I want you to imagine the following scenario: You have everything you have ever wanted.
If you are single, you are enjoying the single life. If you are married or in a steady relationship, that relationship is going strong. Your children, if you have children, are happy and healthy. Your career is satisfying. Your social network outside of your immediate family is also thriving. But inside of you, there is a dark void. Nothing can fill that void and as much as you try to put on the mask of having a good life, that mask can easily crumble into your hands.
This is depression.
The new song Zero, by Imagine Dragons is part of the Ralph Breaks The Internet soundtrack.
The song hits the nail on the head. Depression is like an emotional wormhole that sucks out all of the good things in your life and leaves on the constant reminders of the bad things. It revels in your mistakes, your flaws and your anxieties. It reminds you how useless and stupid you are. Worst of all, it prompts you to take your own life.
The worst part of living with mental illness is not the mental illness, but the stigma attached. If this song helps one person to ask for help, then it is more than a song. It it a lifesaver.
Depression is like a demon that steals your joy.
It reminds you at every opportunity of your mistakes and your sins. It loudly mocks your accomplishments. It tells you that you are stupid, ugly and worthless. Worst of all, it tells you that the only place that you deserve to be in is your grave.
Depression is not like chicken pox. Depression is not a disease that is found on a person’s skin. It is implanted in their heart, in their soul and in their mind.
Some deal with it better than others. Person A may find a way to reasonably function while hiding the darkness inside of them. Person B may be so emotionally traumatized by this horrible mental disease that they are forced to remain inside, physically and mentally.
The worst part of depression is that you feel forced to isolate yourself. You don’t want to share what is going on inside of you. A depressed person’s feelings are like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain. The further down the mountain it travels, the faster it travels and it gains a tremendous amount in size in only a short time. You feel very alone, insecure, hating yourself and not knowing how to break the emotional shackles that this disease has on you.
If you know someone who is suffering from depression, reach out them. Even if they do not respond right away, keep reaching out. You never know when you may be the barrier between life and death.
*-Contains spoilers for Once Upon A Time. Read at your own risk if you are catching up on previous episodes.
The story of Beauty and The Beast is a familiar one. A woman agrees to take her father’s place at a beast’s castle when her father steals a rose, the only gift his daughter asked for.
While much of commentary is focused on the female lead, I would like to focus tonight on the male lead. The Beast is a tortured soul. Depending on which adaption one is reading or watching, the beast is either directly punished for his wicked, selfish ways or indirectly punished for others’s mistakes. His punishment is the loss of his humanity. While he retains his fine home, a kitchen full of food and fancy clothes, his cursed exterior reflects his inner turmoil.
On Once Upon A Time, Rumplestilkin (Robert Carlyle) is known the Dark One. Make a deal with the dark one and he will want something in return for his services. But underneath the scaly green skin and the magic is a man whose scars run deep and long. Loosing his parents to death and abandonment at a young age, he was branded a coward. His marriage to his first wife, Milah was rocky, even after the birth of their son, Bae. When Milah abandoned her husband and son for Captain Hook, the mortal Rumplestilkin was replaced with the immortal dark one.
In Skin Deep, Sir Maurice will do anything to end the Ogre Wars. Rumplestilkin is happy but help. But in return for his services, he wants Belle, the king’s only daughter as a serving girl. As time passes, Rumplestilskin begins to see Belle in a new light. But their first kiss reveals his deep un-healed scars.
What strikes me about this scene is that I understood him at that moment, when he is yelling at himself in the mirror. I understood his pain, his turmoil and his fear.
Sometimes, when we look in the mirror, that is all we see.