I have a tremendous fear of depression. I have seen too many people I love immobilized by it so I have spent much of my life running from it. I see now, however, that running from something doesn't necessarily get you anywhere.
When my brother died, I never stopped just to be sad. I was so intent on "living" and "doing" and "succeeding" in honor of him, I never took the time to take in the profound loss in my life. I had grad school auditions to prepare for and I was hell bent on getting into a good school. I was successful. I got into ACT in San Francisco, a fabulous school but then proceeded to spend my first year there doing the mourning I ran from the year before. (Sorry to my classmates as some of my acting exercises became informal therapy!)
Today, I run in a different way. I focus so hard on having a forward-looking positive attitude and a dream for the future. Which sounds terrific. Except that I sometimes have the blinders on to today -- to life, both good and bad. While I might skim over some rough parts of life this way, I also skim over some real happy moments, as well.
That's one of the reasons I started this blog. So I would stop running at least for a few moments a day -- to take stock and to see my life as it is today, not as simply another box to check off towards tomorrow. Life is not a giant to-do list. And if I don't stop running, I'll look back at a calendar full of "X"s but no real memories. And that may the most depressing thing I ever heard.