The word "depression" is complete shit. Depression is a much deeper feeling than simply feeling pushed down, or down in the dumps. Depression rips through the soul like a dark train, an apparently unstoppable and momentous force. Depression slaps you in the face and laughs, while you shiver and cower behind whatever defensive shield you can slap together to keep the foul-breathed demon from devouring you whole. Depression slices reality in half with a razor blade that leaves you trapped on an island of pain, while the rest of the world seems somehow to continue on as if life was merely a game. And you wish to God that you could feel normal for one minute, just to remember that it is possible to feel normal, to feel happy or peaceful.
Depression does not differentiate between fear, pain, and sorrow. You can fear that the past is going to come up out of the shallow waters and rip you to pieces, you can feel the agonizing hurt of losing someone you loved, you can have infinite remorse at the bad things that you have done, and nothing can convince you that you are worth love, that you can love, that love is offered to you. There is no love in depression, there is emptiness, and the emptiness is not kind or expansive.
You will wake up and your mind will attack you. You will be in the shower and your mind will attack you. You will be driving to pick up your honey and your mind will attack you. You heart will not lift from the pit. The pit isn't warm it is cold. And the coldness is of the darkness of death, and death lurks behind your ears.
You will be eating an ice cream cone and your mind will attack you. You will be at work and your mind will attack you. You will lay down to sleep and your mind will attack you. It will not let you go, it will push you until you do not know what to do.
How can you continue in this state? How can life feel so bad?
Why did my life get so bad? Why did I choose what I chose? Who can I turn to, where can I run?
You can say, "I am depressed." You can say it to yourself or to others. You can embellish it, "I am so goddamned depressed my head is going to explode." You can feel it in your bones. Depression. The earth is dragging you down. The sun is burning you up. Death beckons.
Death is there. You cannot ignore it. It lies in wait for everyone, for every living being. Death is not the enemy. There is no enemy. The pain has an origin, and it is craving. Suffering originates in desire. Desire creates suffering.
You have suffered, and you have caused suffering. I have suffered, and I have caused suffering. Everyone has. There is nothing to be done about it now. You can only go forward, you can only change your orientation toward everything.
I write all this because I am working out my depression, a depression that came upon me in the early hours of the morning. My dreams were dark, as was my heart, and I feared the future. I feared facing my past, facing my failings, facing how I have suffered and caused others to suffer. I can write about it now and it sounds somehow linear and understandable but inside me is a maelstrom of pain and fear. But it is manageable, and I have lived through enough suffering to understand that it will pass. But I fear my mistakes, I fear that I will screw up badly or have screwed up everything already, and nothing I can do can change anything, and I will suffer until the day I die.
And now I feel that I have found the seed of my fear, which is fear itself, especially fear I have for myself. I am not living for love, and I am not loving life, I am wallowing in fear for my future. It is as simple as that.
So depression sits on the bookshelf, staring wryly at me. I stare back defiantly.
"Have a got you by the tail?"
Depression grins and shakes its head.
So here I sit, wondering what to do. At least I have the seed, now I can plant it and see if it grows.
Design Process and International Project Case Studies -
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