Depression : A Journey of Discovery
by Grant Aitken
A title that contains the words depression, journey and discovery would to many of us to be a contradiction of terms. It's only until we remove the word discovery, do depression and journey become more palatable, even if for the wrong reasons, since it allows one the ability to take their journey in any direction they so choose. And for many of us that direction is usually filled with negative adjectives. But, negative adjectives are not what this article is about. Instead, it's about discovery. About finding a place that all of us belong in. A place filled with positive adjectives like happiness, love, joy and so on. And finally, to realize if the mind is open to it. That the journey will not be so much about discovery. As it will be about rediscovery.
To better understand what this is all about, we shall turn to History, to provide the foundation of my argument. That the pioneers that came before us, the men and women who explored the unknown frontiers of the world, will be our inspiration for helping us to rediscover are own personal frontier.
People like Christopher Columbus, who in the search of an alternative route to the East, discovered America (for the sake of argument, I'm choosing Columbus, even though the Vikings are now credited with being the first to discover America). The Wright brothers and their discovery that flight was possible. And finally, the late John F. Kennedy and his famous address to the American people. In his speech he talked about the need to go to the moon. Not because it was easy but because it was hard. And from that speech man discovered that he could leave the bonds of Earth, reach the moon, land on it and return.
These three examples of discovery are but a drop in the annals of great defining moments in history. Men and women answering the call to explore the frontiers of the unknown. And they made these great discoveries without the aide of any maps of any kind. What they did have was desire. Yet desire alone would not be enough to do what they did and they knew that. So what they did, was to equip themselves with the tools they needed and surround themselves with the people who could help them the most.
Like the great pioneers of history, we too are on a similar journey of discovery. For us, it is to discover what lies beyond depression. To seek out that which we hear in rumor and gossip. That which many of those around us are already living. To discover that there is life beyond depression. That on the other side of this world is a far better one. Our very own Eden. A place where there are no more shadows, no more despair, no more sadness and no more negativity. A place where we can feel free and confident in ourselves. A place where we can take a step forward each and every day with full knowledge that we are happy with ourselves. That no matter what others may say or think of us, we shall not be affected. For we believe in ourselves and deserve to be here as much as the next person.
But how does one get there? The answer is, we do it just like those pioneers did. We equip ourselves and surround ourselves with all that we need to make the journey. Our equipment is medication, meditation, exercise, proper eating, and what ever else one uses to keep the body and mind fueled and happy. Our support, is doctors, therapist, friends, family, and anybody else that is willing to help us make the journey. With these tools and a commitment to stepping through the unknown, we can begin to learn where are happiness lies. Learning that the past is just that, the past. That within those experiences, are the clues to discovering happiness and joy. In fact those experiences are like a road map (something the pioneers before us never had). They show us where we have been for far to long and where we need to go. The help to define the boundary between depression and non-depression. It is a map that has always been there, but for what ever reason, we've chosen to ignore. Maybe because the part of the map that shows us where non-depression is, appears to be blank to us. Yet, if we take a closer look, we in fact see the faint lines of what this place is like. For those faint markings are an indication of a time when our lives were filled with nothing other than happiness and love. They were laid down from the moment we were born and remain there, even to this day. What happened was as we strayed farther away and time past by, the lines became fainter. While this was happening, the part of the map that was showing depression became more defined. It seemed that the part that contained happiness and love had disappeared.
Why this happened is as diverse as the people who live with depression. For we each carry are own map and etched in that map are the reasons for straying. As to how each of us returns to our personal Eden, depends on desire, equipment and support. Each of us must be the leader of our own personal expedition.
This is what the journey is all about. It is rediscovering our rightful past. To reconnect with that which we so naturally belong in. Happiness and love. I cannot tell you how your journey will go, for that matter, how it will end. What I can tell you is that no matter where you find yourself, it will be a place better to that where you once were. Equip yourself with everything you need. Surround yourself with those that can help you and above all else, believe in the knowledge that what you are seeking is already known to you.
Pack yourself up and let the journey begin!
© 2002 Grant Aitken
Grant Aitken writes on the web about depression.