My Battle With Depression: The Day One Of My Demons Died.
“Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky.” ~ Sonia Gandhi
Depression feels like a parasite that latches on to your inner fire. It feeds off of your light and love, slowly diminishing it.
At first you fight it with all you’ve got. You stoke the fire and call for help. You forcefully try to pull it out, getting angry with yourself and the cards you’ve been dealt. You ignore it for a while, hoping it will burn up on its own if you just refuse to acknowledge its power.
With all of your preparations, all of your self-love and growth, you think it’s just a scare, there’s no chance the Depression will win again.
And suddenly it does. You wake up one morning, or realization sets in on another drive home from work; in one unremarkable moment, the fire goes out. You feel dead. Nothing matters and you could not care less of what becomes of life.
Leaving you to pick up the pieces of the person you thought you had finally become; having to start all over again. Or quit.
One day in late February, I was sitting on a wooden picnic table looking out at the Pacific ocean in Costa Rica. The salty sea breeze played with my hair, and palm trees swayed above me. The sunshine warmed my skin. I was writing in my journal, listening to the sounds of the ocean waves roll against the sand.
It was one of my favorite places to be, and I felt nothing. Empty inside.
I was angry for a time. I was in paradise, living a dream come true. And yet I’d failed once more at keeping my demons at bay. I couldn’t fight them anymore, I was exhausted. Ready to give up and spend the rest of my life waiting to die.
And then I almost did.
Later that afternoon my partner got me to go for a walk through the jungle with him where, after a time, we came upon a small secluded beach. We decided to go swimming, not realizing how strong the tide was.
Caught between the calmer waters out past the impact zone and the safety of the beach, wave after wave came down on us. My boyfriend is more stable than me in the water, and a much stronger swimmer, whereas I was being tossed around like a rag doll by Poseidon himself.
I paddled hard, trying to close the distance between us. I was getting close to him, but as his hand met mine, a wave neither of us could stand roared in, pulling me down with it. Caught in the undertow, I stayed beneath the surface a few seconds longer than my exhausted lungs could handle.
The incoming tide then hauled me back up, dragging me in across the rocky shore. I rolled and tumbled hard across rocks and sand until the wave dropped me back up onto the beach.
I coughed up water and spit the salt from my mouth. Shaking and sobbing, I gasped for breath and clung to the warm sand beneath me.
My boyfriend was convinced I had drowned until he found me up on the beach.
A little while later, I found that one part of me had.
After the ordeal, I had sand, rocks and even seashells masking every strand of hair on my head, and plastering every inch of my skin. I found a small stream that flowed out from the wall of trees behind us, cutting its way through the sand.
It was only a few inches deep, so I started digging and lining the hole with rocks, making myself a little pool to clean up in.
My boyfriend helped me get the majority of the mess that was my hair under control — I was still brushing dry sand out of my hair three days later. I began washing the sand off and out of my scraped-up skin, gently tracing the small bruises with my fingertips.
And as I was sitting there, naked as the Universe first created me, I felt it moving around me.
I could feel the soft, cool, loving energy of the stream I sat in, caressing my battered skin. The solid, supportive nature of the stones that held my pool in place. I could feel the hot sun warming my shaken body, the gentle air swirling and dancing around me, filling my lungs and giving me life.
It was as if a wall had been broken down; an illusion lifted. The illusion of separation.
I felt whole that day. I felt a sense of Oneness; we are all connected.
This is the story of how one of my personal demons died; I have Depression, and some days it is still a fierce opponent for any spiritual warrior to face, but I also have Life.
And where there is life, there is hope.
Victoria Connell was born on the enchanting Island of Newfoundland, Canada. She is married to reading, writing, and a loving husband. A nature lover, tea aficionado, and bonafide bibliophile, Victoria is a writer, and student of psychology, science, and theology.