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The lighter side of darkness

So yesterday’s post was pretty heavy, I guess, and I was reflecting on it as I went about my day and thinking about the depths of the darkness. And I realized something, I noticed markers, I guess you could call them, that to me are signals that I have not yet reached a level of depression that is beyond hope. What markers?

1. No matter how down and out I feel, no matter how much self-loathing is going on, I never, ever skip using the squeegee to wipe the down the glass doors when I’m done with my shower. To me, the continued awareness of and aversion to soap scum build-up in my shower is a sign of hope.

2. Despite my pits-of-despair feelings, I continue to talk to the cats in that high-pitched sing-song voice I used to use with my kids when they were infants. And I carry on little conversations with them as if they understand, as if they are not the same animals who have not caught on even over a month’s time that we have moved the location of their foods dishes. If I can rally to be playful with the cats, I can’t be too far gone. Or maybe I’m a total cat lady and I’m past the point of no return.

3. I cannot drive in my car without turning on the radio and singing along, and not to sad, sappy songs but to loud, fast, take-no-prisoners songs. For the past three days I’ve heard the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” in its entirety every time I got in the car. I think that’s a sign. And so I sang it at the top of my lungs every time. If I can still sing and dance while driving, I’ve got a chance.

4. Other people can’t eat when they get depressed. Or they eat too much. I tend toward the latter, but a sure sign that I haven’t slipped over the edge is the fact that even when I can barely stand to drag myself out of bed in the morning, I cannot stand pasta that is cooked one second past al dente. When I stop caring about the firmness of my pasta, I will know I need serious help.

And now the song…


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sharon Portner #

    There must be some shift in the universe that ‘we’ align with…I have been feeling the same exact way… It felt good to know I’m not alone. I feel so empty. But I also sing to my 6 cats, and make my coffee the exact way I like it, and wear makeup…those are my markers. I pray something shifts soon…..don’t know what to do to shake this.

    January 10, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #


      Thank you so much for sharing and being honest here. I had just finished reading an anonymous email from someone who sort of made me feel worse than I already did, which is saying something. So to get your message right after that was a gift. We will hang in there together. Feel free to email me privately if you want to talk more.

      Peace, love, hugs,

      January 10, 2014
  2. You had me at The Clash!

    January 10, 2014
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #


      January 10, 2014
  3. Sasha #

    A lot of alternative treatments have been found to be very effective with depression; even if they don’t make it disappear they can still help make it vastly milder.

    Consider light therapy! A lot of these small blue lights don’t cost all that much, especially when they last forever. Very valuable for winter depressions.

    If you’re at all open to hiring a personal trainer, or whatever other fitness solution you will be able to stick with even while feeling really down, do it now.

    See a naturopathic doctor. They are given vigorous educations and can really be great. They are like the GPs of alternative medicine, with plenty of knowledge about allopathic medicine so they can refer you to an allopathic doctor whenever necessary.

    If you must, skip the naturopathic doctor and see an acupuncturist. Acupuncture keeps performing extremely well in studies.

    Try green smoothies. Even if the rest of the food you eat is not healthy, a green smoothie is a big shot of raw micronutrients and fiber… and it can taste great! There is sometimes a learning curve for making yummy ones. My approach: 1 glass of water, 2 pitted dates, 1 bloop of chia seeds, 1/2 banana (can be frozen–if it’s peeled of course), a handful of parsley/romaine/spinach, 1+ cup of frozen berries especially blueberries, 1 brazil nut (don’t eat too many, look up why). Green smoothies kind of turned my life around.

    January 12, 2014

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