Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tis the Season

My automatic coffee machine grinds whole coffee beans that percolates hot black joe directly into any size cup or carafe. But, a fine sediment of the crushed bean always remains in the bottom of said containers. 

Those undesirable dregs remind me of depression; no matter what perky process one undergoes to make life more meaningful and fulfilling, sediment forms underneath the full-to-the-brim surface that leaves a muddy, sluggish feeling at the bottom of the psyche.

Many people experience depression at one time or another, due to an unexpected negative event or an expectation unmet. And then there are people for whom life has been so consistently traumatic, or whose genetic makeup threw them an extra dose of downer genes, that an underlying depression keeps up a steady monotonous drone.

A person in the dregs of depression has an external affect that can resemble laziness, apathy, dullness, lethargy, tears, blankness, sleeplessness, oversleeping, and a bunch of other unappealing behaviors. Or, the black inner space is concealed behind a stoic mask or pretend smile.

Those who have never experienced this silent tornado have a hard time understanding what keeps a person from simply picking themselves up and dusting off the debris. Those who know depression have more sympathy for the afflicted, as this state literally effects brain chemistry. And when a toxin is flowing through the neuronal system, positive thinking doesn't cut it.

This is a season when depression seems to strike the many. Ironically, despite the aphorism "'tis the season to be merry," it triggers old patterns of family dysfunction - or throws up a mirror to our disjointed self as the rest of life seems to be celebrating something special.

The only positive thing about seasonal depression is that season's change, and the darkest day of the year, December 21st, will quickly pass into ever lengthening light.

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