The Importance of Giving…and Taking

Currently I find myself in the yet again dreadful position of immobilising depression where my limbs no longer seem to work and moving is a full time job. “Why?” I ask myself, as always. “Why can’t I just move my legs?”

Recently I’ve been feeling a sense of “wear and tear”. Extreme exhaustion. And although I am in college, I am doing fairly well in school and in life in general. So why this feeling which I can’t escape?

There are many reasons. Depression is a culmination of many problems which all collide at once and create a never ending waterfall of pain most individuals are bound to experience eventually no matter how skilfully they may try to escape.

Looking at my own waterfall then, I’ve realised that one of the problems which is like a thousand thorns puncturing my skin more deeply than others, is giving. Or rather, the absence of its equally important counterpart, receiving.

I have always been taught that we should give yourselves for other people and have wanted more than anything else to model that life. In some way, my desire is to give life to others and provide them with love and support in those moments when life feels hopeless.

But what I’ve found is that even though I am often in a “good place” and a place of comfort and warmth, I myself am in the same situation of the people I am trying to help. I often feel just as lifeless and hopeless as people who I do my best to encourage and help realize are valued beyond measure. And I know now that the reason is because “for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction (one of Newton’s laws…I think)”.

I know now that in order to continue giving life, you must receive enough life to replenish your abilities. As much as I wish I could be that waterfall, constantly giving refreshment to the undernourished, I have realised that I also need to stand at the bottom and receive. We are humans but can only handle so much before we find ourselves empty or stuck in a grey haze of pain and fear.

So experiment. Find out what gives you life. And avoid the greyness this waterfall known as depression brings on.

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