Some of you may know the feeling of coming out of a depression. It’s a feeling of lightness, of newness. In the midst of depression everything feels dark, dull and heavy. Menial tasks feel all consuming. Gathering enough energy to exist day to day requires almost too much of our existence. “How will I go about today?” you may find yourself wondering, “how can I possibly face the daily activities of my life?” Depression can steal away the very core of what it means to feel like ourselves.

This morning I awoke with a feeling of wonder deep in my chest. I gazed out the window and watched the wind blow snow down the street behind my house. I felt gratitude towards this feeling. It had been a long time since I had felt it. This feeling of wonder is often holding hands with contentment. And that’s how my morning was spent. I relished the taste of hot coffee while snuggled under a blanket with my favorite girl. I read while she snoozed, her eyes partly open. A small smile played on my lips as I thought to myself, “this is what life is all about.”

Depression stole my zest for life, my appreciation and the small thoughts that lead to big ideas. As that dark monster has retreated into its cave, I am left with energy, exuberance and a strong knowing of possibility. Anything is possible when I am feeling like myself. Self care feels imminent as it is the thing that falls to the wayside when exerting all energy on being. Meals get cooked with care, long walks with the pup get taken, overdue conversations with far away friends are held. Gratitude and appreciation for life is restored.

I know how difficult it can be to feel grateful and appreciative of our lives when in the midst of all of the hard stuff. However, what I’d like you to take from this is hope that you can come back to yourself. Whether your depression is situational or clinical, there will be a time when the heaviness lifts, even if just for a little while. And when that happens, I want you to close your eyes, place your hand over your chest and say a silent thank you. There is an end to the dark tunnel- the light is just around the bend. Even the smallest of steps will lead you there. You’ll see.