This week took a nose dive with everything that’s been going on in the press as of late and it’s creating much discussion about the severity of depression and addiction. I recently signed up for The Daily Love email after stumbling across Mastin Kipp on Oprah.com. Mastin calls his blog “a dose of love” and the message he spreads “a free daily e-multivitamin for the soul.” I can get behind that.
In the wake of the tragic news of Robin Williams’ passing, he sent out a poignant and expressive post yesterday, “Goodbye Genie, You’re Free…,” about depression and addiction that eloquently created a real life “ah-ha moment” for me. It was these words that gave me pause:
…we know that depression has something to do with the brain. I believe it also has something to do with the spirit.
My therapist told me many years ago that re-pression tends to lead to de-pression.
What’s that mean? It means that our spirits are meant to be free. They are meant to create, to Love and be Loved.
When that process halts itself because of repression, we can get depressed.
We are meant to be free. When a series of events happens in life that prevents that freedom, naturally we lean towards depression. Because there’s a part of us that knows that we aren’t living our purpose.
“Re-pression tends to lead to de-pression.” Wow. In all my years as a student of life, I’ve consciously made it a point to absorb the wisdom of others, particularly, when it comes to spiritual/life development. Yet, I don’t think I had quite ever heard this idea expressed so succinctly and powerfully. And though there are certainly different levels and forms of depression; ranging from a possible severe chemical imbalance in the brain, to hormones, to simply experiencing a string of bad days – I think back on the times when I’ve been down and this one sentence seems all too fitting. I was likely in a state where I wasn’t in full expression in some area of my life, that therefore, manifested itself into feelings of sadness.
As human beings, we can all relate to this. I would argue that this feeling is cyclical, meant to return in our lives as an S.O.S. when it’s time to move to the next stage. Our spirit is speaking to us. The goal is to learn to listen, then act accordingly.
While resonating with me, these words might not be enough for someone with a clinical form of depression. More intense resources are likely needed (long-term therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, etc.). I won’t get into all that because I’m by no means qualified to speak to it.
What I will say, is that the news of Robin’s passing was a huge shock to many of us, myself included, because of our perception — or better misperception — of a person. When we’re used to seeing someone smiling and joking, we assume that all must be well in their world. The fact is we never really know what’s going on with a person. It’s especially difficult if they want to keep it that way. All we can do is be there for those that we love and make sure they know it; reminding them and ourselves that every sunrise and sunset, no matter the storm we may find ourselves in during those hours, is a gift. And like all gifts, my hope is that we’ll get the opportunity to see what’s inside. Essentially, it’s life.
I had always hoped that we might see Mrs. Doubtfire make an on-screen appearance again (and there were strong rumors of a sequel a few months ago). It’s still one of those films and characters that make me smile and think of my childhood. Peace to you, Mr. Williams….and to all of us.
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Image credit: “Beach” by Catherine, used under CC BY / text added from original.