A little over a year ago, I was walking through a parking lot and suddenly, I realized there were a bunch of leaves at my feet. They were orange and stood out against the asphalt. And that moment was shocking, sad, and a little terrifying.
I hadn’t realized the trees had started to turn colors, let alone started to fall.
It was a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget because it was one of the first moments I realized depression was real inside of me. I love when the trees change color and when the leaves fall. And last year, I didn’t even notice it happening and, even when I did, I couldn’t see–I couldn’t feel– the beauty. As someone who stares at the sky and the way leaves, whatever their color, stand out against it on the regular, it was alarming to have had beauty dancing around me for who knows how long before I could even see it was there. And then I felt no attachment to it when I finally did see it.
A few days ago, I was walking into the office and I looked up and around and I started to smile. The leaves were turning. They were just beginning to change. Greens were morphing into reds and oranges and yellows were starting to fade into the edges. And a slow burning of hope and relief warmed in my chest. Because this year, I’m seeing the colors.
I’m not saying it’s all better. In fact, this week was the worst I’ve had in a while now, proving to me that this battle isn’t over. I’m not saying I know what’s happening inside of me or how long depression will last or how to make it go away. I’m saying that there’s hope again. And not just for me but for friends of mine that are struggling too. Because the world tends to fade to black and white and a whole lot of grey when this monster is inside of you.
But there will be colors again.