The Healthiness of Depression

What do you associate the word depression with? Something scary, dangerous, worrisome, bad? Isn't it the opposite of what we strive for in our lives? In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck, M.D. says that not only is being depressed healthy and normal, but it is critical to our mental and spiritual growth. Peck explains that we are constantly changing and evolving and there are times when this change and evolution involves giving up a part of ourselves which leads to feeling depressed. We long for things to be the way they used to be since that seems easier, familiar and more comfortable to us. However, our subconscious knows that the way things used to be is no longer serving us and that sometimes we need to suffer a bit to move forward. Life is challenging but when we have faith in god, the universe, or something bigger than ourselves, we are able to trust that our pain is necessary and it is happening FOR us to grow and thrive. 

Can you think back to a time in your life when you were depressed and yearned for things to go back to the way they used to be? What about when a relationship ended? Regardless of who ended the relationship, there is a grieving period. Whether it be for a long or short time, it is necessary to feel this pain to move on. What about when you thought you had found the perfect job but it didn't live up to your expectations? This realization can be devastating, yet we need to let ourselves feel how we feel in order to learn the lessons being presented to us. 

Once upon a time there was a part of me that didn't serve my higher self. I restricted what I ate and over-exercised.  At first, I was so absorbed in this routine that I didn't even know what I was doing, it seemed natural.  I felt in control and on top of the world.  As time went by, my subconscious knew that I was starving. My body needed nourishment, my soul needed to have faith, and my heart needed me to love it. Once I recognized that I couldn't live the way I had been living, waves of sadness, fear, and depression washed over me. I could no longer live in my world of starvation that at one time made me feel so safe. I longed for the ignorance that had been there before, but the universe loved me too much to let me keep living that way.  I was forced to get real and as I started to accept letting my old ways of living go, life started blossoming and changing. I learned how beautiful life could be without the "weight" of an eating disorder on my shoulders. The possibilities of what I could do were infinite. They still are.  

Looking back I can say with absolute truth that my depression was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for having been handed an eating disorder. I'm grateful for recovering from it. Each and every one of those experiences led me to be who I am today. When you love who you are today you can recognize that everything was perfectly planned for you. I thought that I'd miss my old friend. I didn't think I could give it up. I did. I don't miss it at all.