Abjection is the enemy. Love is my sword of favor. I am an anti-depressant activist. My armed conflict is warfare of the mind. My wish is to cross barriers, dismantle those blocks of grief, and banish battalions of hostility crippling those in anguish. I can’t help it most of the time. They built me this way. I am concentrated love. They soaked my spirit in the ether where illumination is so intense it can heat the night’s blackest hours with its warmth.
Recently our world lost a couple of very special people. A beautiful friend I know decided it was his exit time, while a beloved high-school teacher who patiently doted on my dyslexia and acute lack of mathematical genius was taken by the final trenches of cancer. One story was wrought with depression where love was not finding a way in enough. He’d been suffering madly since without his wife, whom cancer had avowed it owned just last year. The other story has brought variations of depressiveness for the family and friends of a finest man seized too readily for the fierce carpe diem he produced regularly. I make zero judgments on these instances. Instead, they’ve touched that patent-pending stroke of love’s tenderness I keep aiming to refine.
The sun kept on with its slipping away, and I thought how many small good things in the world might be resting on the shoulders of something terrible. ~Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Without you, this is a mighty lonely planet. Our strength is in togetherness. Sure, we could go it alone. But who wants a non-stop true Survivor reality show without all the binge-watching, feet up, spectator-sporting elements of it all? Your aliveness is a blossom to my garden of gargantuan gratefulness. I am an empathy machine. It is how I’m reminded of the smell of rebirth from a solid rain rejuvenation or a post-coital aroma intoxicating me with imprints that there can be more to come. We share so much by nature of necessity and habit. You got here and my survival was implanted with Duracell Bunny mentality to keep us going.
For all that, herein, too, lies the escapist I can be when I need to prove, still, reclaim, or relax myself. Piling up, all the little things mold themselves into one giant mound of messy overwhelm. Anxiety peaks. Depression knocks or screams to some. Demons party like it’s 1999. I take a time-out, cop-out, or ‘ghost’ as the millennials have aptly called it. I can feel many of your pains because they mimic some of mine. I’ve written about my attempt to deconstruct destructive thinking that puts us in crisis hell. Savoring Your Suck picks a fight with anyone — such as me and many of my friends — who wrestle head storms akin to the near-death described Ali versus Frazier’s Thrilla in Manila.
The goal with depression-bashing activism is centered around reigniting any luster that has sought to go so dim it wants to fade away. The crux of down days is that slippery slope towards disappearing act. Keeping the flow when it’s there and then hunting that mother f’er down when it’s not is my superhero mantra. It’s not just that I want to say anything to charm a thread of blindness to again see the light. For, with fearsome service, I want you to prevail. If sorrow has wrapped its tentacles round you or every tear tried to drown you, let this be a place you might come to seek shelter. If you are sinking into a surrender to nothingness consider this is romantic cheerleader rooting for your Hail Mary pass.
What is remarkable in my findings about extraction from wretchedness is that love truly can conquer it all. Sculpting the heck out of stone to form art does take a great deal of patience. If we break each bit of chiseling into aspects of loving, I believe we offer ourselves a leap over the abyss. When I am immobile in bed, eyes smashed shut refusing to see any brightness, and thoughts twirl like loose tornadoes on an Oklahoma field, it’s digging into my dreams that ironically throws me back into livelihood. I’m love-stricken by the mere idea that I had adventures which were nothing similar to turns I make in life that lead me nowhere. The sheer possibility of my clever conscious attracts me to giving another day a shot of redemption.
Besotted with anything remotely resembling or starkly parading as love is my most anti-depressive activist calling card. Twinklings of what you need to pull out of abandonment are typically not found in the bottom of a bottle nor snorted and smoked. Mingling with another human body through conversation, texting, dancing, counting stars in the sky, or playing a mean game of Scrabble could kick the instinct to tumble uncontrollably. Love in every speck of its reach is fuel to spur your happy emotions back into being. Study what torches your fancy while torching your troubled thoughts. See how you might become one who showers those naysayers with smiles for miles.
There is poetry in numbers, as well as letters. May your darkest days bear ability to connect to one shining activist to keep your soul with us.