healing from depression

I'm not going to write one of those Fifty Things you Don't Know About Me posts, sorry! I'm happy with the parts of my life and self that I share here, and I'm happy to keep really personal things private, too. I always share from my heart here, I think you know that! It doesn't mean I have to share everything.

There is one thing you don't know about me, though, that I do feel it's time to share. Because I think my sharing might bring some inspiration and hope, and because I think this is something that needs a lot more light shining on it, and a lot more of us talking truth about it.

Here it is:
I live with depression.
To be exact, I live with Chronic Episodic Major Depressive Disorder.

Notice I say 'live with,' not 'suffer from.'  Depression has been a part of my life on and off since I was a child. I've learned how to move from 'suffering from' to 'living with.' And for the last number of years, through grace and extreme self-care, I have discovered what it means to truly be free of depression. And that's really why I want to share this with you - because I have learned a thing or two on this journey. A thing or two that might help.

Because I know that some of you beauties reading this are living with - or suffering from - depression too. And I know some of you may even be in a place of wondering when and if you will ever feel the beauty of life again. And I know how lonely that can be.

And of course some of you reading this have never experienced depression. And that is so wonderful and beautiful and I am so so glad for you! But don't stop reading - because chances are, sometime, someone in your life will suffer from depression, and you'll have a chance to be a lifeline for that person - you can be that rare someone who is well-informed about what they're going through -  you can be someone who may be able to reach out.

The tag line of this blog is 'finding the beauty in every day.'  It is a sweet sentiment, and maybe you have assumed it is a light hearted reminder to stop and smell the flowers. And it is! You KNOW I love to smell the flowers. And pick them. And photograph them. And share them with you! But 'finding the beauty in every day' is also a deep and important reminder to me of how far I have come in my healing, and how important it is for me to stay present and deeply care for myself - so I can continue to find the beauty.

Depression is cruel. Of all the cruelties it inflicts, (even crueller than filling you with anxiety, anger, and self-loathing, even crueller than robbing you of the energy to conduct the simplest of tasks, even crueller than isolating you from those you love...) of all the cruelties, I think of the worst is this: Depression will rob you of your ability to take pleasure in life.

Clinically, this is called anhedonia - the inability to experience pleasure. And let me tell you, this is much, much worse than it sounds. You may not realize that how very much pleasure you derive from the tiniest things in life - until those pleasures vanish. Without small pleasures (not to mention the big ones) life is frighteningly empty.

This is why celebrating the beauty of every day is important to me! This is why I am so driven to create and share moments of pleasure and beauty. This stuff is not trivial. It is the very essence of being.

So I am adding a new series to the blog today - this is the first installment. It's going to be a series about living with depression - but I promise you it won't be depressing! I want to share what I have learned on my own road back to health, and I want to share inspiration for you, if you are just beginning to learn to live with (and stop suffering from) depression.

I would be most honoured to hear your comments on this post, especially if you are on a journey with depression yourself.

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