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The Other Side: Debilitated

Ed Belliard explores the effects of depression in his latest column
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Tanya wept.

She lay in bed compelled to do . . . absolutely nothing. That is, nothing short of calling in sick for work only 10 minutes earlier.

In the pit of her heart, she knew today would be excruciating, debilitating. To rise up out of her bed would be tantamount to cooking a Christmas feast for a dozen relatives. She had done it before, but achieved the task with tremendous difficulty.

Within her head was the echo of the statement “You’re such a disappointment.” 

Words such as those sting deep; in fact, they inflict deeper wounds, far more like a jagged laceration than a superficial one. Attacks such as those directed towards a loved one are a form of extortion.

They assault one’s soul.

They extract the life-force from the recipient, the potentially unguarded victim.

All too often, Tanya, like others, has been told this before with just as much ferocity. Those words ferment in one’s heart. They agitate us on a cellular level, but not so in a healing manner. They resurrect a twisted ethos that depressed individuals cast away repeatedly in one lifetime alone.

Life’s a struggle with many highs and lows. Someone like Tanya mainly finds herself on the low end of the spectrum, isolated from others, isolated from her once vibrant life-force and personality. 

Will she manage to get through this day unscathed and steady on her feet?

Not really.

The invisible knapsack she bears will get heavier. Her heart will mend, but not fully. If her heart stays true to her typically kind temperament, she won’t seek revenge; she won’t parcel out her own hatred. Reciprocal anger rebounds for only so long.

Sooner or later, it must mount and explode with rage. 

It would be in her best interest to forget her dream, forgive her extortionist, and move on with her daily plans. If life is truly progressive and revolutionary, advancements come in increments, seldom instantaneously.

Millions of us believe in a life-force that assists and guides us towards prosperity of the heart and mind. It is our belief that this energy seeks to elevate us, to enlighten us.

Tanya must believe that she is capable of lifting herself out of bed, combating any crippling emotional anchor intent on weighing her down in the heavy, darker spaces of her existence. All of life is precious – as is her own.

When a partner cannot be counted on to maintain her best interest, it is up to Tanya to extend herself spiritually. Words need not disable her inner workings. She must not allow another to exert such recklessness and affect her emotional stability.

She is far better, and more powerful than any damaging words. She needs to convince herself that depression is NOT her natural state. In a world fraught with division and outward aggressions, it would serve her best to exert positive energy and actions whenever and wherever she sees fit.

To stay grounded and positive will require her to exert an equal force of love and well wishes. To re-establish her mental health will require some rest and contemplation, but only for so long.

In that phase, provided she is not overburdened, she just might conceive a healthy solution – even if that includes breaking ties with her partner who deliberately maims her soul. In doing so, she just might discover an unconditional love of herself.

In a lifetime, almost 1 in 8 Canadian adults will be stricken with depression; be kind to one another.