why depression is good for you

Maybe we could appreciate the role of depression in the economy of the soul more if we could only take away the negative connotations of the word. What if “depression” were simply a state of being, neither good nor bad, something the soul does in its own good time and for its own good reasons? What if it were simply one of the planets that circle the sun? One advantage of using the traditional image of Saturn, in place of the clinical term depression, is that then we might see melancholy more as a valid way of being rather than as a problem that needs to be eradicated.

~ thomas moore, care of the soul

i used to be like some of you.

a believer that depression was a bad sign. that something was wrong with me.

i shouldn’t feel this way:

sad, angered, easily irritated. with such dark thoughts and blue-ish red emotions.

but, today. today i found another way.

with thomas moore i’ve learned to look at depression with a fresh perspective. a healthier one.

every soul has its cycles. and depression is part of it.

we, as a society, used to honor it. but the world suffers its cycles as well, and wisdom needs to be rediscovered time and time again.

do you know how gardens were built in renaissance?

they had special places, one honoring each planet of our solar system. they also included the moon and the sun, important celestial bodies in our lives. you can read all about it here.

their maxim was

as above, so below; as below, so above

and you may know it as the hermetic principle of correspondence.

one of those spaces were reserved to saturn, the planet of solitude. it usually was in a secluded place, distant and reserved. so one could be alone with its deep thoughts and dark feelings.

when we are depressed we tend to distance ourselves from other people. and that’s not a bad thing.

i find myself writing when i’m in a bad mood. i need to vent everything out of my chest, so i can be emptied.

it’s at those times that i get to know myself the best. not through the judgement of my words, or the craziness of my thoughts. but what it’s left of them. the empty space they create. the clarity they bring.

no tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.

~ carl jung

darkness is deep, so deep it scares us.
but i was always allured to it.

i enjoyed being alone. delivered to my own world of feelings, and imagined scenes. it sure was made of fifty shades of grays, and blues, and blacks. but it also had whites and splashes of colors.

creativity grew there.

what thomas moore says is that depression has a place in our lives, that it surfaces unique kinds of thoughts and ideas. that it lets us know ourselves better.

and i’m kind of obsessed with getting to know myself.

i feel a universe. no, a multiverse of stars, and planets, and satellites and black holes and super novas inside me.

so, maybe depression is the perfect mood to meditate.

a different kind of meditation. not the one you try to understand the way you think. but where you don’t stop to wonder the why’s and how’s. you just let yourself over-think. you let your thoughts rush and put tears on your face. you feel your heart pumping fast and you start hyperventilating.

you’re purifying yourself once again. letting all go out.

creating negative space.

never thought about that. white space is negative space is it not?

we are used to think about it as positive, but in art it’s always as negative.

emptiness.
void.
nothingness.

so something new can be born.

epiphanies.
a-ha moments.
freedom.

i’ve created my saturn place, in my home. it isn’t a fixed space though, but it has all i need: a pencil. a tiny little notebook for my drawings. and another notebook for my writing.

now, i’m ready to welcome my dark side with a bright smile. now, i’m ready to let the light in through the deepest of my being.

thanks to the wabi-sabi. kintsukuroi. kybalion.
no, i’m not inventing words. they all talk about more or less the same thing: accepting what is.

will you accept your depression now?

instead of getting rid of it.

you’re not wrong. you do not have a disease.

your depression is beautiful. it is your calling to retreat in yourself.

keep your distance. and get near your essence. have a big cup of tea with it. listen to it. feel it. give it a hug. be with it for as long as you need to know yourself a bit better.

the only way out of darkness is through darkness.

then let it go, and welcome the new, improved you.

i just remembered another metaphor: depression is like when a flower dies. and its seeds go back to earth, so it will reborn again.

the butterfly stretching it’s wings out of the chrysalis. in direction for blue clear skies.

how do you look at depression? what have you learned from this perspective?

«-,- { be dark & be light, } -‘-»

vector of a venetian mask

#themaskwriter

<<<333

if you liked this x, you’ll love my y.

~~~~

p. s. someone i loved once gave me a box full of darkness. it took me years to understand that this too, was a gift. ~ mary oliver

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16 Replies to “why depression is good for you”

  1. I think it’s not about clinical depression, it’s more about when people just say they’re “depressed” when they’re just in a bad mood. Depression is more than just a bad mood. It’s lack of energy to do anything. And being with oneself makes it worse.
    It’s just absurd how people don’t understand mental illnesses and think of them as somehow different from physical illnesses. Just change “depression” in your text with “cancer”, “diabetes” or “plague”, and if you’re still OK with your text – then go with it.
    But if this text is just about bad mood and not about clinical depression, then I totally agree with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, the text is about clinical depression. here is the full chapter on depression that thomas moore wrote: https://alexaallen.com/gifts-depression/

      yes, depression is devastating. i know, because i’m facing one for almost three years. i was feeling lost, and angry and my life seemed to not have any meaning. but this book, and this perspective is helping me a lot.

      i do think that changing the word depression to cancer or other disease would still make sense. i would still write it that way, because diseases are symptomatic. what i mean is, they happen because there’s an unbalance in our bodies. if we restore that balance, then the disease go away. we can’t always make it happen, though. depression included.

      i don’t think mental illness is less than a physical illness. quite the other way around.

      our minds is everything we have.

      thank you so much for your comment, aistė. your thoughts are always appreciated. ❤

      Like

  2. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment on my blog recently. And I can see after reading this post where your “roots” are planted.
    I absolutely agree that depression is a part of my cycle of existence. It doesn’t define me, but it influences me. Neither good, nor bad (however painful at times), I’ve learned, as you share so eloquently here, that recognizing and accepting allows me to lead a far more meaningful and productive life than berating myself for failing to suppress depressive episodes.
    I’m looking forward to following you here to see how you grow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you gabe for such a kind comment! it’s wonderful to see you here, and i hope you’ll enjoy my future posts. ❤

      oh, and i couldn't agree more with your words, i'm glad that you're living the best life possible even with the depression. 😉

      Like

  3. I began to accept depression as a fact of life – worse for me than others, but still better than some. I began to think of it like rolling waves, and sometimes they come in and knock you off your feet; whereas other times, it laps delicately at your ankles. But it always comes and goes!

    Great post, thank you for suggesting it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see what you did here 😉 Turning it on its head… Starting at the base to say we’ve been looking at it all wrong. It’s like to people who say (and I’m not condoning it) that gay people are horrible and my saying actually everyone is born gay and it’s the non-gays that are the horrid ones. Just an example – not what I believe at all (I’m all for inclusion). I think we know light only after knowing darkness and that the dark times help us appreciate the rosier ones better. I’ll be back soon to read more!

    Like

    1. i do actually think depression is good, in the sense that it’s a natural part of our life, of growth and the cycle of our soul. i don’t like click baits. if you read the whole article you’ll understand what I mean. but thanks for the comment!

      Like

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