October 12, 2011

Fighting depression like pulling weeds


I hate pulling weeds. And the flower bed in front of my house is full of them.


The worst part? They’re all tangled up with the jasmine we had planted as ground cover.


The hope was the jasmine would eventually strangle the life out of the weeds, but that hasn’t happened.

It looks like we’ll have to do it the hard way—one weed at a time.


That got me to thinking. It’s a lot like my depression and anxiety.






Fighting depression and anxiety is like pulling weeds. It’s hard work. Now, it’s easy to rip the top off the weeds, just like it’s easy to obfuscate, scratch the surface or dodge the real issues with our therapists. The hard part is getting down to the root of the problem.


Dump-truck talk therapy, in which we just spend an hour jabbering about our week and how we feel, is sort of like ripping off the tops of those weeds. It doesn’t really fix the problem. It’s only going to come back. 


We can dump our feelings on somebody else, but until we figure out how to stop being so anxious, how to stop the negative thinking, it just comes back. And like they say about addiction, it will only come back stronger if we don’t kill the lion.


It’s much harder, so hard I haven’t done it successfully yet, to get to the root of depression. We can take meds, which I do, we can exercise, which I don’t do often enough, and we can spend money and time with our therapists. And yet we can still be depressed and frustrated.


I guess we have to just be patient, keep pulling one weed at a time.


Successful recovery, as I view it in my mind’s eye, looks like a well-manicured garden. It’s just not easy to get there.