For years I’ve dealt with depression. I think of the disease as like a warm, tempting fog that I walk through each day. For years, Prozac kept me from lying down and not getting up. Then that miracle drug began to shake and twitch and jerk my body clear off the bed each night. I’ve done therapy. Oh boy, have I done therapy. You learn a lot about the different therapists in this way. I may have learned a little about myself as well.
After all these years, here’s what I’ve found works the best, is the most effective against my depression.
Kindness and concern for other people. When I can’t feel genuine concern for others, I fake it until I make it. It’s surprising how quickly that can happen.
Here’s an example. Last night the thick, warm, brew of depression whispered in my ear.
Why go to your writing group? Stay home with me. Cuddle up. We’ll stay in bed and feel sorry for ourselves. Just like old times.
Depression sounds a lot like Richard Pryor’s pipe. Seductive and not-crazy-at-all. Trust it.
Well, but as I mentioned, this isn’t my first toke of this particular pipe.
So last night I went to group and on the ride in, I said to myself:
Self, see if you can’t find a kindness to do. Someone who needs encouragement or a smile.
Well, I visited with friends, I did my best. I don’t know if anyone else felt my kindness, but sure as God loves little apples and fools, I felt the kindness of others. And the fog cleared and the sun shone and warmed my little pointed head and I was blessed with another day.
So, while some may disagree, I stand by my commitment.
‘K’ is for kindness.