i wrote this in a previous cycle of depression. it is an exercise to create a symbol of depression and its conquest. i thought that it would be a good thing to look at again and to add it to my blog.
once upon a time there was a young man. like many other people of his time, he went on with his life seemingly making ends meet in winning the constant struggle between good and evil, managing to maintain a balance.
then one day, a hand reached out and touched his life scale. at first, it didn’t seem like much. he thought he could handle it. “what’s a couple of ounces, this isn’t that bad.” he thought. but as time went on, the weight began to multiply, those ounces quickly began to feel like pounds. it was if he had a millstone tied around his neck while trying to swim. he wasn’t a very good swimmer to start with so the extra weight became more of a burden, pulling himself even deeper into the quagmire. those couple of ounces now felt like a ton. he needed oh way to shed the weight and do it fast or it would surely take his life. he had never before been in quite this situation, so he didn’t know what to do he thought,”how do i free myself of this weight? i know i need to.” he cried out to many people for help. none of them knew quite what to do. some people claimed they knew what would help, but they only pulled on his rope making his burden even harder. deep dark despair ruled his struggle. he thought that there would be no way out. why not just give up and be done with this struggle.
his cries of help continued,”help me with the weight”, he would ask. if i don’t lose it soon, i might lose the struggle and die.
some suggestions came in and he dismissed them. “these would surely not free me from my struggle of despair”, he thought.
finally he came on upon wise man he had some suggestions that he would listen to him but others he hesitated and the weight continue to tug on him. his personal quagmire seemed inescapable.
then the wise man said, “look we can free you of these weights. it won’t be easy and it will take work on your part.” the young man had literally reached the end of his rope and agreed to this plan.
the wise man immediately cut the main rope. the young man, though free of his burden still had a ways to go. you see, he had been pulled deep into his swamp. coming out of his own personal quagmire ended up to be a journey in its own right.
free of the weight, he soon resurfaced and took a deep breath of air. the mud in his mouth muddied his first breath. but the first breath however muddy, tasted like a breath of fresh air.
the young man continued to talk to the wisemen. the wisemen made sure the young man took care of himself. remember to breathe. let’s work to leave the personal quagmire behind you. “you have come from a dangerous place,” he said, “take some time for yourself, clear the air again.
as the days went on, the young man began to breathe cleaner and cleaner air. each breath seemed less difficult than the one before.
the young man’s visits to the wise man continued. the initial struggle now seemed behind the young man, the wiseman continued to share his ideas.”that quagmire isn’t a safe place, ” he said,”you took turns that put you into that quagmire. not only that, you’re struggles added to your burden making your struggles even worse. let’s learn how to avoid these bad choices and by doing so, the trips to your quagmire will be less frequent and less severe.”
the young man looked at his journey and realized some of his missteps along the way. he saw great wisdom in the wise man’s teaching and was willing to give it a try.
how does the story end? i can’t tell you, you see i am the young man i go forth today trying to learn those patterns trying to avoid those dangerous patterns so to avoid the deep and dark despair filled swamp that i too recently visited.
…the end… and the beginning…
postscript: in my most recent struggles, i tried to use the thoughts and words of the wiseman. they now seemed stashed away in some unreachable cave. as much as i tried to find the cache of goodness it was no where to be found. i would again find myself in the quagmire, this time even deeper and darker. i’m still trying to find my way out.
I’m glad you reposted it. You said it so well, it definitely described what depression feels like to me. No one can understand unless they have lived it, or at least in my life I haven’t found family or even friends who did. It can be a lonely place at times. Wishing you well.
thank you for the encouragement and well wishes. it’s kind of sad to know that you know my story all too well. I wish you all the best, too.
You’ll find your way out, my friend. You will.
thank you. sometimes the way out seems so far away.