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When Depression Declares War on Your Passion

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Passion drives people. It’s what leads the human heart and mind to great heights of success, love, beauty and fulfillment. To be passionate is to be engaged with life, to be in awe of the extravagance and wonder of the world, of creation and of possibility. Passion leads people to create, to change, to fix wrongs and cherish truth; to be passionate is our purpose.

Passion was never something difficult for me to ascertain. From whenever I can remember, there has always been something I’ve been ardent about, something that sparked the soul and gave me purpose; whether it be music, performance, writing, friendship, faith or anything else from which I could appropriate the elation of life. I would take something up and run with it, burning with excitement for how I could be a change in the world and in the lives that surrounded me daily.

I was always passionate, until the day I was introduced to the destructive voice of depression; the voice that has been following me consistently for the past several years.

Have you ever heard it?

Depression’s reasoning with your passion?

If you haven’t, it sounds something like this:

You’ve come this far and somehow you think it’s for some special purpose? No, it’s meaningless. You’re meaningless.”

You’re wasting your time with this. You’re going to fail eventually. Stop it. Stop trying!

No one actually cares about what you’re doing. You’d be better off not getting out of bed today.

Someone else can do this better than you. Don’t embarrass yourself.”

These words are bitter poison. They’re the result of your depression declaring war upon your passion, and if you’re not careful you’ll start to believe them. You’ll start to believe life is meaningless, you have nowhere to go and nowhere to be and that someone else will always be better than you are.

If you believe them like I have for the past several years, you’ll eventually find yourself waking up every morning with no reason to do anything, no reason to be passionate, no reason to be happy.

That is, until you declare war back.

Until you begin to battle the voice of despair and fight for passion.

This is what I’ve been doing recently — fighting depression with passion.

I’ve been saying “no!” to the violent words declaring my worthlessness, and instead I’ve been picking up my pen and writing, getting myself out of bed (sometimes that being the hardest battle) and doing something that carries the weight of meaning.

And it’s been helping. Most days.

Don’t let the lies of the monsters who follow you around stop you from fulfilling the deep purpose you know lies upon your heart. Fight depression with your passion. Get up, get out and do what you love.

And remember, it can be small.

Write a poem, read a book, volunteer, call a friend, climb a mountain or a hill, brew a batch of beer, donate your blood, just do something.

And remember, some days will be harder than others, and it’s OK to fall down every once in awhile.

Just don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep on keeping on.

You will succeed, you will create beauty and life, you will and you can.

Originally published: June 29, 2016
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