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Treading Water

It’s a vicious cycle one gets into when the gremlin voice of depression and self-criticism sets into motion.

Like a weed that plants itself into your mind and begins to spread effortlessly. Before you know it, you’re choking yourself out with these nasty little roots that deplete your body, mind and soul of nutrients and love.

It’s easy for someone who has struggled with depression most of their life to slip back into it. Sometimes all it takes is rejection, a heart-breaking comment, the loss of a friend, or a move to a new province where their support system is basically non-existent. It doesn’t take much.

The slope is slippery… as you’ve been there many times… the foundation was set years ago and you know your way around, know the thoughts to think, the actions to take, that will inevitably take you deeper and deeper into the darkness.

At times you aren’t even aware that you are falling… it happens so fast.

Other times, you feel yourself slipping, but are already feeling so depleted of strength and resources that you don’t even fight to stay above ground.

I once likened depression to treading water in the middle of the ocean.

No one is around.

You’re there, alone, it’s getting dark, and you are treading, swirling your arms and legs in an effort to stay above the water.

As time goes by, you begin to wonder if anyone is missing you.

Will anyone come and rescue you?

Does anyone care that you are out here, all alone, struggling to survive?

You begin to tire and consider stopping… just letting go… sinking to the bottom….You are alone, you are exhausted, no one cares....

Suddenly, there is an arm reaching out to grab your hand, lifting you out of the water, wrapping you in a warm, soft towel.

You feel their arms tight around you, holding you… comforting you… protecting you.

You are safe.

You are loved.

You are alive.

You are instantly filled with a sense of hope, a knowing that everything will be okay….and you think to yourself, perhaps I am not alone after all…

Life can be lonely.

Life can be hard.

There are days when we are challenged beyond what we thought possible.

There are days when joy fills us to overflowing.

No matter the day, no matter the circumstance, we long for those we love to be with us.

We need one another.

We need to support and encourage one another.

We are here, connected, living together, not so that we isolate ourselves and each other.

We are here, connected, living together to love.

Today, reach out to one another person.

Be the hand that pulls them from the darkness.

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