how to connect with depressed friends

I LOVE this TEDx talk about connecting with finds who are depressed. I’ve found so many times that depression is all the more isolating, because friends and family don’t understand what depression really is like to live with or know how to be there for those they care about when they are depressed.

The best times I’ve shared with others while I was depressed were the little moments of quiet companionship and maybe a dark joke. Like Bill says in the video, you can be sad and still be ok. It’s disheartening when you feel like you have to put on a mask in order to be accepted and loved. The thing that is the most comforting when you are depressed is knowing that you are still loved, appreciated, and valued exactly as you are at that moment.

Our culture is obsessed with fake happiness, and the truth is that life is messy and hard and sad, and so many other different emotions that we hide, and don’t allow ourselves to experience because we are afraid of not conforming to what society tells us are acceptable emotions to feel and display. The amazing thing about feeling down is that you appreciate feeling good so much more. The lower you go, the higher you can go.  Once I started to honor the darkness, and the light, I realized how integral and beautiful they each are to our growth.

I heard a quote the other day that was talking about how we could never see the beauty of the night sky and the stars unless the moon was dark, because if the moon was always full we would only know the light. I finally realized after watching this video that the gold in the pain of depression for me, is that it causes me to slow down and practice gratitude for all the small, beautiful things that life is full of. Depression has helped me to become more compassionate towards others. It has also taught me how beautiful the impermanence of life is. Death and life are the same. Without one the other wouldn’t be possible.

we must die, to be born again 

Over the past year I have undertaken my own version of the heroes descent into the Underworld. Death, darkness, agony, and the like have been my constant companions. I’ve been attracted to songs, tv shows, people, places… anything and everything that offered me insight into the deep darkness of my shadow. 

One misconception that I’ve slowly learned to disregard is to fight it, that only makes everything much worse. What’s being asked of you isn’t to fight… it’s to surrender. To give yourself over to the darkness in order to bring forth your light. 

I know there’s a huge movement right now of positive thinking, the law of attraction, creating your own reality and a lot of other get happy quick bullshit, but before you go about creating the life of your dreams, you need to know what that actually means. I’m not at all saying that positive thinking and mindfulness are bad, I’m simply saying that when life calls you on your journey to the underworld: the more you resist and hold onto the life you had before, the harder it will be. 

Death comes to us in order for us to be reborn. Death teaches us that we are not in control and attachments only lead to suffering. While I realize that all of this sounds rather depressing, quite the opposite is true! 

When you willingly allow yourself to transform and live through your highest Self, all the suffering you experienced before ceases. You begin to live through your heart; open and connected to the abundance of love that has always been present. You selflessly share that love with others. You can’t help it, you are one with everything and everyone around you. 

If you’re currently being called to journey through the Underworld, please know that you are not alone. Everything will be ok. You are stronger than you could possibly know. 

Let go, and surrender yourself to the mystery and magic trying to reach you. You are not forgotten, you are supported and loved. 

lighten up! 

How can I lighten up when everything feels so heavy and depressing? How can I remember that it’s all just a game… nothing to be taken too seriously.

Being depressed is a lot of work. Physically, mentally, emotionally it takes a ton of energy. How can I redirect that energy into lightness & play? What’s that one physics law that says energy can’t be created or destroyed, just switched around? 

I’ve been so stuck in this funk (and for good reason), but that doesn’t mean I have to keep using my energy to hold myself down. All of that energy can be better used and maybe will help me come up with some magic! I could definitely use some of that right now. 

Low vibration energy gets stuck and doesn’t want to move around. It keeps me in a fog of hopelessness. But high vibration energy moves around a whole bunch! It’s always running, playing, changing, and not getting attached to anything for too long. 

Maybe that’s part of the secret: to not be attached. 

So now I guess it’s just finding practical ways to spend my energy doing things that make me feel light instead of heavy. Swinging at the park, petting the kitties at Best Friends, eating some yummy food, telling inside jokes with my mini me, watching animal videos… Just writing about it makes me excited to redirect my flow to the things that make me happy in life. 

It’s hard to remember this when you’re feeling down though, so maybe I’ll put sticky notes on my mirror or something 🙂