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Stalking My Depression

sadI have been stalking my own depression for years.

42 and 2/3 years to be exact.

Since one of my earliest childhood memories is of “feeling blue, cold and lonely,” I can assume the depression has been with me since that time.

But until recently, the underpinnings of its continuation have remained a mystery.

I don’t mean to say that I have been standing under an ever-expanding dark cloud for 42+ years. Far from it.

Rather, thanks to a host of coping skills, including recovering from an eating disorder, neurofeedback, meditation, regular exercise, contemplation, good friends, journaling, a series of mentors, songwriting, courses and workshops, service work and more, the effects of the depression have been continually receding, year after year after year.

From time to time I have approached it, asked it, “What are you made of? Why are you still here?” At these times I have felt like I was talking to the cosmos itself – so vast and black and impenetrable was its source, so inexplicable its reply.

At other times I just got a firm message, “You go away.”

Still other times produced only silence.

That is, until recently.

Not too many months ago, my depression finally spoke clearly to me for the first time. It showed me how vast it really is. Its trigger is pain – human, animal, planetary, connective. It is the depression that recognizes the hurting parts of life, rails against them, argues at their unfairness and (seeming) randomness, cries – wails – with their victims and never, ever recovers from any of it.

Yesterday my depression spoke again. It showed me a depth of loss that simply refuses to forget. Rather than choosing to feel joy and then having to endure its departure, it wears itself as a protective sheath of gentle, continual grief, hoping against hope that time and exposure might at last ease the pain a little. But this never, ever happens.

Stalking my depression has been interesting. For starters, it has shifted the balance of power between the depression and me. It has – albeit only after many years of dedicated surveillance – yielded helpful insights. It has slowly and gently forged the beginnings of a trust-based relationship between us. It has given me hope and compassion towards myself and others. It has gifted me with a powerful and motivating goal to work towards.

What it has not yet accomplished is the departure of the depression itself. But there I feel we – my depression and I – are making great progress.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever decided to “stalk” some type of persistent problem or issue you are experiencing? Whether an emotional or mental pattern, a recurring relationship situation or something else, has stalking the issue yielded helpful insights? 

Sad girl image available from Shutterstock.

Stalking My Depression


Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering. http://www.loveandfeathersandshells.com http://www.shannoncutts.com


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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2020). Stalking My Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2013/09/stalking-my-depression/

 

Last updated: 29 Mar 2020
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.