If you suffer from depression, it is not just some textbook disorder…it is a living Hell. Profound hopelessness, searing shame, and excruciating loneliness make up the painful world in which you dwell. Chances are that these feelings have been with you as long as you can remember. They probably started with the experience of being curled up on your bed as a child, feeling unloved and forgotten, and they eventually took on a life of their own. They lurk in the background of your mind, waiting to envelop you. And when they do, you imagine you will live in your personal Hell forever.
Naturally, it is terrifying to fall into this black hole, so the odds are you’ve been running from it your whole life. Perhaps you’ve tried to neutralize the pain with drugs or alcohol or food. Or you have attempted to circumvent it by endless hours of work or exercise. Maybe you’ve developed a fantasy of fame or fortune or perfect love that you imagine will lift you out of Hell and deposit you at the gates of Heaven. My guess is that these approaches haven’t worked for you, although you’ve doubtless figured that out by now. You either never got what you wanted and nearly killed yourself trying, or you got it and it didn’t make you any less depressed than you were before.
So what does work? To my mind, there is only one thing: diving into your emotional world with someone who is not afraid of the dark. The way in is the way out, emotionally speaking, because it is only when you deal directly with the frightening feelings that they cease to have so much power over you. And as the depression loses its grip, you can begin to give up the frantic running for Happily Ever After and find greater acceptance, more profound peace, and real and lasting hope for the future.