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The Metaphor I Use to Explain My Depression

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Have you ever walked through the kitchen at night, wearing socks, and you somehow manage to find the puddle of a dropped piece of ice? It makes you cringe a little.

Have you ever attempted to jump over a puddle or stream, only to not make it and have your entire foot get soaked? Walking with squishy, wet socks for the next few hours or the rest of the day can feel a bit uncomfortable.

Now imagine it is dark and you can hardly see anything, not even your own feet. You’re walking through a wilderness and now, all of a sudden, your feet are wet. You don’t know why, you just know they are now soaked and you’re uncomfortable — colder. Blisters eventually develop as you feel gravel in your shoes — your skin feels raw. It may have just been a walk through a puddle, across a stream or into a river. Or there may be a small leak in the cracked dam that is just about to burst and drown you.

You don’t know where this is taking you. It may just be a bad hour, a bad day, a bad week, or maybe you’re about to go downhill for the long-term or even permanently. You don’t know — the only thing you know is your socks are wet. You keep walking and you start getting ankle deep, waist deep, chest deep in water. You are fighting against a current, moving in a direction you  hope is right. Each step requires an exhausting amount of energy. You hit some rocks and tree branches scratch at you. You swallow the turbid water, only to choke and cough. You feel like you are not getting anywhere. Your weakness has never become so apparent. Why not let the current just take you? You search for a light on the shore, just something that can orient you back in the right direction.

Just one light.

I have been blessed to find some lights, but I have still trudged through deep water over and over again, often getting progressively deeper until I am sometimes treading.  Someday I’ll find that solid ground again and my chilled feet will feel the warming rays of the sun once more.

Follow this journey here.

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Getty image via Grandfailure

Originally published: March 30, 2018
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