A miracle is nothing more than a shift in perspective, which is why your entire life can change in an instant. Below is a message I received yesterday from a gentleman in regards to my post about depression. I'm sharing this (with permission of course) because this is a beautiful and touching example of how quickly a shift can occur. He and I both hope that it will speak directly to those who most need to hear it:
Thanks for your post about depression which is right on time for me. Although I liked to read your always wise words, I feel as if I'm missing something.
How do I release the pain?
How do I look within to discover myself?
Things are just so pathetically hopeless in every facet of my life and despite finding a way to push forward, it seems as if the universe conspires against me at every turn. Everything I try to do fails... every single fucking time. Then I cocoon into deep "I hope I die soon" depression and stay there til I find some glimmer of excitement about something I want to accomplish.... I put in my best and full effort, and I come up short and rinse repeat...
Could my goals be too lofty? They sure are but I don't just come up short, I barely make it out the gate before everything unravels on me.
It's been like this for about 4 years with the last 3 being especially difficult. Before that I had something extra in me that I've seemed to lose somewhere along the way but I have no idea what.
Maybe you can lead me in some kind of direction.
Wanting to die.
I agreed to write further on the subject because the 'how' is so important, but just a few hours later, I received this extraordinary message from him:
After some reflection during and after a visit with a friend, I came to realize that you touched on what is likely the most effective catalyst for these shifts. Human interaction, support from family and/or friends and even the act of having a conversation with someone about what they are passionate about are so key to this question I believe. You also pointed out that many people do not have the luxury of having these wonderful people in there lives. In fact some people have quite the opposite, surrounded by toxic individuals. Clearly, those unfortunate souls have a major disadvantage when it comes to overcoming these problems.
Luckily I have the benefit of having several of the aforementioned blessings of people around. I think for those of us who do have this "support network", it is wise to make full use of this resource. I also noticed you mentioned yourself doing exactly this in one of your posts, asking your friends to message you positivity (currently can't recall the exact nature of what the messages were but I'm sure you'll know what I refer to).
For those who do not have that luxury, I think a good start would be to try to build a network of friends. Try to meet new people or reconnect with old friends and family. As you know, this is so much more easier said then done under the cloud of despair. This is a very difficult thing to overcome, no doubt.
Having the support network doesn't really prevent the dark cloud from coming, it just makes it easier to endure before it passes. Like a raincoat during the rainstorm.... while we all search for that elusive umbrella, the truly wise go indoors! (It sounds like it makes sense, I'll go with it lol)
This stems from my friend dropping by shortly after you and I exchanged messages. He doesn't know I'm depressed and I chose to not share it with him at this moment, and put on that mask if you will, appearing as neutral to positive. (Not sure this is a good thing I'm doing that, and it's frankly making me feel guilty for being less then genuine as I'm typing it out). Nonetheless I put on the mask, which I guess is a skill that us borne of necessity for people suffering our affliction. During our conversation in which I mostly took the role of active listener, I gained three different insights that not only elevated my mood but gave me tiny glimmers of hope.
One was an opportunity that I didn't even recognize until then due to an internal type of purposeful negative self limitation I was imposing on myself due to past failures in a similar endeavour. One was him mentioning something in our mutual field that I had argued for as being optimal 8 years ago is now being recognized as such, and my own revelation that I myself was no longer implementing it and that when I was my results were much better. The last one was being reminded of something I am rather good at, if not excellent that I am not currently partaking in but should consider. (These are purposefully kind of vague as I think it's actually way easier to articulate my thoughts without distraction of specific details not relevant to the message)
Finally, I wanted to mention that I typed 75% of this when the universe conspired on me again and the computer crashed and it was lost. At first I said fuck it, I won't be able write it all again, I'll miss something...negative self talk. I thought about how it could help you or a reader and fought the temptation of letting this message go unsent, and I probably wrote it better this 2nd time around.
Feeling a little better, momentarily. I'll take it for now before this terrible thing we call depression engulfs me again.
Thanks for listening and I hope you find some value in this.
Post Script: To explain my metaphor, friends and family represent the raincoat, the first line of defence against the storm. You're still going to get rained on but it's much more endurable with the coat on. The umbrella represents developing a shield to block the symptoms of the depression, which can be represented by things such as medications or counselling. I call it elusive because these things often don't work or only work fleetingly as the umbrella eventually wears down and becomes ineffective if you even find one that works at all. When I say the truly wise go indoors, it means to eliminate the root problem (no rain inside) which is inside the doors of your soul which you discuss at length in the post that you made which sparked this conversation today.
Amazing insights and the metaphor is bang on. As we corresponded after, he mentioned his skepticism that this shift will last, but as I said to him, "I'm always skeptical too that a shift will last, but it's not about that really. You had a shift, period. That's something to celebrate! And to share your light while you have it is the highest thing you can do."
Wishing all of you a day of miracles, and sending many thanks to the man who was kind enough to share this wisdom with with me and with the world.