Overcoming the Clouds is Different for Everyone

I feel the need to put two things out into the world right now:

1. There are different types of depression.

2. It’s not always that easy.

There have been a lot of posts lately about clouds. Most of us use clouds to symbolize depression, or the onset of depression, or a depressed period, or, you get the point. With winter coming / here, many of us with depression, bipolar, seasonal affective disorder, etc. have been struggling.

And in response to these clouds posts, there have been a lot of posts trying to help us find the light. And I thank you for what you’re doing, and I appreciate your advice and your words and your encouragement, but it’s not always that easy, and there are different types of depression.

I feel the need to remind everyone that no two people are the same. We all handle things differently. So, while you may have a reason to be depressed, I don’t. It just hits me. There’s nothing I can do. Maybe you’re dealing with a lot right now and it’s all too much and you can’t help but retreat. On the other hand, my life is going rather smoothly and suddenly I can’t get out of bed. Neither of us are worse off than the other, and we’re both going through legitimate depression. But maybe, just maybe you can do some of that self-help stuff to work you through it. I can’t.

There’s always something you can do. For me, it was seeing a doctor and getting on meds. But, it’s not always that easy. It took me months, months to work up the courage and energy just to pick up the damn phone. From there, it took me more months to get an appointment for therapy. From there, it took me more months to get an appointment to see a psychiatrist, and from there, I had to wait more months for my meds to kick in. My worst clouds hit last winter, and I’m just now starting to see the light.

This wasn’t a matter of forcing myself outside — I physically could not get out of bed.

This wasn’t a matter of looking for the good in my life — I had plenty and knew it.

This was simply a case of an imbalance in my brain. Only therapy and meds could help me, which they are, now. But in a sense you’re right — I did have to force myself to do something. It’s just not as easy as doing anything.

Some people can’t see the good in their lives, either because it’s already there and not helping, or it’s not there at all, or they just can’t see it. Some people can’t force themselves out of bed. Some people can’t afford a fancy new sunlamp. Some people aren’t all people.

Some people can focus on the good, and turn things around. Some people can get their endorphins going with exercise. Some people can afford the best gadgets. Some people aren’t all people.

So, to those experiencing the clouds, I feel for you. I can’t begin to say I know what you’re going through because in reality, I don’t. My depression, or bipolar, or whatever, is not the same as yours. But I am struggling right beside you, and I am here to help you through those dark days. And I encourage you to do whatever helps you, even if it’s letting the clouds take over for a while.

And to those who want to help us see the light, I thank you. I do. But I also remind you that our depression is not yours, and sometimes it’s not that easy. And I encourage you to keep reaching out, with that reminder.

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