When Depression Comes Where does the Light Go?


Where does the light go when the darkness of depression creeps up around you? How can you see your way out of that darkness when you sense no light within you?

These are questions you ask yourself — if you have the strength to ask — when severe depression strikes.

This is not about feeling blue. Long-term clinical depression can end your life, physically, mentally, or spiritually. It cuts you off at the knees and renders whatever gifts you have powerless. If it is not treated, either professionally or through good self-help, it will increasingly erode your mental health.

It doesn’t matter how strong the light was within you, when depression washes over you that light seems extinguished. The power of it astounds you. In an instant, depression transports your emotions from a positive creative space, to a black void where nothing is possible, and every experience is either painful or horribly vacant.

Only if you are lucky do you find yourself wondering, “where does the light go?” The unlucky never consider the possibility of seeing it again.

When we are seriously depressed, have we really lost our inner light? Is there no emotional healing possible?

Finding the light in depression

No matter how dark life becomes, your light is still within you. It never leaves you. You may not see it, but it burns deep within your psyche nevertheless. It is important to know that because it is pivotal to your recovery. If you know that your light is still burning, you can be on the lookout for it.

Faith then, is important in dealing with depression. You must have faith that you have strength, even when you feel none. You must know and you must remind yourself that there is strength within you, regardless.

The next step is to put yourself silently on watch for those strengths, and to take action the moment you feel the slightest positive twinge. That action is the key.

The greatest creative force in this world is action. Depression is the greatest inactive destructive force you can experience. It causes you to withdraw from living. The solution then is to do the opposite and take action whenever you are able.

The actions can be as simple as:

  • Go for a walk
  • Clean and reorganize your personal space
  • Hug your spouse or lover
  • Fix something around the house
  • Email a friend
  • Call your Mother
  • Take another step in building your business
  • Pet your cat
  • Continue reading this article
  • Take the next action in your current project
  • Build something with your hands
  • Do some maintenance on your computer
  • Join a group: hobby, professional, toastmasters, depression support, exercise
  • Wash your car
  • Cut the grass
  • Help a friend with something

You can easily take these small actions at the slightest indication of strength or positive feeling — but you must make a point of taking them. The last thing a depressed person wants is to go do something. This is where you have to focus on that momentary strength, and do it regardless.

The rewards will be huge. Each action builds cumulative power. You will eventually build enough to over-tip your depression. Every time you act on a positive feeling you will be one step closer to your light, and one step out of the darkness. Each action is like fuel. Your light grows brighter and easier to see the next time.

Never feel defeated

There are volumes written on depression, but in this small article I want only to share this simple truth: You have light within you; it has never left you; it is waiting for you to glimpse it between the cracks in the darkness.

All that it requires is a small action to honor it whenever you sense it. In return, its light will burn brighter, and those cracks in the darkness will break open. You will eventually win this battle if you always remember that action is the enemy of depression.

Act in your moments of strength whenever possible – regardless how small the action might be – and you will find your light again.

What are some of your experiences with the emotions of depression? How have you dealt with depression?

Over to you now…

5 thoughts on “When Depression Comes Where does the Light Go?

  1. Loraleigh Vance

    Another good one John and you are absolutely right.

    Whenever I get depressed, at some point I make a list of what needs to be done. Then, however mechanically the task gets done, just the fact that I’m up and moving seems to bring me back to the light.

    Thank you

  2. Julie

    John, great post!
    I know this is a self-help blog, but I just wanted to highlight a point in your list:
    “Join a group: hobby, professional, toastmasters, depression support, exercise”

    For someone who is depressed, know that they are not alone, and that there’s also a world of support and help out there…

  3. John R. Post author

    Loraleigh and Julie,

    Thank you.

    For those of us that have suffered from depression, it does help to have a way out in mind, however mechanical it feels to us at the time, as you say Loraleigh.

    And I totally agree with you Julie, that we are never as alone as we feel.

  4. Bamboo Forest

    I have certainly felt blue before – and have had bouts of depression. But nothing long term.

    I really like this article. You’re right, that light is always there, but it is us who must free it.

  5. Samuel

    Depression can occur even from very small events of our lives , we should always stay in contact with our friends ,relatives cauz they are a strong emotional support of us . Religious grounds are alwys a ultimate way of curing any problem 😉

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