Recent article in the Washington Post –
Category Archives: Health
By Mellie Smith
This week I jumped down the rabbit hole.
Those of you who have a tendency to depression understand what I mean. For those who don’t, imagine a sailor who has heard the song of the siren. Everywhere he goes, the haunting song draws him. He knows with his mind that it is a lure to death, but everything in him longs for the embrace that comes before. That is what it is like to live with depression. For me. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve read enough and listened to enough to know that my experience is not unique. Occasionally, it is a raging vortex of darkness, but, usually, it is enticing, alluring, attractive. [Photo: “Dysthymia” by Larali21 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons]
I learned very early that giving in to that siren song was life-eroding. I don’t know how I happened on that bit of wisdom, but I was pre-adolescent when I understood that I needed to fight it, and I did. I begged God to take it away. I tried to “positive think” it away. I tried scolding myself out of it. I tried denial. None of that worked, of course. It is a part of me, and not a broken part, just a natural tendency in the same way that I have a tendency to excel at words but struggle with math. I get the big picture, but the individual numbers seem to want to tumble into a black hole. Perhaps that was how I understood the need to fight this tendency, I saw the big picture of joyful life, but repeatedly found myself in the black hole.