Depression – Don’t Waste Your Pain
Depression is painful but can you turn that pain into something good? I recently heard of a couple that went through extreme suffering because of losing a child and one of the pieces of advice they received was, “don’t waste your pain.” These people turned their pain into a full-fledged and extremely successful business that gives back to children’s charities. I’ve decided that was an extremely valuable piece of advice with depression – don’t waste your pain.
Can the Pain of Depression Be Useful?
Now, I’m not a depression-ra-ra kind-of-a-girl so you’ll never hear me say that depression or bipolar disorder is a gift. It certainly is not to me. It is something I would get rid of if there were any way I could. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with mental illness and I think it’s important to find meaning in this suffering, if you can.
However, the pain of depression can be motivational. In my case, I’ve turned depression pain into a writing and speaking career. Some might suggest that this move was not wasting the pain and depression. And while some people say that because I write about bipolar disorder all the time I’m dwelling on the pain, I do not consider this to be the case at all. What I’m doing is using my experience with bipolar and my insights about the pain to help others who are suffering. And, honestly, I help thousands every day. That’s not my ego talking, that’s the numbers.
How Can You Not Waste the Pain of Depression?
Look, most of you aren’t going to be mental illness speakers and writers, but this isn’t a problem. You can find the pain outlet that works for you. And this could be anything. What about learning to knit when you’re too depressed to leave the couch? What about donating those knitted items to charity? What about painting? What about volunteering with others with mental illness or maybe reading to children at the library? What about helping to put together an event that brings together people with mental illness? What about creating a website that pulls together all the quality mental health resources that you know of?
What I’m saying is that whomever you are, whatever your personal skill set, you can use that skill set and the suffering and pain as motivation for more; and by transforming your pain into, well, anything, you may start to feel like all that painful depression is not in vain. The couple I mentioned above still hurt because of their lost child, but they also know that they have not wasted their pain and this helps them find meaning in their loss.
What can you do to not waste the pain of depression or bipolar disorder?
Banner image by Steven Depolo.