In a world of thousands of books on how to become successful and wealthy, full of literature on the different formulas of happiness and how to reach your biggest Olymp, I miss a real and open conversation about every human being’s unseen but inevitable satellite – pain.
I had a friend who suffered from a severe form of depression. I saw how all the inner pain that had been suppressed for a few years, went outside.
She had created a very different portrait of her – no, she does not feel inner pain, she is fine, she does not feel anger, sorrow, jealousy, resentment.
This schizophrenic division of the self into what could be felt and what could not, led her to boundary states, where, while still trying to look like a normal and functioning being, she could no longer carry that impersonation and gradually ceased and crashed.
She told me that at that time, she very often felt drowned. She could see huge tsunami waves in dreams, and sometimes she was suffocated by a thick black swamp and was physically short of air. Thoughts of self-harm and meaninglessness came, but when she hit her own emotional bottom, she found there a long-forgotten joy – poetry.
Finally, she realized that this terrible and long depressive state was a hidden gift that helped her embark on her journey of self-knowledge. Poetry became her own self-therapy and self-discipline, allowing her to reconcile that macabre human duality. Later, when she began to share poetry with me and other her friends and followers, she received numerous letters about the therapeutic effects of her poetry.
Looking at her fight with depression, I realized the importance of defining my own boundaries and preventing others from going beyond them, getting rid of the good girl syndrome, and stop waiting for some mystical salvation while being in the eternal role of sacrifice. I decided not to wait for permission and approval from others. I set out on the journey, where I, myself, wanted to become a guide in my life.
So, I can say that my friend’s fight with depression gave me a stimulus to change my own approach to life.
© Fortune, 2020
Have you ever suffered from depression?