Depression and Rebirth

The death of Robin Williams has been a hard one for a lot of us to process. We loved this man. We loved his energy, his zany over-the-top take on life – we loved how he made us laugh, and we loved his kindness. And those of us who have experienced depression ourselves feel a kinship with him in his struggles with mental illness.

If you are dealing with depression, I’m here to tell you, my dear friend, that you WILL get through this. And, trust me, when you come out on the other side – and you WILL come out on the other side – you will realize that it was all worth it – all of it. The pain won’t last forever, I promise. Accept it, sit in it, don’t try to fight it, learn what you need to learn from it. The pain won’t leave you where it found you – it’ll push you closer to your own rebirth. Rejoice!

It will get better.

photo of a forest in the Pacific Northwest by Karen Molenaar Terrell

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings… – Psalms 40:2

Wilderness: Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Sorrow has its own reward. It never leaves us where it found us.
– Mary Baker Eddy


8 thoughts on “Depression and Rebirth

  1. False hope!
    Some people sit in depression, and then get cancer and die.
    It doesn’t always get better.

    And declaring that mental sickness is just an illusion does little to help the situation.

    • Hi, Fortious,

      You write, “And declaring that mental sickness is just an illusion does little to help the situation.”

      I’m not sure what, exactly, you’re referring to here.(?) Nowhere in my post did I refer to mental illness as an “illusion”.

      Regarding your comment about “False hope!” – Speaking for myself – as someone who has experienced doctor-diagnosed “severe depression and anxiety” – the belief that there was hope, that things would get better, and that the pain wouldn’t last forever, was one of the chief things that kept me going. Perhaps that’s not true for everyone who’s experienced depression – but it was true for me – and for others who are experiencing depression in the same way I experienced it – struggling with waves of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness – I wanted to pass on a thought that helped me during that time.

      Having experienced the pain of depression, I in no way stand in judgement on anyone for doing what they feel they need to do to survive it – whether it’s turning to medications, counseling, or their understanding of God, Love, Truth – and I would hope that others would treat me with the same respect.


      • It seems that you want to help with your sentiment: that it gets better for everyone dealing with depression.
        But the sentiment is untrue, as you admit. Not everyone gets better.
        It was true for you, but you are stating that it gets better for everyone, not that it got better for you.
        That’s why it’s false hope.

      • Fortious,
        You write, “It was true for you, but you are stating that it gets better for everyone…”

        Yes, I see your point.

        But… if someone had convinced me during the depression that YOUR words were true – that all hope was “False hope! Some people sit in depression, and then get cancer and die. It doesn’t always get better.” – I would not have survived. Seriously. I would not have survived. I mean, isn’t that what depression is, really? – a sense of hopelessness, fear, anxiety, the sense that we’re all doomed to die, and what’s the point, really?

        I would never tell someone going through depression that all hope was “false hope”. That kind of thought is not helpful to anyone – not to those suffering from mental illness, and not to those who aren’t. Hope literally saved me. Not the kind of hope that’s full of uncertainty – “hoping for the best” – but the kind of hope that is sure – that KNOWS things will get better – “we have high hopes” – that kind of hope. It heals. And when someone comes to believe in that kind of hope – well – yeah, the depression will end – because depression by its very nature is the denial of hope.

        Fortious, I want to thank you for coming on here and conversing with me.about this stuff – it’s been really helpful to me – helped me better understand my own thoughts about depression and hope.

  2. Whether we find a methodology here that shifts our focus from anxiety and pain to relief and joy, or if we can only find that change of perspective in death, the promise of rebirth, I feel, always remains. Thanks for being a reassuring voice to break on through to the other side of depression while in Life. It is a wonderful joyful feeling of renewal when we find our way out of the darkness … and it is so very “worth it”.

  3. Dear Karen,

    Can you understand that I’m not saying that ALL hope is false hope??

    You admit that your hopeful message isn’t true for everyone, but that it is useful to everyone. I think this is because you can’t imagine another hopeful approach that could be based more in reality.

    You’re presenting a false dichotomy.. either hope like everyone gets better, or there’s no hope at all.

    There’s plenty of good reasons to maintain hope in the face of adversity.. and those reasons can be based in reality! That’s all I’m saying.

    • Fortious,

      I do not think my hopeful message isn’t true for everyone. I think it is. You are the one who’s claiming it isn’t. Why is the hope I’m offering false, and the hope you’re offering not? Why is the hope you’re offering based on “reality” and the hope I’m offering not? How is the hope you’re offering – and, to be honest, I haven’t seen you offering any hope here – any different or better than my message?

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