Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Grey Room by Damien Rice
Cover by Ryan

Hawaiian Odysseus discovered a long time ago that you don't deal with depression by trying to cover it with cotton candy, a happy face, pretend normal, or a plastic bag lifestyle.

The best way to deal with it is to run aggressively towards it, experience it, endure it, dissect it, be mindful and mindless of it at the same time, and--I daresay--befriend it...and, in so doing, discover that it holds no real power over you.,

Depression, contrary to the so-called experts, will not kill you.  Depression is not a live entity.  It isn't even an avatar. 

What will rob you lifeless is your empowerment of it.  And for most of us, we give our power away through fear.

"The only thing we have to fear
is fear itself--
nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror 
which paralyzes needed efforts
to convert retreat
into advance."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(first inaugural address, March 4, 1933)

Depression is the bogeyman you feed in spite of all the signs around your zoo that say, Do not feed the bogeyman. In reality, then, it is your own creation.  Somewhere in your life, you spoke it into existence.  And the spoken word became a shadow that kept on growing and engulfing you.

When I was a child, one of the most powerful books I read  was Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.  For the sake of both the adults and children in your household, I will not give the plot away.  Instead, I will provide you with a Hawaiian Odysseus paraphrase of the book's theme.  

To defeat your personal monster, 
you have to find the courage to embrace it.

A Wrinkle in Time appeals to the writer of this blog because it combines the angst of yearning for family and conmunity, the overwhelming loneliness of one's personal journey through life, and the realization that one's monsters--whether depression or addiction or chronic pain or living on the fringe and wanting desperately to re-connect--become impotent when confronted by the greatest force in the universe...


So, now, don't try to run from depression (or whatever your personal monster might be).  Treat it as you would an onion.  Realize and accept that your eyes are going to burn as you deal with it, but when you are done, you will have taken something irritating and painful and transformed it by your thoughts and actions into something palatable, savory, and comforting...like an old friend who's come to visit.

God bless you, my village friends and neighbors.


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