When you’re depressed, it feels like life follows you around with a perpetual dark, stormy cloud above your head.  It feels like the sun will never shine again, and nothing will ever be happy.  Even when the sun is shining and birds are chirping, you can’t see or hear these things because the cloud overshadows everything else.  It filters everything, so all you see are shades of grey, and all you hear are dull, muted sounds.  No wonder you can’t seem to escape the depression you’re in.

But then, like magic, one day the dark cloud lifts, and you can see in color again.  You can see the sunshine, hear the birds chirp, smell the flowers.  You can appreciate all the things that everyone else seems to have been seeing all along.  You can live again.  You can breathe again.  But do you dare?  Or do you hold your breath, afraid that if you breathe too hard it will all be blown away with one exhale?

Wow.  I know that feeling.  It’s like walking on eggshells.  If you tread lightly, maybe they won’t break.  One little crack could send your whole world spiraling out of control again.  One exhale could send the sunshine away, and bring the storm cloud back.

That’s how we tend to live, isn’t it?  Afraid of when the bad times will hit again, and never really enjoying the good times.  But what if we didn’t?  What if we just decided to live in the moment, and savor every last second of the good times?  Even if they only last but a short while.  Isn’t it worth having a few moments of peace and joy, rather than more moments of anxiety waiting for the worst?  I think so.

So today, I’ve decided to laugh.  I’ve decided to listen to music that makes me feel good.  I’ve decided to allow myself to feel confident and happy.  Maybe I will crash and burn in an hour, or tomorrow, or the next day.  I don’t know.  But I want to know that I had a few moments of lightness, free from the darkness.  I want to know that I lived free from depression and anxiety in the moments that were given to me.  So I will.  And today, at least right now, it feels great!  It’s raining outside today, but I don’t even care.  It still feels bright and cheery.  I still feel happy.  And I’m letting later worry about itself because I’m enjoying these moments right now.

So here’s to you and the next time the cloud lifts.  May you be able to relish the moments you have to enjoy life.  Enjoy taking in deep breaths, and don’t forget to exhale.

By Melissa Anderson

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