16th May – I heard a couple of days ago that a friend was recognising that his low mood was something rather more than a bit of feeling fed-up and exhausted. The letter below is my message to him – and to anyone else who is hitting a bout of depression. I feel duty bound to add this introductory paragraph, as so many of my lovely webfriends have interpreted my letter as a veiled reference to myself. Be assured – my emotional well-being is fine, but thank you all for the kind thoughts! June
Posted on 14th May:
I’ve heard you’re not well. That the black thoughts are crowding in, that the tears are falling unbidden and unexpected. That your body is heavy and your brain fogged. That the great pleasures in your life have lost their power to uplift and the future has become a hidden place.
The person that you trust the most – your self – that self that has guided you through so many years of life, through pleasure and pain, through success and failure, that self that has recognised beauty and love and optimism and strength – has started to lie to you. It has forgotten all these wonderful things and now whispers darkness in your ear. That self is imprisoned in a drawstring bag of sadness and weight and powerlessness.
It will pass. It WILL pass. The strings will loosen and the light will seep in. When you can’t loosen those strings yourself, others can help you to unpick the knots. And as they loosen, your self will see more light than dark, more hope than despair, the power of your amazing life will reveal itself again.
It will pass. It WILL pass. Your tears will become tears of knowing and relief. They will be welcome because they will refresh and refill you with understanding of your self. You will recognise the things that are truly worthwhile and meaningful to you and you will put away the things that have pretended to be meaningful in your life and that have overwhelmed the real.
It will pass. It WILL pass. That drawstring bag of blackness will collapse in on itself and you will be able to tuck it away, out of sight, but not out of mind because you will want to know where it is, and to recognise it again. And when it does collapse and shrink away (and it may take a while) your self will be clearer, lighter, wiser and kinder to you. The power of life and love and beauty will lift your heart and your head. And you will come back to the world with a smile and the world will come back to you. Your friends will be waiting.
It will pass. I promise.