There’s no denying it’s tough, getting through the dark times. Here, there is no scent or savour; no joy; no desire for anything. Motivation is gone; physical strength is gone; mental resolution slips away.
The hardest thing is the isolation. I have likened these times to being alone at the bottom of a deep dark pit or being abandoned on the farthest moon orbiting the farthest star. I cannot reach another soul, and no one can reach me.
So, getting through is tough; it’s the hanging on, for today, and tomorrow and the next day, when it seems as if the dark and isolation will never end.
Hope, for me, is that small circle of light far, far above. The light is there, and it provides a small spark of hope. In outer space, there is still the star which is our sun, and the knowledge the earth is in orbit around it. I can hope one day to be reconnected. I may be isolated from the world, but the world is still there.
Faith is more evidence based. I can have faith that this episode will end because it always has before. I can even put an approximate timescale on it. Yours might be a different depression from my bipolar ups and downs but you may have evidence from your past enabling you to know it will not last forever. A mantra I hold onto is, “This too, shall pass.”
Love is people: family and friends. I have written before of the benefits of a buddy system, but I cannot emphasise enough, the help of others at these times.
Right at the beginning, when I know I’m going down, I let my close friends know. I’m aware that, for many of you, this can be hard; you fear negative reactions. This has not been my experience at all, although it’s different for everyone.
In these times, I cannot talk with people; I cannot meet up with them; I cannot even read long emails, but I can receive their love and support through texts.
One friend sends me photographs of his flower arrangements; another sends emojis; just now I received, from another friend, a meme of kittens in a basket - it made me smile.
Knowing you are loved, even if you cannot feel that love, helps you to hold onto hope and to faith that light and feeling will one day return.