowing in the filth of our minds.
Thoughts like “I’m such a loser” “What is wrong with me” “I’ll never be happy” “My life doesn’t matter” swirl around our minds and blanket themselves around our soul, and something dark in us awakens, welcoming the ugliness that it brings.
I have yet to figure out a way to make myself WANT to wash off the grimy thoughts that cling like leeches to the recesses of my mind when they manifest, and usually just have to wait until they have suckled their fill of my spirit and drop off on their own, sated…until the next time.
Because I can’t bring myself to cut them off mid-feed, the obvious answer is to not give them a chance to latch on in the first place…which means avoiding the lakes and rivers that harbor the creatures, waiting for a stray arm or leg to latch onto.
The tricky part comes when those lakes and streams are familiar or even beloved; we so often don’t want to give up what we know, even if what we know takes more away from our soul than what it gives.
As cliche and fru-fru as it sounds, it comes down to loving ourselves and treating ourselves as we would want a friend to treat themselves. So often if we take ourselves out of our own body and look at the situation from the vantage point of someone else, we immediately point out the obvious flaws and stupidity of repeatedly returning to the dark side of the moon; yet as soon as we put back on our own skin we skip merrily into the shadows.
We are worth more than familiarity, if familiarity has bred contempt. We have one short life—why would we cheat ourselves out of even one single second of happiness and contentment? We must choose love, and loving our self is the only way to continually ensure that OUR life is what WE want, and nothing less.