Emerging From the Other Side of Depression


fortressThere’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.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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7 Responses
  1. New Liz

    Hi Therese.

    If you had one sentence for me about how to stop ruminating, what would it be?? Thanks you. LM

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Oh my! Hard one! Maybe this: Laugh. If you can. My ruminations are so absurd that I can sometimes distance myself from my thought by trying to laugh. If you can, try to give yourself as much compassion as possible. And try to breathe. That’s always helpful.

  2. 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 ASSHOLES.”

  3. Myrna

    I have gone through several periods of long depression in my life. They were related to illness, loss of work and I come (because of the illness) lack of support and the like. More recently they period of depression. Was related to loss of several very supportive loved ones and the diss appointment of a very bad relationship. Miraculously, I feel I am slowly beginning to reemerge. I have made new friends a d am the type that always shares my story with sympathetic others and tries to show empathy in all cases. Though it took a long time, the fog seems finally to be lifting. Those of us in this position must always remember that there is hope and it will not last forever, no matter how bleak the circumstances may seem at present. I am also a person with strong faith and great role models (many deceased, some alive). And I have a cheer kneading section of friend who go through their ups and downs as well.
    I am happy the cloud has lifted for the time being. I was involved in some very to if relationships ( I know this sounds like a cliche and a scapegoat) that did contribute to my depressed state. The mind and the spirit are wonderfully resilient and if we are patient with ourselves we will eventually emerge.
    Surround yourself with the best and healthiest circumstances possible. Your mind will take you back to an optimistic path.

    1. Myrna

      Many typos. I apologize. I hope you get the picture. Thank you for your uplifting and pragmatic post