I heard a line in a song recently that talked about the rain drowning the storm and thought to myself, well that seems like a perfect metaphor for depression. Because when the rains of depression come, they seem to swallow everything, even the depression itself. But that is just a lie, because mental illness is a devilishly good liar.
When a depression comes, for me at least, I become detached, despondent, and disillusioned, so overwhelmed by the tempest within that I can’t bring myself to connect with the things I care about. With the things I love.
I’ve learned to recognize my depressions for what they are: illnesses. They are no more my fault than catching a cold. Yet before I began to understand my mental illness, I would watch the darkness push others away, hurting the people I care about. And I couldn’t even feel the proper amount of sadness or concern over the way my darkness damaged personal relationships, because I was too busy drowning in the darkness myself, a darkness, a rain, so deep that I couldn’t see the storm it was coming from. But now I can. Usually at least.
Learning to understand your mental illness doesn’t always stop it. Rather, it offers moments where you are lifted above the storm clouds and you can see that the storm is outside you, separate from you, and that the storm, and the rain it brings, will pass. And although that knowledge won’t stop the rain from coming, it will at least offer a way to keep your head above the rising waters until the storm passes. And small though that may seem, it can make all the difference. At least it has for me.
P.S. The song I mentioned at the beginning of the post was At The End of the Line by Skerryvore. I’m adding it to the music page and I’d highly recommend it.