Holding on to the Positive when you are Struggling with Depression
***I wrote the following after a particularly bad bout of depression. This piece of writing marked my transition to feeling a sense of hope after despair. Sometimes it is the little things we notice and appreciate the most when recovering from depression.
Maybe for some people, the phrase would be, "There's always Paris" or "There's always Monday Night Football" or even "There's always naked bungee jumping." But for me the declaration that there is always peach ice cream gives me a feeling of hope.
I guess one could say that I have been depressed. I found myself vacillating between irritable curmudgeonliness to downright weeping, wanting to cry cathartically over Lifetime Channel movies while eating cheese curls kinda sad. Well the last cheese curl is gone and so is most of my sadness. I am keeping just a bit in reserve for weddings and funerals.
Yes I am flippant. How else am I to be? Should I be reading the Bell Jar as I devise ways to off myself? Okay well that covered my teen years. Let's face it, depression can be comical. All those exaggerated expressions of suffering can make your face freeze that way. I caught the reflection of my visage as I passed by the bathroom mirror in all of my despairing stupor, and for a millisecond the sight shocked me. My face had so many lines and folds I began to resemble a Pekingese puppy. Pure vanity made me stop contorting my face and begin instead, to transform into a more peaceful catatonic state.
Depression seems to make television so damn interesting. It is just about the least active activity I can think of. I found an endless fascination with VH1 shows about the seventies and eighties. I can say I lived through each and every year, nodding my head at the memories of Lee press on nails and singing the tunes of the infamous School House Rock's "Conjunction junction, what's your function?" I even watched documentaries about various wildlife getting it on, as a British commentator provided moment to moment feedback.
Aside from my television adventures I also rediscovered the joy of peach ice-cream. I used to believe that anything chocolate was the anecdote to sorrow. But now I am a believer in fresh fruit ice cream, light and refreshing. I was in mid-bite into a peachy morsel when I began to feel a tingle of hope. I can't really explain it but to say that I felt the constancy of peach ice-cream. If my whole world falls into a cesspool, I can still count on the fact that I can find peach ice cream. It will be waiting in some parlor with cute little metal lattice tables and a glass case filled with endless frozen treats. If I could feel a twinge, however fleeting, over that image, then maybe, just possibly, there were even more reasons for feeling happy.
There is always more, you know. There is peach ice cream, and crunchy autumn leaves, and nice smelling dryer sheets which make your most comfy holey sweatshirt smell sweet. There is the sound of traffic and the trill of songbirds and the powdery smell of a baby's bald head. There are holidays and kisses and unopened presents. There are also surprises you have yet to experience and won't know about unless you hold on for another day.
Most of all, there is that glimmer of light which peeks in the door and teases, "Come on and open that door and let me in." And tearfully and sometimes reluctantly...you do...just that.