You are Stronger than the Ache of Depression




Summer days are sparkling with sunshine warmth.  But the ache in my heart weighs heavily. While the seasonal gloom has lifted, my mind feels the glare and with it, the expectation to be happy and well.

The promise of lighter, albeit longer days, had come

And while it was a relief, the darkness of my mood lingered.  I cannot even say if what I am attempting to describe is actually mood.  It feels like a deep ache suffusing through my whole body.

The urge is to somehow skip over the ache, lest it consume me.  But ignoring the ache just makes it worse.  Now the invitation was to actually trace the ache, let it guide me through the rabbit hole of darkness.

but facing the ache is terrifying



As my body tenses, I become aware of a deeper feeling beyond the ache.  Dread.

What if following the ache finally breaks me?

The voice of my inner brave commands me to "Stop".
Stop running.
Stop skipping over this ache
Please stop ignoring this ache, you are stronger than the ache of depression

My mind goes into a spin.  I hadn't been ignoring the depression, I've been doing my best to support myself through this illness.

The truth is, while I have been diligently adhering to my care plan, I have been ignoring the ache.

While I've been doing all kinds of things to protect myself from feeling hurt; the ache continues to cry

 

And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that.

When it  feels like the ache is never going to go away, it is all you can do but distract yourself.

But just this one time, what if I didn't take the bypass?

What if I could be truly brave, and face this ache?

We have been led to believe that life is a dangerous expedition, fraught with pain.

In all our learning, our attention has been geared on the belief that we can somehow manipulate this life to make it all perfect.

But the truth is, we have very little control.

All of us come into this life with nothing, and leave with nothing.  That says something of what little control we actually have.

The aliveness of being is so much bigger than the mess in our mind.

What if instead of hiding out in the illusory safety of my mind, I let myself open to the vastness of my being?

Now I need to be really clear here.

I don't believe being brave is about putting on a brave face. That is just another way of ignoring the ache.

Being brave is opening to the ache, it's allowing yourself to face what is happening, in the moment.

 

Life gives us many opportunities to lean into our brave.  Perhaps more so when you have a chronic illness. 

Having the courage to face the ache of depression is a huge step.

It feels like whenever I get close to actually facing the ache, I panic at the last second.

My mind spirals into a frenzy of activity.

I try to reason with myself.  I think, if I can just fix this ache, I will be okay.

But the ache isn't crying to be fixed.  This kind of thinking bypasses what is actually happening.

The tendency, the habitual reaction, is to take the bypass and skip over the pain.

I believe being brave is being willing to tell the truth about what is happening.

Sometimes it feels to much and I default into skipping over, or pushing away the pain. This is an excellent survival mechanism, so there's no way I'm going to judge it as wrong.

That's the thing, we've been taught in society to judge and label.  Judging things as good or bad has become a societal norm.

The truth is, the ache of depression shows up and it hurts. 

Through the ache, I'm slowly developing a little practice, based on the Four Foundations of the Buddha.  Maybe it's a bypass.  But maybe a bypass is exactly what is needed.

A bypass to actually trip the mind when it defaults into ignoring the pain.

Instead of skipping over the pain,  I can interrupt (sometimes) the action of "skipping over" or by-passing the pain.

In that moment,  I'm stopping. I'm smiling into my brave.

I will share my practice in a future post but I'm curious.  What do you do when the ache comes?

I believe we can all support and encourage each other, as we discover our inner brave.

Every day, I directly experience the anguish of what it is like to fight hard and give it your best.  Some days are better than others. 

Telling the truth about depression isn’t easy, but together we need to be brave, so we can discover the shining teardrop within the ache.

Stay strong brave friend


















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