Depression and Inner Currency

You ever gone into a shop, seen something you want, but known full well you didn’t have the money to buy it?

That’s what being depressed is like.

You see the laundry in the hamper. You see your work on the desk. You see your running shoes. You see the fruit bowl. You see your messy bedroom.

And yet… you literally can’t do anything about these things. Whatever inner currency it is that would sort them out, you’re broke.

It’s a shitty place to be. But if you’re not careful, you can make it even worse. Because when you see all these things that you feel powerless to do anything about, that even thinking about becomes overwhelming, it’s tempting to bow out completely. And… that’s never going to help.

I know that when I’m in this sort of mode, my tendency is to see it very black-and-white, very all-or-nothing. To go back to the shopping analogy, it’s as if I look in my basket, and if I can’t afford everything, I decide I can’t afford anything.

This is a mistake. Fortunately, there’s another way. One that I’ve found much more useful. It goes like this: “Okay, I don’t have as much of this inner currency as I’d like, or as I sometimes I have, but I’m not down to zero yet. How much do I have? And what could I spend it on?”

Spend what you have, and you will have more to spend. It’s just like the Parable of the Talents. Will your depression run for hills just like that? No. Sorry. But you will feel relief.

Do the best you can in this moment, and realise that that’s all you can ever do.

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