There are moments in life that we can’t prevent from occurring. “Why me?” someone might ask. Once the trauma hits, it can take years to recover. There is a slow decay that can begin, leading one toward a state of what we call depression. What if I, as a psychologist, told you to embrace it? Embrace the melancholy. Embrace the darkness. Embrace the journey. There’s light at the end of a dark tunnel, and this feeling won’t last forever.
Depression can generate a feeling similar to a black cloud where one feels heavy, weighted, and gloomy. I’ve seen depression manifest so differently throughout my years in practice, but the most common signs are sadness, loss of pleasure or interest, irritability, difficulty with sleep and appetite, and thoughts of suicide. It can feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place. It is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. People may be close but they feel so far away. But it’s important to remember that feelings are fleeting.
Immersing yourself into the darkness may sound contradictory to what we have been told. Allowing yourself to fall into the feelings of melancholy makes you go inward, toward your own self and inner discovery. This can lead to a rebirth psychologically. The psyche grows and expands into a larger space for development and consciousness. The experience is similar to the stars that shine bright through the dark sky. Without the darkness there is no light. Without the bad, it is difficult to recognize the good. Throughout the journey, remember the adage, “This too shall pass.”
Action items to help you through the darkness:
• During this time, be with Mother Nature. Use her to ground yourself to earth.
• Be with animals. Let them love you and support you.
• Exercise in order to help your body naturally create endorphins.
• Call your friends. Hearing the voice of the ones you love can comfort you in dark times.
Spring will come, but you must wait for the winter to pass. Be still and wait until you find the value in your melancholy.
If the darkness becomes too heavy, be sure to contact a professional psychologist who can help support you through this process. If you are struggling with depression or having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.