Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Allure of Depression by Tony Alicea

Every now and then, you get to meet someone who is just plain nice in every way. Tony is one of those people. And I know some people will be mad that I called a dude nice, but he just IS. He's kind and encouraging and funny and honest and nice. Anyway. This is a bit of a different side of Tony today. Still totally his voice, but this isn't something that I've seen him write about on his blog, and I'm glad that he was willing to share it here. 
I don’t struggle with depression but I have gotten a glimpse of it.
Three years after my divorce, I hit a wall. This was different than anything I had ever experienced before. I wasn’t feeling the typical loneliness or sadness that I was used to. Those feelings came and went in spurts. This was deep, dark and in retrospect…absolutely terrifying.
I’ve seen depression in others in various forms. Visible changes in countenance and demeanor, a desire for isolation and a general sense of hopelessness are characteristics that I’ve witnessed first-hand. I never struggled with any of these individual symptoms for more than a very brief period. I always bounced back after a day or so. I could never fully relate to true feelings of depression I heard others talk about.
Then it happened to me.
I’m not exactly sure when it started but it wasn’t a scary, ominous feeling. On the contrary, depression began to wrap itself around me like a comfortable blanket.
'' photo (c) 2011, Rachel Elaine - license: enjoyed isolating myself. I wasn’t seeking the attention of others. I didn’t want pity. I just wanted to be alone. I was disconsolate and I didn’t want to share that with anyone else. I was numb and withdrawn and it happened before I realized it.
I felt broken. I felt alone. I felt numb. I felt relief.
The inconceivable part was that I didn’t want it to go away. I was simply resigned to these new feelings. I didn’t have to fight to keep everything together anymore. I didn’t have to put on a happy face for those that may have been worried about me. The numbness felt like relief from the heaviness that I didn’t want to carry anymore.
I realized that I was depressed and I liked how it felt.
Almost instantly after this realization, I got a fast forwarded vision of where my life was headed. God began to show me clearly, the lies that I was believing. I saw that I was being deceived and that this false peace was going to kill me.
I consider it a miracle. I can’t say that I have ever contemplated suicide but I believe if I didn’t have this vision, I would have headed down that path.
As quickly as I sunk into this depression, I was pulled out. I felt like there was a hand that reached down into my self-made pit and pulled me out. And just like that, it was gone.
I learned that the true power of depression isn’t how low it takes you, but how completely deceived you can be to the truth. Depression didn’t cause me to fight against it, it caused me to resign with a false sense of relief.
The true power of depression over me wasn’t how bad it felt but how alluring it was.
Tony is passionate about helping others discover their identity and destiny in life. He blogs about it at Expect The Exceptional. You can also find him regularly chatting on Twittter. He lives in south Florida and is engaged to the woman of his dreams.


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