360,000 births replaced them.
Today is a different world to the one you inhabited yesterday.
A quick disclosure. I don’t think I’ve ever been depressed. On the continuum between bliss and depression I have certainly lingered in the anxious, frustrated, angry, sad, gutted, bereft zone to the point that I’d happily erase large chunks of my life memories and consign them to the good riddance bin. This however I don’t think I should label as depression.
For every celebrity melt down soliciting attention with graphic anecdotes of suicidal thoughts there are alas the real victims, those that we so wish we could intervene meaningfully with before their ground zero or event horizon moment. I am referring not to those who successfully depart this reality, but the train wreck victims left behind.
We exist and then we don’t. We grieve for those taken too soon, too soon in our opinion. We grieve for loved ones, strangers taken in ways that seem unfair to us, but really we grieve for ourselves and those left behind.
We’re mostly not equipped to identify the tipping points that manifest in the realities of those we interact with daily. For some the escalation from frustration to breaking point can happen in an instant.
Unless we’ve been at that point of crisis, it seems trite to express that we know how they’re feeling. We don’t. But does that absolve us from attempting an intervention?
Too many of us, in my opinion, crave validation and lack the resilience to plough through transient adversity, and as with the boy who cried wolf, the signals from those on the actual precipice get missed.
There are probably no easy fixes. The brain is relatively unfathomable compared to our understanding of the universe. By the time crisis point has been reached it probably takes every ounce of effort from a trained psychologist to successfully intervene but….
Further downstream and before any awareness of an impending Niagara Falls in the far distant future is when perhaps collectively we can have an impact on those around us.
Non-clinical depression is significantly more common and susceptible to intervention than true depression.
Humour and I’d suggest depression reflects the absurdity in our viewpoint of our world. Nothing has meaning in the absence of context, and all context is framed within our limited sensory filters. When we tweak the context of a situation we change its meaning.
The world can seem colder than it really is. Loneliness can seem normal in a world of billions of similar inhabitants, and yet it shouldn’t be. Judging ourselves through the perceived lens of our peers seems normal and yet it’s absurd.
The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that things will never change. Yes there is a segue to the opening paragraph!
More can be accomplished by the habit of acknowledging each other than in crisis management. When we engage, smile, laugh, introduce ourselves, take an interest in both those we actually have a relationship with and those that daily intersect with our lives we create a small ripple.
The world reflects who we think we are. Every day we are a tiny reflection of someone’s reality. A random kindness rarely shows up on our ledger but like the beating wings of a butterfly in some far-flung place ultimately impacting our neighbourhood sometime down the line, everything has a consequence.