The View from Here

July 13th, 2013

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I love this photo of a piece of Chicago skyline that I snapped with my phone through a hotel window, and I was going to write some feel-good post about capturing the moment, beauty and blah blah blah. But what the photo really made me think of was how great it feels when I’ve been in a dark tunnel of depression, and I can suddenly see color and texture and tomorrow. I tried not to write about that because I hate being prone to attacks by the Black Dog, as Churchill called his episodes of depression. Even though I know it runs in my family, it’s always seemed like a terrible character flaw, a weakness in the superstructure of my personality. Rationally and logically, I know it’s pretty common and that if I take care of myself, it doesn’t interfere with my life. But still, admitting it is embarrassing because our culture loves strength, success stories and self-confidence. So I worry that I should be able to overcome it by will power or a higher power or thinking happy thoughts; I hate taking antidepressants, even though I’m on the lowest dose possible and I feel lucky to have them; and I’m jealous that I’m not a born optimist like some of my friends. But none of that went through my mind when I stumbled upon this view. Instead, it was a sudden gift out of nowhere, or out of Somewhere, to remind me that it’s always possible to find a new horizon, new hope, new happiness. That the tunnel is only temporary. That surviving is my success story.

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