February 23, 2011

Editor’s Letter: How do I deal with Depression? I can’t.

This is my weekly editor’s letter, an introduction to our Top 10 blogs of the week email newsletter—a great way to follow elephant without getting overwhelmed (as opposed to, say, twitter or Facebook, where we’re verrrrry active). ~ ed.

Arrogance perpetuates Depression.

Recently, I’ve been a bit down. I won’t go into particulars, for fear of depressing you.

What I often do when I’m depressed is to get outside, get some sun, walk my dog, exercise, see a good friend, talk, go out for drinks, ask a girl out, throw myself into work, throw myself into a pint (or two) of Ben & Jerry’s, throw myself into a bath (or two), sleep. If not for my mutt, Red, I probably wouldn’t leave the house.

All of the above have one thing in common: they’re ways that I’m trying to “deal” with depression, defeat, sadness. All of the above have another thing in common: while some of them are healthy, some not, all are arrogant, speedy, missing the point.

The only way I can deal with my sadness, and I’m not saying “we can deal…” or “you can deal…”, I’m saying “I”…is to face it head on, open up, and breathe in and out. It’s hard. I have to listen to it.

Our society is built around drugging depression. Entertaining ourselves out of depression. Getting away from it.

But the only way to get at the root of depression and pull it up is to listen to it. It’s telling me something: I’ve been off, I’ve been messing up again and again. As Einstein put it, famously, we can’t get out of a situation by thinking or doing the same things that got us into said situation.

Ultimately, I have to stop, and learn again to do nothing, to relax in the present moment, however depressing. Then, as night turns to day, the morning will naturally come.

Good morning sunshine,

Waylon Lewis
editor-in-chief, host
elephantjournal.com, Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis

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