Reflections are ideas transposed to a degree that just slightly differ from the original image. When I think about 2015 I think about my own ideas and how they transposed to be distortions rather than reflections. Reflections allow one to grow existentially whereas distortions allow one little, except maybe a brief reprieve from pain too large to process. Discerning the difference between reflections and distortions is as subtle as noticing differences in everyday reality. Often, it’s so easy we rarely think about it, and often, when one is in the middle of being depressed, it’s as hard as noticing the difference between cyan and electric blue.

That difference is not apparent to the naked eye and it is also not apparent to the depressed person. Distortion, that noise that amplifies sound, making it more profound also makes your emotions louder and more resonant. What do you do when your thoughts along with your emotions are distorted.

Well, if your healthy enough, you wait for it to pass. Take a breath. Distract. Resort to activities that lessen the shrieking. But if you’re sick there’s little. And this fact is difficult to swallow. Even more difficult is the idea that habits you thought fruitful — like isolation and writing do little except exacerbate the feelings of distortion. Moving out of this isn’t easy. And often it begins from crisis. Through crisis you get the external support to lean on others with professional training, who can through crisis management give you the tools to (1) eventually reach a stasis point stable enough to where you can begin to reel in the amplified noise of your brain and (2) begin a long journey back to constructing a system that is more stout in it’s ability to handle distortion.

Thinking on the year I can say this: Depression is a disease that sits in your stomach like a rock, slowly sinking you down until it’s too late. Without support and without help — through auspices of professionals, friends, and family — you’ll most likely lose because you just don’t have the buoys to stay afloat. This lesson is a tough one to swallow and it’s one I hope to never forget.

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