Whispers

I’ve been watching the Netflix series “Ginny and Georgia” with my youngest daughter. Its off-beat humor has been a fun distraction…until the most recent episode when one of the characters (I don’t think this is a spoiler) explores his depression. In detail. The camera angle is from above; you see him plop into bed, describe his bed as being a sort of prison, but also the only place that feels safe. He talks about the darkness and his fear that it will never go away. He says that he loves his girlfriend but doesn’t have anything to give her. And—and this is the part that got me—he comments that it takes too much energy not only to give love but also receive love.

Why?

My daughter and I talked about this. To bring someone into your darkness is threatening. You hate how you feel. You are ashamed of your despair. Your terror. You don’t want to be a burden. To anyone, especially to the ones you love. So you hide yourself away.

Many of us have had periods of depression.

Many of us have loved someone through their periods of depression.

And it is painful. It can feel like a dark forest with no clear direction.

Just recently I read a book called “Mind Whispering” by Tara Bennett-Goleman, about how to talk to ourselves when our minds are overwhelmed with negative intrusive thoughts. For Bennett-Goleman, the starting point is having a secure base—an outer secure base of supportive friends, family, and/or a therapist and an inner secure base where we take responsibility for nurturing our positive qualities—like clarity and warm-heartedness, and being less swayed by outer circumstance.

But finding security in a tormented mind can feel impossible! Which is why, going back to the Netflix show, it’s important that remember the isolating nature of depression, that one of the worst things depression does is separate us—from the better part of ourselves and from our loved ones.

And which is why it is important, if we struggle with depression, to share our pain with our loved ones, normalize the darkness with our safe people. And, if we have people in our lives who are struggling with depression, we do our best to let them know we are there. Without taking it on—not easy. There are so many struggling right now, and we all need support and we all can offer support. How? I have no idea…with the best intentions, we do the best version of loving we can. And perhaps whenever we remember, we ask ourselves, what am I whispering into my ear right now? And, what am I whispering into the ears of my loved ones?

Published by Musings

Certified Life Coach Certified Nutritionist Certified Yoga Instructor Certified Naturopath

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