Brain Juice by: Eric Simonson
Yesterday, Project LETS attended the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) Out of the Darkness Walk at Jones Beach on Long Island. To say that the weather was crappy is an understatement; cold, windy, and rainy—weather that is a recipe for a terrible day. As much as we were excited to be there to spread our message, we couldn’t help but complain about how much we just wanted to leave. I don’t know about you, but weather like that makes me want to do nothing but binge-watch Friends on Netflix while drinking dairy-free hot chocolate.
After my sweatshirt absorbed enough rain to fill a children’s swimming pool, I realized just how perfect the weather was for the walk. Often times, people describe depression as having a dark cloud over their head. It makes sense to say that the gloomy weather we experienced at the walk is exactly like the symbolic weather that plagues people suffering from depression.
Much like how the rain affected our level of excitement for the day, the clouds of depression affect your overall life. You find it hard to see joy in anything; you see things that should be positive and can’t help but think negatively; you just don’t want to be there. How fitting it is to be at a walk for suicide prevention with the physical equivalent of depression clouds looming over our heads.
What’s even more perfect than the dismal weather is how it cleared up. Remember the episode of Family Guy where Ollie Williams tells the news anchors that it’s “RAINING SIDEWAYS?” Well, that is exactly how the weather was as the walk began. By the time people started to cross the finish line, though, the weather was changing drastically. The rain had stopped; the wind died down; the clouds began to dissipate. All of these people came together under poor weather, stayed the course, and saw literal sunshine at the other side. Who’s to say that the same can’t be true if you are suffering from depression?
Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” When the dark clouds of depression hang over your head, don’t throw in the towel. Reach out to someone for support. All of the walkers came together and got through the weather to the sunshine—you can too. The sunshine after the clouds is so much more enjoyable when you have someone to enjoy it with.