The Fourth Possibility

I once described depression as a viciously strong whirlpool, constantly dragging you down and you constantly kick and flail to keep your head above water. You see the other people on dry land, safe from the sea, and you want to be like them.

Sometimes the whirlpool drags you down, it pulls your head under water and sucks you deeper down. When this happens there are three possible outcomes. One, a kind someone stretches out their hand to help pull you back up above the water. They can’t rescue you and take you back to dry land but they can help you get your bearings again so you can keep fighting. Two, somehow you miraculously find strength you didn’t know you had. You battle against the current and save yourself, get your own head back above water. Three, you drown. I could go into what drowning equates to but let’s not.

Today I’m wondering though, maybe there’s a fourth possibility. You’re kicking and flailing but the currents are too strong. You’re going under but this time you know what to expect. You heroically take one last deep breath before your head disappears. The whirlpool drags you down and down. But this time like one of those magical whirlpools from ancient Greek tales it spits you out somewhere else. You gasp for air, rub the salt from your eyes and look around. It feels strange not to have the dragging sensation on you for once. You’re on a tiny island, there’s nothing on it but you. Just sand, glorious sand. You lay in the sand and enjoy the sunshine. But just as you begin to feel relaxed you feel the lapping of the sea on your toes. The tide is coming in. The sea is coming to reclaim you.

Was it cruel of it to remind you what life was like without depression? Was it cruel to let you remember how unburdened life could be? Or is there some strength to be gained? Is this the knowledge that will help you keep kicking another energy sapping day?

S. Hansen

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