I have two rivers. One on top of the other. The upper river is the one I swim in mostly – it’s pleasant and not to bad there – and I do pretty good there. But underneath my feet, always there, is a slower river, moving in a different direction. It’s thicker, harder to swim in.
I know it’s there. My feet are always touching it but I don’t like to go down there.
It’s not deadly: I can swim down there ok, but there’s not much light and it’s not very pleasant.
I call it my melancholy. I acknowledge it: It’s not going anywhere and I’m not fearful of it. I just prefer the upper river most of the time and try not to get pulled into the lower one. I’m not as functional there and it only serves a purpose when I want to go down there, make life changes, whatever.
For me, I acknowledge the negative and let it pass by. Works most of the time. Sometimes there’s a downward spiral – some chain reaction started by something entirely unexpected, that REALLY tests coping mechanisms and skills.
Sometimes it’s positive thought, positive choice, but that only works when enough of your life is in your control or understood in a satisfactory way.
But when “thrown for a loop”: blind sighted – making that positive choice can be harder. Not impossible.. but might take longer and more effort to pull through it and can require outside help like friends, time, etc.
Two most helpful *and* dangerous words: “I’m fine”.
In most of life, it works ok. “deal with it” etc. But if it’s masking an underlying depression, you can be in a situation where you BELIEVE you’re ok. when you’re not. Then you won’t see the choice to stop depression to even be a valid option, because you don’t see yourself as depressed.
That can be the hardest.