My wife nestled up behind me and whispered, “You’re fun again.”
Depression can take a miserable toll on our lives. It’s a dark cloud that follows us everywhere. Day in and day out, without the light of hope, joy, peace or possibility. You lose all tack of time or relativeness to the world. You lose meaning and value in life, and more importantly, in the ones you love.
I suffered with depression for several years after the collapse of my first business. I withdrew, crawled up into a corner and hoped to die. I cut myself off from society, the ones I loved, and myself. I couldn’t possibly see how things could be the way they used to be ever again. You know what? They weren’t.
Things have never returned to the way they used to be. I still have days where I struggle. Looking back, it all seems like it was the only life for me. It takes awhile to see clearly again what’s in front of you after clinging on so hard to what’s behind.
Interesting thing about depression; it only lets you remember what was good with what’s behind you rather than what was bad.
No part of life is perfect. Even the greatest parts have difficulty. But depression skews the past, making us only remember the good times. That’s why it hurts so bad to look back. We can only focus on what we lost, not what we were delivered from.
There is a story in the Christian Bible about a man named, Lot, and his wife. They were residents of a city called Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord commanded Lot and his wife to leave the city and not look back. They both ran as far as they could, but the story records that Lot’s wife stopped and looked back. There, she turned to a pillar of salt.
Lot’s wife never made it to the place where she was being delivered to, because she fixed her gaze on what she thought she was leaving behind.
Isn’t it interesting that while we are in the midst of it, we can’t wait to be rid of it. But then after it’s gone, we mourn the loss of what we ourselves wished away?
I’ve always wondered what made Lot’s wife look back. The city was so horrible that even God wanted to destroy it. What could be so good about a place that was so bad? Memories.
Memories are both flowers and gravestones. Some memories are the times of joy and happiness, while other memories are the memorials of times gone bad.
So many of us look back and only see good, but we forget the reason why “The Lord” commanded us to leave and not look back: He knew we could get stuck by only seeing what we wanted to.
If we only see what we want to see, it’s hard to see what’s available to us. It’s also always easier to see what once was, than it is to see what could be.
Lot’s wife wasn’t so sure of what she was running to, but she knew what she was running from. Even though what she was running from involved hurt, pain, misery, and failure, at least it was hers; she was used to it. She knew what to expect.
It’s hard to run forward while looking back. In fact, it’s impossible. When we look back, our hearts gets fixated on what used to be. Even though it was as painful as it was, at least we know it by heart; we know what to expect around every turn.
“You’re fun again,” my wife whispered.
I stopped for a second to see myself at the kitchen sink, laughing and joking with my kids, who I hadn’t seen for the previous three years. Oh, I lived with them, I just didn’t see them.
That’s what depression does; it deadens you to life. You become the living dead. And THAT is MOST miserable.
Today, I enjoy a very healthy, happy and active lifestyle with my family. I’ve made it my mission to not miss another forward moment by looking back. Am I still sad? Yes! I hate the fact that life didn’t turn out the way I wanted it.
There is still deep emotional pain attached to the loss. But each day I embrace what I don’t know, I begin to lose interest and attachment to what I do. Yesterday’s hold slowly looses it’s grip the more I embrace tomorrow’s possibility.
If you are one of the millions who suffer from depression, I encourage you, it doesn’t last forever. Depression isn’t who you are, it’s what you are experiencing. And, as my Momma always used to tell me, “This too shall pass.”
If you find yourself still mourning the loss of a failed business, or a relationship that went south, or maybe even a dream that never materialized, be careful not to get fixated on the past. See the good, the bad and the ugly. Keep reminding yourself of why you left. Even if it wasn’t your decision, trust Fate.
It was Lennon who said, “There is nowhere you can be that you were not destined to be.”