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Article by Joan Newcomb October 9, 2015

Seattle Affective Disorder

Realizing that you are depressed, and how to consciously change the way you think.

September in the Pacific Northwest means the clouds roll in and don't leave until July. That's not entirely true with global warming/climate change, but we still have more than our fair share of gloomy days.  Seattleites don't tan, they rust.

It's hard *not* to be seasonally affected living here. The one thing I really appreciated when I was back East caring for my mom, was the brilliant sunshine in December. No lack of Vitamin D there!

Depression is a really broad topic, just as it's an umbrella term covering many different disorders.  I'm in no way qualified to comment on the different symptoms or identifications, I can only make observations from my personal experience and from living with others who suffer.

Rather than go into my specific stories around depression (you can find them if you search on my blog),  I will share how I shifted out of many years of being suicidally depressed, and my bigger perspective as Consciousness and depression is now.

Depression creates ruts in your brain. Neuropathways that funnel negative thinking. Sometimes only medication can help alter longstanding biochemistry. I self-medicated for some time, a combination of St. John's Wort and Kava Kava. I think it helped but it didn't tip me over into wellness.

What did crawl me out of the mental gutter was noticing my thoughts. I realized that 90% of my mind chatter was telling stories of woe. I was perpetuating my own misery between my ears. One day I just started paying attention to what I was thinking, and forced myself to change the subject.

It was weird and awkward but after a couple of weeks, a huge cloud lifted from my being. I had no idea I'd been depressed for over a decade.

Life wasn't all sunshine and roses after that, but I do know I've never since been down at the level of anguish that I left behind.

The other thing that's shifted for me is this overwhelming awareness of Consciousness.  When I step towards (or into, it really doesn't have a direction) Consciousness, there is a tremendous feeling of well being. I've felt enveloped in Love for months at a time.

I *know* this is who we essentially are. Consciousness. Overwhelming goodness and purity. Unconditional Love. Immense well being.

We aren't depression. We aren't our brain chemistry. We aren't our bodies that are depressed.  But in depression we forget. We're disconnected from the essence of who we are.

Now my mind wants to wrestle with why that is. It's a similar question as why bad things happen to good people. Why would Consciousness allow depression?

When I step back, I see that Consciousness, in it's infinite neutrality, creates a reality where depression exists, and sees it as neither good, nor bad, it's just another thing to experience on this planet. When I step back into infinite Consciousness and look down at this planet and all the myriad lives to live and storylines to have (and now I'm thinking of even more horrendous themes than depression), I feel unending compassion for all of it. But I don't take any of it personally.

Rather than fighting the existance of depression, it becomes something to navigate through, something to respond but not react to. Depression requires me to take good care of myself. Others' depression requires me to be mindful and sensitive.

If you want more information on becoming Conscious with depression, Eckhard Tolle has a great video on Transmuting The Pain Body.

I don't have to change the hologram, I don't have to heal the world. I can, however, open my heart, and allow healing to happen in my sphere of influence. Any change in me creates a ripple effect to others.