I talk a lot about depression because I think it’s terrible and believe that no one should have to go it alone. Even if you haven’t found words for your own pain and suffering in regards to a chemical imbalance, occasionally something or someone will reach out and say them for you. Sometimes it’s a song, a movie, or a quote that puts into words what you’re feeling inside, and for a moment you don’t feel alone.
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to form words around the demons I battle. I share them as often as I can and with as much honesty as I can muster. Below are some of the words and quotes about depression that have inspired me in my darkest of moments, coupled with many photos I have taken at times when I have been down. There is a lot of talk in photography about needing the darkness to counteract the light, and without darkness the light has nothing to define itself with. Not only has photography allowed me to express myself when I can’t speak, it has allowed me to learn about needing the darkness, appreciating it, and using it to make things even more beautiful.
Hope in the Darkest of Days 1 of 16
"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe." — Dalai Lama
This quote from the Dalai Lama is optimism in its truest form, finding the best in the worst and enjoying the good when it does come. It is also important to realize that the universe is not out to get us, only to teach us if we are willing to learn.
Pains Make a Soul 2 of 16
"Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?" — John Keats
Think for a moment who you would be if it weren't for the difficulties in your life. While the trials I have been dealt are never easy, they are what has taught me empathy and unconditional love.
All I Want in Life 3 of 16
"That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful." — Elizabeth Wurtzel
The day I was finally able to help even one other person by putting my struggles into words, that was the day all my pain made sense.
Be Careful with Yourself 4 of 16
"Depression is like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just got to be careful not to touch it where it hurts. It's always there, though." — Jeffrey Eugenides
I will say it is also a bruise on your heart. Taking good care of it and surrounding yourself with good, tender people who will help protect your bruised mind and heart will do wonders.
Adapt 5 of 16
"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds." — Aristotle Onassis
I know I will never be free of the chemical imbalance in my brain, but I also know the things I have learned from my experience have made me tougher and more capable of weathering the storms I know lie ahead.
Every Day 6 of 16"Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed." — Mason Cooley
If you ever believe you've done absolutely nothing worth mentioning in a day, getting out of bed is a pretty big deal (especially when it's the last thing you want to do).
Responsibility 7 of 16"As long as one person lives in darkness then it seems to be a responsibility to tell other people." — Bill Hicks
I can promise you that as soon as I find a way out, I will turn around and tell the tale of how I made it. To give another person hope is to give them life. I love this quote.
Saddle Up 8 of 16
"Courage is being scared to death ... and saddling up anyway." — John Wayne
There are things I am still terrified of, sometimes even hitting 'publish' can be terrifying. I've never regretted a single time I've spoken up for myself or for the well being of another, no matter how scary it seemed at the time.
Winning Without Losing 9 of 16
"First, accept sadness. Realize without losing, winning isn't so great." — Alyssa Milano
Oh, Alyssa — it's true. Without knowing the pain of loss, the joy of winning falls flat.
Dark and Light 10 of 16"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." — Helen Keller
When it comes to talking about depression, there are a lot of references of dark and light. While Helen Keller may have very well literally meant darkness, it also applies to depression. Being alone on a good day is sometimes more terrifying than having someone with you in your darkest moment.
Stars 11 of 16
"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars." — Og Mandino
This is another quote that speaks to my heart. When we think of the dark black of night, how quickly do our thoughts turn to the opportunity to see the stars?
Beautiful Darkness 12 of 16
"All the things I find beautiful have a darkness about them." — Paloma Faith
With the recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I feel this one especially fitting.
Appreciating Happiness 13 of 16
"I do believe that if you haven't learned about sadness, you can't appreciate happiness." — Nana Mouskouri
Only after knowing the depths of my own sadness have I been able to truly appreciate little moments that previously went unnoticed. Happiness takes on a whole other dimension when put against sadness.
Cracks 14 of 16
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." — Leonard Cohen
Just as the sun cannot enter a room that is sealed up, we need our cracks to let in light and love.
Character and Darkness 15 of 16
"Character, like film, develops in darkness." — Yousuf Karsh
I was not who I am now before going through some really dark times. This quote surrounds me on a daily basis — it is one of the best I have ever heard about not only myself, but depression in general. When we are dark, we are developing — cut the process short, and we'll never know what we were supposed to become.
Everything Will Be Okay 16 of 16
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." — Unknown
There's debate on who this quote is credited to — some say John Lennon, others say Ed Sheeran while others credit various movies or plays. I have had this hanging on my bathroom mirror since I first saw it for sale in New York. Even when things feel as though they are ending, they aren't. It's just the beginning of something new, and sometimes it hurts to get there — but it has always been worth it.
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy. She’s also available on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.