You have no idea how desperately I want to write something incredibly hilarious and lighthearted for all of you. I think one of the hardest parts about being depressed is that you become entirely sick of yourself. I can only imagine you are growing weary of my weighty entries as well. Still, if this is to be an authentic way for me to share my life, I have to write from the heart…even when that feels like a dark place.

It is important to me that you know that it isn’t all darkness for me. I have my moments. I smile, I laugh…and I swear to you I am so grateful for my many blessings. Despite knowing this with all of my heart, I still get upset with myself….because how can I possibly be grateful and depressed? It doesn’t compute. This makes me feel weak and selfish. It pulls me in deeper, and I know that is dangerous…because it is simply not true.

I do appreciate what I have, and I do understand things could be so much worse…and still, I struggle sometimes. Let me tell you...

No, let me tell us both...

Gratitude and depression are not mutually exclusive. 

This suddenly seems like an incredibly important point to convey and to emphasize before moving on. Can we let it sink in?

Gratitude and depression are not mutually exclusive. 

Okay then, on to a story…

On Saturday I was at the lowest I have been in a while. I was talking with Monica, and she asked me very sincerely what depression looks like to me when I close my eyes. I described a black hole, one into which I was desperately trying not to be pulled. After a moment I realized it wasn’t a hole at all, not in the sense that it has a bottom and a top, and walls. Instead, it feels like the opposite of something…

A void.

My mind flashed to a movie I watched recently with my girls. It was a favorite from my own childhood, based on the book, “The Never-ending Story” by Michael Ende. In it, a beautiful world full of amazing places and creatures is threatened to be sucked up by “The Nothing”. The Nothing isn’t a who or a what, it is literally nothing, and it is swallowing everything in its path. 

That’s what it feels like.” I said. “It feels like The Nothing“.

“Do you remember what The Nothing actually was?” she asked, pointedly.

Yes! I DO. The Nothing was the absence of imagination.”

And there it was…

I have started to lose sight of what I imagine my future to be. I am not looking hopefully and enthusiastically toward it. I am still standing in the rubble of the life that has tumbled down around me…and I’m afraid to look forward. 

There is no HOPE without imagination.

So, that seems like a good place to start…

Being brave enough to imagine the future. It isn’t just about appreciating what I have, it’s also about believing that there’s beauty and happiness to come. 

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