There’s a great e-card that reads: “Dear whatever doesn’t kill me, I’m strong enough now. Thanks.” It was the second most-liked item I posted on my Facebook page. The first was a quote by William Gibson: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by xxxholes.”
Nietzsche was responsible for the line, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” I’m not sure I believe that, given the long list of names of extraordinary people who ended up taking their lives in desperation. Sometimes the pain of severe depression—the hopelessness that is its constant companion–simply becomes too much to endure. Having visited the doorway to suicide for periods of time that lasted months and years, I understand that.
However, there is also truth in what C. C. Jung writes, that “there is no coming to consciousness without pain,” that a clay pot can’t become porcelain without going through the heat of the furnace.
All of it makes sense in hindsight.
But as you are burning alive in that furnace, you presume your new home is hell.