Dominated by depression my entire life, many people have often wondered why it was I never bothered with drugs or cognitive behavioural therapy. It’s true that in my teens, I never took the pills because I didn’t like the side effects mentioned in the small print.
Later on in life, I had discovered something that would only further seal the fate of the pharmaceutical industry as being redundant in my life. I stopped looking at depression as something negative. I understood that there are no causes for my depression and that either I generate this state of being or it merely manifests itself. I put grief outside of who I usually was, and stood observing it as something that I don’t identify as within the present. I am not my depression.
The less I identified with my depression, obsessing over it every day, the more it became something necessary for my well being. In my Christian world, making friends with the enemy is the only way to settle a grudge. Forgiving your enemy may not make him any less of an enemy, but the relationship and mood has changed. You’re not longer beating yourself over the head with hate. You’ve used him as an opportunity to practise love. You’re no longer irritated by his presence that often sucked you dry of every emotional resource in the past.
I feel the same is true of depression. When we accept it as a reality and stop being angry with it, trying to force it to obey us, a new door opens up. All of a sudden, we now become used to its presence in our lives. Have you ever seen those who gloomily complain about the wet weather? Stop complaining, and all of a sudden, what was lousy weather becomes good weather. See? A sudden change of heart, a renewal of the mind and already you’re making significant steps towards a new way of thinking without drugs.
Depression! Instead of an opportunity to be sad, it becomes a chance to see it as something which shapes our character. It gives us experience in psychological and spiritual warfare. It’s true that when we love our enemies and forgive them, we see them in a new light, even our psychological enemies. The light in the room has been switched on. The darkness lurks still in the shadows, but it’s now a companion on the road to a much sharper, happier and unique self loved by God. Depression is the enemy that builds character. Who needs pills? Not me.