I’ve dealt with depression on and off throughout my life. It still amazes me that it took me nearly 20 years to even realize that I was battling depression.
A couple years ago I remember sitting in what is now my sons room, at my desk not feeling very happy at all. It wasn’t “just one of those days”, it was one of those funks that lasts more than even just a couple of weeks. I don’t remember all of the details of how I felt because a lot has happened since then, but I do remember what I did. I gave myself a vision.
I saw myself going to graduate school.
I also saw myself running a half marathon.
I even saw myself being more selfless towards my family.
My vision increased my desire, and I started to feel better. That’s the thing about depression, sometimes it comes on so incredibly strong as a black hole of a lack of desire and ambition. Getting up in the morning is difficult because you don’t even want to. It feels awful.
Yet after gaining this vision, I gradually wanted to get up every morning. I felt refreshed and energized, like a new person! I was excited for my new goals to push me. I began to get up earlier to accomplish them, which ended up improving every other aspect of my life from my physical health to my marriage. I still get up early and highly recommend it to anyone- depression or not.
I worked really hard that first year and ran that half marathon and became a non-matriculated student at a local university, on the track to apply to for full matriculated status. My work to become more selfless was less measurable, but I was working at it.
The awesome part of these efforts? I didn’t stop there. I didn’t just want to get a masters degree, I wanted to learn like I hadn’t in my undergrad. And I didn’t just want to run a half marathon, I wanted to run a full. I ended up running a second half marathon that fall, and continued to run throughout the rest of the winter, registering for a marathon the following summer. I began taking classes the next spring, excited to learn. I still had some up and down days, but generally I was feeling on top of the world.
Until 2017 hit me like a ton of bricks.
In March I lost my last living Grandmother.
In the summer I became injured during my marathon and finished an entire hour later than I had anticipated.
I battled the worst depression I’ve ever experienced.
I forsook the chance to watch the big eclipse in totality because I started school, took the GRE, and ran my first marathon all within the same week of the eclipse.
Then in the fall my daughter was born 6 weeks early and spent a couple of weeks in the NICU, then many weeks after that on oxygen and monitors.
I was broken, again and again.
My vision had me trying to run before I could walk. And in the marathon I had to be walking when I desperately wanted to be running. I was pushing myself too hard.
Vision is a two edged sword. On one side, we see the possible key to getting out of depression in the first place- filling the void in our minds and hearts with desire and ambition once again. On the other hand, we have the danger of accelerating ourselves faster than we are capable of going. So much so that we trip over ourselves and break.
And yet today I am still healthy and running. I still get up early, I got accepted into graduate school, my daughter is perfectly healthy, and I’ve learned more than I could have ever believed I would in just two short years.
So does vision increase desire? You bet it does. Try it out and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Does desire sometimes make life harder on ourselves? Oh yeah.
But is it worth it? I’m living proof that it is!
I had to see things get worse before they got better, but that was okay because it taught me my own limitations and how to be more kind and gentle with myself. Vision can be dangerous, yes. Even though it might make things harder in the short run I PROMISE you that it does get better.
But only if you never give up, even when it gets harder at first.