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What I Mean When I Say 'I Surrender' to My Depression


When most people hear the word “surrender,” their minds automatically think of giving up in a losing manner. When I surrender, I mean the exact opposite of losing.

I recently did a week stay in a stress center after checking myself in because I felt unsafe. It was quite intimidating and a bit scary at first to enter, and I felt very alone. Over time, I began to realize I was safe and the people around me understood and wanted to help.

During my most recent visit, I was sitting alone at a table in the common area and I met a friend. I am so thankful for her. As we went to different groups and shared our stories, the group facilitator asked, “What is your goal today?” Mine at the time was simple: stay alive. When it got around to my new friend, she said one word that changed my life: surrender. She then continued to explain herself and every word she said made total sense to me. I could not fight back the tears as I stared at the ground and watched the puddle of tears grow larger.

Surrender. To me it doesn’t mean totally giving up in a losing fashion. Surrender, to my illness. Surrender, as in realizing this depression lives with me. As in realizing my medications keep me stable and help me. As in not fighting against the depression but learning to live with it in a safe way. I used to think, I just want to be “normal.” After hearing that simple word, I thought, I am “normal,” this is “normal” and these pills helping me are “normal,” too.

So a few words to my depression: I surrender. I understand now this is my life, and to live a safe and healthy life, I will stop fighting against you. I will fight with you. I surrender and therefore, I survive.

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Thinkstock photo via Image Source Pink.